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  • Firing Up A Passion For Science
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  • Coming Of Age And Going Of Class

    | Germany | Students

    (My chemistry teacher will sometimes cancel the lesson if it’s the last one before end of school and we can provide him a good reason. I’m repeating the year, so I’m one year older than the others.)

    Classmate: “Mr. [Teacher], can we have the lesson off? I wanna go home.”

    Teacher: “No, not today. Not unless it’s someone’s 18th birthday.”

    (I take out my ID, get up and approach him. I hold out my ID and grin. He reads my birth date and starts laughing.)

    Teacher: “I should have remembered that [My Name] is one year older than the rest of you…”

    (Few seconds of silence.)

    Teacher: “… Now get out. Class is cancelled.”

    (My whole class bought me a belated birthday cake the next day.)

    For The Sake Of The Lesson

    | San Antonio, TX, USA | Language & Words, Students, Teachers

    (We are learning how to express sequential events in Japanese.)

    Professor: “Okay, complete the sentence.” *in Japanese* “In the morning, I get up, then—”

    Student #1: *in Japanese* “—drink milk.”

    Professor: “Okay, that’s good! Anyone else?”

    Student #2: *in Japanese* “I get up, then drink water.”

    Professor: “That’s correct, but let’s try something different now.”

    Student #3: *in Japanese* “I get up, then drink tea?”

    Professor: “Okay, that’s not what I meant by ‘different’. Come on! Enough with the ‘I drink milk’ and ‘water’ and ‘tea’ stuff, give me something exciting!”

    Student #4: *in Japanese* “I get up, then drink sake.”

    (We all burst out laughing while my professor just stares.)

    Student #4: “Hey, you said exciting. Sake is exciting.”

    Professor: “That’s not what I meant. At all. No. No! Stop it!”

    A Fore-Gone Conclusion

    , | Australia | Extra Stupid, Sports, Students, Theme Of The Month

    (I take some of my students to a yearly interschool sports carnival that showcases a variety of sports. We’re walking across the hockey fields when one of my soccer girls looks excited.)

    Soccer Girl: *looking at the hockey game* “I didn’t know they had golf here!”

    Has Their Twerk Cut Out For Them

    | USA | Rude & Risque, Students

    (I am getting ready to take a group of students back to class. They were especially rowdy the last time they were in the hallway.)

    Me: “I want to see good hallway manners this time. Voices off. Walking feet. No running. No twirling or squirreling.”

    Student: “Did you just say no twerking?”

    Me: “What? No. No TWIRLING!”

    (Pause.)

    Me: “But, don’t do that other one, either.”

    Coming To A Novel Realization

    | San Juan, Puerto Rico | Extra Stupid, Students

    (I am an English literature professor. It’s the first day of class. I’ve spent about half an hour discussing the course contest, the reading lists, and evaluation.)

    Me: “The first novel we’re going to read is…”

    (Suddenly, a student stands up, looking confused from his sudden realization.)

    Student: “Wait! This isn’t advanced calculus?!”

    (The student runs out the door, while the rest of the class is laughing.)


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