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  • Firing Up A Passion For Science
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  • My Class Is A Bunch Of Animals

    | Victoria, BC, Canada | Bizarre/Silly, Teachers

    (It’s the second day of class.)

    Professor: ”Okay, guys. I know some of you have hippie parents and I will call you by whatever name you prefer, but today, perhaps whoever signed in as ‘Harvey the Wonder Hamster’ yesterday might consider using his or her actual name.”

    How I Met Your Research Proposal

    | CA, USA | Movies & TV, Teachers

    (I’m a graduate student mentor helping my undergraduate students prepare research proposals. One of my students outlined their paper starting with stating her results up front, then by discussing the lit review. I’m trying to explain why it is a bad idea.)

    Me: ”The reader will already know what your results were without you roping them in to your study.”

    Student: ”So? I’m letting them know what the relationship is before they look at the research so they understand where it fits in.”

    Me: ”You’re going to see what they won’t read after the results. You give it away up front and there’s no incentive to finish.”

    Student: ”I don’t follow.”

    Me: ”It’s like watching How I Met Your Mother. You know it ends with him meeting the mother, so why bother watching?”

    Student: ”… That makes perfect sense.”

    That Teacher Is A Piece Of Work

    | Montreal, QC, Canada | Teachers

    (I am attending the first class of a programming class and my teacher has just told us we could program our assignments in groups.)

    Other Student: ”Does this mean that the workload will be too much for one student?”

    Teacher: ”No. It is not the workload for you. It is the workload for me.”

    A Delayed Childhood Reaction

    | Natchitoches, LA, USA | Awesome, Math & Science, Students

    (My chemistry class has been partnered up in the lab and we’re playing around with vinegar and baking soda, putting just enough into a test tube to make it foam up.)

    Lab Partner: *smiling* ”This is so much fun! I never got to do this as a kid.”

    Me: ”Really?” *grinning mischievously* ”Want to see what this stuff can really do?”

    Lab Partner: ”But Mrs. [Teacher] said not to make a mess. She said if we did, we would get detention!”

    Me: *rolls eyes* ”Tell her that it was all me! You just have to see what it can do!”

    (I fill the tube halfway with baking soda then pour vinegar into it and jam the cork into it. I use my thumb to hold it in but soon the pressure has built enough that it I have to let go. The cork blasts off, flying at least fifteen feet before it lands at the back of the lab, right at the teacher’s feet. She glares at me and the puddle surrounding our lab station.)

    Lab Partner: *wide-eyed* ”Oh, whoa! I didn’t know it could do THAT!”

    Teacher: ”Miss [My Name], what part of ‘don’t make a mess’ did you not understand?”

    Me: *grinning* ”It was all in the name of science! [Lab partner] never got to play with this stuff as a kid!”

    Teacher: *sighs and rubs her temples* “I’ll go get a mop from the janitor’s closet.” *points at the rest of the class* ”No one else do that. If you do, we’ll NEVER come back to the lab. EVER.”

    (I never did get a detention. That was the first and last time I ever caused trouble in that class.)

    A Serial Consumer

    | WI, USA | Money, Teachers

    (In economics class, the instructor is talking about consumer demand.)

    Instructor: ”You guys do this when you go shopping. You buy more when something’s on sale, and you buy less or none at all when the price is high. For example, I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch. When it’s the regular price, I won’t buy it. When it’s on sale, I have twelve boxes of it in my cart.”

    (The class laughs.)

    Instructor: ”I’m serious.”

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