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    It’s No Joke(r)

    | AZ, USA | Geeks Rule, Students

    (We are in Spanish class, discussing what it means to be a hero. The instructor calls on me.)

    Instructor: “[My Name], what do you think a hero is?”

    Me: “Someone’s who’s courageous, relatively selfless, cares for others, tries to do the right thing, and can’t stand injustice.”

    Instructor: “Very good, [My Name]. Anything else?”

    Me: *jokingly* “Superman!”

    (A rude, sanctimonious middle-aged student who enjoys picking on others raises her hand.)

    Instructor: “Yes, [Student]?”

    Student: “I think she’s dead wrong. In my opinion, characters like Superman and Batman aren’t heroes. They have superpowers, and heroes can only be average people. Superman and Batman aren’t heroes. Like I said, they have superpowers – so they’re anti-heroes!”

    (The class is silent; dumbfounded at the student’s senseless outburst at what was clearly a joke.)

    Professor: “Now [Student], we respect all points of view here, but if you had ever opened a comic book, you would know that Batman doesn’t have superpowers!”

    (The whole class cracked up as the rude student sank down in her seat, blushing. That was the last time she tried to make someone else look stupid!)

    Freudian Voting Slip

    | Phoenix, AZ, USA | Language & Words, Teachers

    (My teacher goes over Freud, and briefly goes over Freudian slips. The next week, the class gets on the topic of voting.)

    Student: “A lot of the younger people I talk to say they don’t vote because it feels like it won’t make a difference.”

    Teacher: “I’ve heard the same. Your generation is pathetic—wait, no!”

    (The class laughs.)

    Teacher: “I’m sorry, politically apathetic. I don’t think you guys are pathetic.”

    (The class continues to chuckle a bit.)

    Teacher: “This always happens right after I go over Freudian slips.”

    Screwing With Literature

    | Lincoln, NE, USA | Bigotry, Books & Reading, Students

    (A female student raises hand to comment on a Norman Mailer book being discussed in class.)

    Student: “All the women in this book get screwed, literally and physically.”

    Schooling Off The Books

    | CA, USA | Books & Reading, Students

    (We’re on break between our two classes. My friends will often leave their bags with me while they visit the catering truck to get fries or a burger. I’m reading a popular novel on my phone when they come back.)

    Friend: “You’re READING!?”

    Me: “It’s a good book!”

    Friend: “School just isn’t enough for you, is it?”

    Making A Bad Compression Impression

    | Omaha, NE, USA | Staff, Teachers, Technology

    (I work for the help desk at a college of education. One part of student teaching has students taping themselves teaching. Our office checks out iPad Minis for students. We require an instructor to sign off for them just so we have someone connected to the university to call if someone doesn’t return a checked out item. Most practicum professors understand that students can only reasonably hand in 8-10 minutes of video to make it fit on the online portfolio and have decent quality. The ones that don’t are sadly in charge of student teachers.)

    Boss #1: “Hey, [My Name], I have a student out here that says someone came up here and told us that they didn’t need an instructor sign off to student teachers.”

    Me: “I haven’t heard anything.”

    (I go over to check on what’s happening.)

    Student: “They told us at orientation that everyone in this office had been told that student teachers would be coming and we didn’t need our supervisors to sign for us.”

    Boss #1: “I don’t ever remember agreeing to this.”

    (He checks with the other two bosses and neither of them remember being notified either.)

    Boss #2: “We can sign off for you, I suppose. Just write down who your supervisor is, too.”

    (She takes the iPad and we don’t hear much more about it until the day she’s scheduled to bring it back. She’s nearly in tears.)

    Student: “I can’t get my video to upload.”

    Me: “All right. Let’s take a look.”

    (I realize she’s trying to upload a twenty-five minute video. It’s no surprise that loads halfway and then crashes because the file is far too big.)

    Me: “I’ll try compressing it. It’s going to be very poor quality though.”

    Student: “I was told we weren’t supposed to compress it.”

    Me: “There’s no way they can view this unless it’s under 50 MB.”

    Student: “Just do it. I don’t even care anymore.”

    (She proceeds to call her supervisor and puts her on speaker so I and my three bosses can hear.)

    Student: “Dr. [Supervisor], this is [Student]. I was trying to upload my teaching video to the site but it kept crashing. I went to the tech office and they said that I have to compress the video.”

    Supervisor: “No, no, no. You’re supposed to leave it as is. We gave you directions.”

    Student: “And I’m telling you that didn’t work. I’ve been trying to upload it for hours and it just crashes.”

    Supervisor: “You’re uploading it now? How are you going to get your reflection paper on there? You’re only allowed to upload once.”

    Student: “You’ll have to open it up, because I am not doing this again.”

    Supervisor: “You’ll have to call [Professor]; she knows this better than I do.”

    (The student does so and re-explains the situation.)

    Professor: “Go to the tech office. They can help you.”

    Student: “I told you, I’m calling from the tech office.”

    (At this point, Boss #3, who is new and a bit of a pushover, asks for the phone.)

    Boss #3: “[Professor], this is [Boss #3], just downstairs. I would like you to walk down one flight of stairs and down to this office and explain how you conveniently forgot to notify us how fifty plus student would be needing iPads and how you gave every one of them faulty directions.”

    Professor: “I gave them the right directions.”

    Boss #3: “No, you told them to tape entire lessons and load them up without trying to lower the file size. We’re going to have panicking students in this office because you couldn’t take the five minutes to check with us on the proper procedure. I also understand that they can only submit items in once.”

    Professor: “Yes, to keep them from changing things.”

    Boss #3: “I see. So they have to submit a video on an iPad and a paper on a computer magically at the same time.”

    Professor: *silence*

    (In the end, the student managed to get her video up and they changed the amount of submissions each student could put up. All of us agreed not to check out iPads next semester until every professor and supervisor made a video and uploaded it themselves to see what they made their students go through.)


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