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  • Firing Up A Passion For Science
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  • Do You Hear Yourself, Part 2

    | ME, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (A friend and I are talking about taking ASL classes, and I am curious about the material.)

    Friend: “I have a lot of fun in the class. She tries to submerge us into the deaf culture.”

    Me: “Do you learn Braille?”

    Do You Hear Yourself

    You’d Think It Would Be ‘A Foregone Conclusion’

    | New Westminster, BC, Canada | Extra Stupid, History, Language & Words, Theme Of The Month

    (Every year, my acting class performs a play by William Shakespeare. This year, we are doing ‘Othello,’ and our instructor has just handed us our scripts. As we’re reading aloud the parts, one of my classmates raises their hand.)

    Classmate: “Did you write this?!”

    Instructor: “If I did, do you think I would be teaching this class?”

    (For the next two years, my classmate told everyone that they were taught by William Shakespeare!)

    A Human Perspective On A Bird’s Eye View

    | Winston-Salem, NC, USA | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals, Students, Theme Of The Month

    (We are talking about the cons of wind turbines, one of which would be killing birds who fly into them.)

    Student: “Wouldn’t the bird look down and say ‘Oh, my brother got killed. Maybe I shouldn’t fly into that’?”

    Professor: “I think you are assuming a level of reasoning birds do not possess.”

    Socially Unacceptable

    | Glasgow, Scotland, UK | Bad Behavior, Lazy/Unhelpful, Teachers

    (I am in my second year of college. Our sociology teacher is incompetent and infantile. We are close to the end of the year and we’re due to start our last unit; crime and deviance. Due to various scheduling difficulties we end up missing two sociology periods. One day we learn from another lecturer that all the other groups are already half way through the unit while we haven’t even started. We go to the sociology class.)

    Teacher: “Okay I have a little ice-breaker activity so we can all have lots of fun before we have to do all the nasty hard work.”

    Student: *anxiously* “We are actually going to start the unit today, right?”

    Teacher: “Sure! Before we can even think about crime in society we have to think about how we think about other people. So, we’re going to write down all the things we call people.”

    Other Student: *confused* “What?”

    Teacher: “Just write down all the words you use to describe people. You can even use naughty, sweary words!” *childish giggle* “And then we’ll talk about them.”

    (We get started and as time passes it becomes obvious that nothing of worth is going to be taught today. 25 minutes before the end of the class she starts calling on people for answers, squealing and giggling every time someone uses an ‘inappropriate’ term. She gets to me:)

    Teacher: “What did you write?”

    Me: *reciting in a monotone while fixing my eyes on her* “Infantile. Incompetent. Patronizing. Annoying. Useless.”

    Teacher: *joyful squeal* “Your words are sooooooo good! You have a very good vocabulary! In fact you’ve all done so well I’m going to end the class early!”

    Student: *while we’re packing up* “I’m going to be revising most of tonight. What sections of the unit booklet should I specifically focus on?”

    Teacher: “Oooh, just have a wee flick through when you’ve got the time.”

    Student: *panicking slightly* “It’s about 60 pages. Surely it’s not all vital to the exam? I mean we are getting close—”

    Teacher: *heading for the door having lost interest* “It’s all in the booklet.”

    (In the end absolutely none of the course was taught in class. Instead we were told to do ‘research’ without being told what we were supposed to be looking up and were given very vague hints about what will be in the exam. Astoundingly, we all passed first time. Our lecturer claimed the fact that we missed two periods completely ruined our chances of covering anything in class and whined about the administration being incompetent. I’m just praying we don’t get her next year.)

    Way Off Course

    | Wales, UK | Extra Stupid, Students, Theme Of The Month

    (I manage the switchboard at the university.)

    Me: “Good morning, switchboard. How can I help?”

    Caller: “Hi. Can I speak to someone about graduation robes, please? I’m trying online but it’s asking me for the name of my course. I don’t know what it’s called.”

    Me: “…”

    (I am still confused as to how someone can not know the name of a course they’ve been doing for three years.)

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