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  • August's Theme Of The Month: Best. Teacher. Ever!

    Bird Is The Word But Steve Is The Name

    | Miami, FL, USA | Field Trip, Pets & Animals

    (Two professors, a handful of other students, and I are heading out of the country for a research trip but get stuck in Florida for a couple days because we miss our flight, so we pass time by going to the Everglades. One of the professors likes to bird watch and is telling us the different species of birds we see.)

    Professor: *spotting a bird he doesn’t recognize* “I don’t know what to call him.”

    Me: “We could call him Steve. Steve’s a nice name.”

    Great At The Great Outdoors

    | London, England, UK | Field Trip

    (I’ve recently gone back to college after dropping out of school. One of our modules is on expeditions and navigation by map, so we go on hikes and some overnight excursions, too. Since I’m on average five years older than most of my classmates and have done numerous hikes and walks before, including climbing mountains and backpacking for three nights across a mountain range, I am somewhat more experienced in this area than the class. On our first overnight excursion I have packed what I would pack for any overnight experience. Here are some of the conversations that occurred on this hike.)

    Girl #1: “Ugh, this shirt has a stupid scratchy label. Does anyone have some scissors?”

    Me: *pull out my multi-tool knife and hand it to her*

    Girl #1: “Oh, thanks, [My Name]. You came prepared, huh?”

    (Some time later:)

    Guy #1: “Ugh, my stupid bootlace broke and now I’m going to get really bad blisters.”

    Me: “Give it here.”

    (I proceed to pull out a length of para-cord, cut it down to length, and re-lace his boots.)

    Me: “This should do for a while, but you will want to get proper laces for that when you can.”

    Girl #2: “Wow, [My Name], you really know how to be all outdoorsman-like.”

    Tutor: “I’m a little embarrassed to say this but I forgot to bring a map; does anyone know the way to [Overnight Destination]?”

    (Everyone turned and looked at me expectantly!)

    That’s One For The Books

    | Albany, NY, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Movies & TV

    (I was taking a class for my French minor, called Book into Film, where we study, as you may guess, literature that has been adapted into films. We were reading Emile Zola’s ‘La Bête Humaine’ (The Beast Within). I was walking to class with my professor and discussing the reading.)

    Me: “I’ve really enjoyed this book! It’s my favorite that we’ve read this term. Did they make a movie of it?”

    Professor: *pauses, looks at me*

    Me: *slaps forehead* “Please forget I just asked that!”

    Happy Treason Day!

    | Hokkaido, Japan | Holidays

    (I’m an American studying at a Japanese university. My Hokkaido history professor is English. The next day would be the Fourth of July. Class ends and I start inviting my fellow classmates of various nationalities to my Fourth of July party.)

    Me: “It’s gonna be cool, guys! I know not all of you are American, but we can still celebrate! It’ll be a fun cultural experience and there’ll be sparklers and tons of food!”

    Friend #1: “Cool!”

    Friend #2: “What’s the holiday celebrating?”

    Me: “The U.S.’s separation from England.”

    Professor: *behind me* “Well, it sure is good to be rid of THAT troublesome country, isn’t it?”

    Me: *jumps in surprise* “Oh, my God! Where did you come from?”

    Professor: *laughs* “Only joking. Enjoy your Fourth of July party!”

    Me: “Uh… thanks!”

    Girls Will Watch Girls

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Language & Words, Movies & TV

    (It is the first day of the semester of our final year. We all know each other, but the teacher doesn’t.)

    Teacher: “I want each of you to stand up, and tell me your name and your favorite TV Show.”

    (Everyone stands up and says shows like ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ etc.)

    Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name] and I like Girls.”

    (The class erupts in laughter, the teacher stares at me, and I fluster.)

    Me: “I- I mean the TV show.”

    Teacher: “Hey, I don’t judge.”

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