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    Mexican’t Believe It

    | San Fernando, CA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Health & Body, Teachers

    (I am in the fifth grade and have just moved from rural Indiana to the LA area. We are doing standardized tests and at the portion where they ask your ethnicity. My teacher is Hispanic.)

    Teacher: “[My Name] what are you doing? You can’t put that.”

    Me: “I can’t put what?”

    Teacher: “You put that you’re Hispanic. You can’t put that; you’re white.”

    Me: “No, I’m not. I’m Mexican. I’ve always put that I’m Hispanic.”

    (My father is Caucasian and I have an English last name, but my mother is Mexican born in Mexico along with the past dozen or so generations of her family. As such, I identify as Hispanic even though I pass for Caucasian. I explain this to my teacher. He doesn’t seem convinced.)

    Teacher: “Fine, but at least put white, too. You’re too white to be Mexican.”

    Oh, Brother…

    | Selma, AL, USA | Family & Kids, Language & Words, Parents

    (My five-year-old son has just started kindergarten. Because he was a preemie and is tiny for his age he is somewhat spoiled. The phone rings on his first day of class and I have been expecting a call related to him not sharing. This is the conversation with his teacher:)

    Me: “Hello?”

    Teacher: “May I speak to Mrs. [My Name]?”

    Me: “This is she.”

    Teacher: “Mrs. [My Name], you need to talk to your son!”

    Me: “About…?”

    Teacher: “His words!”

    Me: *thinking he said something rude* “Okay, what did he say?”

    Teacher: “He said SIBLING!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, what did you say he said?”

    Teacher: “He said the word ‘sibling’ and he cannot POSSIBLY know what that means!”

    Me: “Why don’t you go ASK him if he knows what it means?”

    Teacher: “No! You need to talk to him!”

    Me: “No, I don’t think so. I think you need to go back to the classroom and ask my son what the word ‘sibling’ means.”

    Teacher: “Well, even if he does, the other kids don’t and it is rude!”

    Me: “If you think the word sibling is rude, perhaps you should re-evaluate your career options!”

    (For the record, my son not only knew what it meant, but a whole lot of other words that she found to be unacceptable in a five-year-old!)

    Instrumental Teaching

    | Glenville, NY, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Movies & TV, Musical Mayhem, Students

    (I am substitute teaching in a third grade general music classroom, and had just finished showing the kids a video about woodwind instruments. The video explains that reeds are made out of a plant called cane, which confused a lot of the kids. Although I explain that sugar cane is different from cane, the silliness has already taken root. One little boy raises his hand to ask a question.)

    Student #1: “Is mayonnaise an instrument?”

    Me: “No, Patrick, mayonnaise is not an instrument.”

    (The student raises his hand again.)

    Me: “Horseradish is not an instrument either.”

    (The kids all stare at me in slack-jawed wonder.)

    Student #2: “You got that from SpongeBob!”

    Me: “Yes, I did.”

    (There were no more behavioral problems from that class!)

    Answering About A Whole Different Animal

    | Coloma, MI, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, Staff

    (My daughter is taking her kindergarten readiness test.)

    Tester: “Tell me the name of all the animals you know.”

    Daughter: “I have a dog and his name is Hunter. My uncle has a dog and his name is Duster. My aunt has a cat and her name is Butterscotch. My grandma has a dog and his name is Rufus. My neighbor has a cat, but I don’t know his name.”

    (I glanced over at the tester’s sheet of paper. Under names of animals she wrote ‘cat, dog.’)

    Snowballed Into Something Else

    | Finland | Bizarre/Silly, Parents, Students

    (My father is scolding first-graders for throwing snowballs, which is strictly forbidden in their school.)

    Father: “Didn’t you remember that you’re not allowed to throw snowballs?”

    Student: *lowers his head tearfully* “We didn’t! And even my shirt is on backwards!”

    (My father had a really hard time trying to stifle his laughter.)

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