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  • Firing Up A Passion For Science
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  • Should Have Read Up On It First

    | Brattleboro, VT, USA | Extra Stupid, Health & Body, Students

    (In my freshman year I have a social studies teacher who has us play Pictionary to memorize vocabulary words. One student, the troublemaker, is lying on the floor and refusing to participate.)

    Troublemaker: “I can’t play this.”

    Teacher: “Why not? Do you need to go to the nurse?”

    Troublemaker: “Yes!”

    Teacher: “May I ask why?”

    Troublemaker: “I’m dyslexic.”

    Teacher: “[Troublemaker], you don’t even know what dyslexia is.”

    Troublemaker: “MY DYSLEXIA HURTS!”

    (The troublemaker proceeds to storm out of the room.)

    Me: “Dyslexia doesn’t hurt.”

    Teacher: “I know. Also, how does it prevent you from playing Pictionary?”

    Boy, Is He A Fool

    | Hamilton, ON, Canada | LGBTQ, Students

    (During gym class in freshman year, I end up arguing with one of the meaner boys in the class. I have recently come out as gay to the school, but this classmate doesn’t know that yet. We are standing outside of the room for the LGBTQ club.)

    Classmate #1: “You can go back to your little-boy club and just make out with all of them! I bet you’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

    Classmate #2: “Umm, I actually think he would be quite okay with that…”

    Firing Up A Passion For Science

    | Vienna, VA, USA | Awesome, Math & Science, Teachers

    (My chemistry teacher in high school is a bit of a pyromaniac.)

    Teacher: “Today, we’re going to learn about endothermic and exothermic reactions. [Student #1], can you hold this jar for me?”

    (Student #1 holds the plastic jar that has two nails driven into the sides. The teacher pours a chemical into the jar, and closes the jar with a rubber cork.)

    Teacher: “Okay, [Student #1], I can take the jar. [Student #2], can you take this copper coil and touch one of the nails?”

    (Student #2 does as directed, and the rubber cork shoots across the room, putting a dent into the whiteboard.)

    Teacher: “Okay, that was an exothermic reaction, caused by electricity. As you can see, the chemical is still on fire. Watch this.”

    (The teacher pours the chemical out onto the floor, where it continues to be on fire.)

    Teacher: “I love having tile floors. Now watch this.”

    (The teacher pours more of the chemical into a line, connecting to the line that is currently on fire. The flame starts to crawl along the line.)

    Teacher: “This is also an exothermic reaction.”

    Student #3: “Um, Ms. [Teacher], you got some of the chemical on the table leg. Isn’t the table made of wood?”

    Teacher: “Oh, crap. Does anyone have a bottle of water handy so I can cause a quick endothermic reaction?”

    (This teacher also set fire to an M&M, made Dragon’s Breath for fun, and showed us how marshmallow Peeps inflate and deflate in a vacuum chamber.)

    Have A Problem With A Non-Problem

    | CO, USA | Parents, Teachers

    (It is parent-teacher conferences. Afterwards, my mom tells me about her conversation with my history teacher. My mom is also a teacher and education has always been important in my family.)

    Mom: “Hi, I’m [My Name]‘s mother. It’s nice to meet you.”

    Teacher: “Wait, you’re [My Name]‘s mother?!”

    Mom: “Yes…”

    Teacher: “Then, why are you here?”

    Mom: “I’m sorry. I don’t know what you mean.”

    Teacher: “[My Name] is an excellent student. She has the top grade in the class and always participates. You don’t need to be here. Conferences are just for the problem students’ parents.”

    Mom: “Excuse me? That is exactly why I am here. [My Name] is a good student, in part, because my husband and I are involved in her education and take these conferences very seriously to ensure her continued success in school.”

    (My mom continues to outline why parental involvement was important for both ‘good kids’ and ‘problem kids.’)

    Teacher: “Oh, I guess I never thought about it that way. Well, either way, I don’t have anything more to say about your daughter. Have a good night.”

    (The teacher barely looked at me the next day.)

    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.)


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