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    1984: A Christmas Special

    | Woodstock, GA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Books & Reading, Holidays, Students

    (Our literature teacher is known for being laid back, and has just put us into groups to discuss part of the novel 1984 in class. She claims that she can see anything, anywhere, and at anytime. This has led to the following discussion between our group members.)

    Student #1: “The book said that Big Brother can even see you when you are sleeping so–”

    Student #2: *shouting* “Big Brother is Santa!”

    Me: “[Teacher] also said that she can always see everything…”

    Whole Group: *shouting* “[Teacher] is Big Brother!”

    Student #3: “Wait, does that mean…”

    Whole Class: *having listened in* “[Teacher] is Santa Claus!”

    History Is Either Black Or White

    | Toronto, ON, Canada | Extra Stupid, History, Movies & TV, Students

    (I am taking a class on transportation technology, which is essentially glorified auto shop, and is extremely easy. We are currently watching a video on the Montgolfier brothers, who invented the first hot air balloon. The video features historical reenactments of small parts of their lives.)

    Student #1: “WAIT! If this was during the 18th century, how did they get this footage?”

    (Half the class looks at her.)

    Teacher: “This is a historical reenactment. People dressed up like them and were filmed like that.”

    Student #2: “Yeah! If they’d filmed the actual events, this would be black and white!”

    Appreciate The Weight Of The Lesson

    | Saint Paul, MN, USA | Awesome, Bizarre/Silly, Math & Science, Physical, Teachers

    (We are doing physics demos in class. Our teacher has urged us to make a short play of our demos. This group is composed of two girls.)

    Girl #1: *to Girl #2* “Hey, want to kill someone?”

    Girl #2: “What?”

    Girl #1: “Well, I made this thing, so we can kill someone if we wanted.”

    (She pulls out a nailbed. She sets it on the table and stacks wood planks around it until they are even with the nail points. The nailbed is now bracketed by wood.)

    Girl #2: “We’ll need a volunteer?” *points to our teacher*

    Teacher: “Oh…”

    (Everyone is grinning. He gets up and gets on the table, and lies back on the bed. Supported by the wood, he seems only mildly uncomfortable.)

    Girl #2: “See, it doesn’t work. You can’t kill someone with that. The weight of the body is spread out over the nails, so none of the points have enough pressure to pierce the skin.”

    Girl #1: “Well, actually you can. I was planning to put cinderblocks on their chest until it crushes them on the nails.”

    (She pulls out a board, places it on the teacher’s chest, and places a cinderblock on top of the board. The teacher winces, but isn’t in any real pain.)

    Girl #2: “See, it still isn’t enough.”

    Girl #1: “I can fix that.”

    (She pulls out a SLEDGEHAMMER and gets up on the table. The class is howling by now.)

    Classmate: “Don’t miss!”

    (She swings the sledgehammer onto the cinderblock, breaking it. The teacher winces again. The class cheers. The cinderblock pieces fall off, and the teacher slowly sits up.)

    Classmate: “That was awesome!”

    Teacher: “Yeah.” *coughs*

    Girl #2: “Okay, so that was an example of—”

    Teacher: *coughs again*

    Girl #1: “Are you okay?”

    Teacher: *keeps coughing*

    Girl #1: “Mr. [Teacher]?”

    Teacher: *coughs harder*

    Girl #2: “Mr.—”

    Teacher: *hacks out blood*

    Everyone: “MR. [TEACHER]!”

    Teacher: *stands straight* “Yeah, I’m fine.” *spits out blood capsule* “Go on explaining, girls.”

    Translations At War

    | MA, USA | History, Language & Words, Students

    (One of the students in my history class is an exchange student, and English is not his first language. He sometimes gets a few phrases wrong. We are talking about the Civil War.)

    Teacher: “What do you guys think was the most important factor in winning a battle in the Civil War?”

    (Many kids raise their hands, including the exchange student.)

    Student #1: “A larger army would win.”

    Student #2: “Higher ground would help with the cannons.”

    (The students continued to list things that would have given an army an advantage and why, until we get to the exchange student.)

    Teacher: “What about you, [Exchange Student]?”

    Exchange Student: “Human sacrifice.”

    (Cue laughter, and strange looks, from the rest of the class.)

    Student #3: “Human sacrifice? Like the Aztecs did?”

    Exchange Student: “Uh… I think there was a bit of a mistranslation…”

    (Apparently he meant to say “self sacrifice,” meaning that the soldiers would be willing to die for their cause. The class had a good laugh about human sacrifice being used to win the Civil War, though!)

    I’m Leaving Today…

    | NY, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Teachers

    (We are sketching in a required art appreciation class. As the school is geared towards math and science, most of the students are uninterested. Our teacher allows us to talk about whatever we like to maintain morale, as long as we finish the sketch.)

    Student #1: “I think that’s a pretty common product. I’ve seen it at just about every bodega I’ve ever gone to.”

    Student #2: “What’s a bodega?”

    (Teacher points imperiously at the door.)

    Teacher: “Get out. Leave New York City now.”

    (Bodegas are a well-known type of convenience store, especially in New York City.)

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