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  • Third World Problem Solving
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  • Ignorance Versus Stupidity

    | VA, USA | Cheaters, Exams/Tests

    (Our history teacher has just handed back our quizzes, but kept back papers of two classmates. One of those classmates was known for his constant attempts to cheat off other people.)

    Teacher: “As you can see, I have kept [Classmate #1] and [Classmate #2]‘s papers. Unfortunately, [Classmate #1] missed several questions.”

    Classmate #1: “Aw, man!”

    Teacher: “Even more unfortunately, [Classmate #2], who sits directly behind her, has given the same wrong answers to those questions.”

    (At this point, Classmate #2 looks like a deer in the headlights.)

    Classmate #1: “Seriously? Why would you cheat off me? You know I’m dumb!”

    Teacher: “Now, now, you are not dumb. You are merely drowning in a sea of ignorance. That said, [Classmate #2] has in fact received a zero, and amply demonstrated the difference between ignorance and stupidity. Thank you!”

    Defying Gravity

    | London, England, UK | Math & Science, Teachers

    (During science class, my teacher is busy explaining the principles of gravity and how anything with mass exerts some gravitational pull. She initially describes this effect by using a board marker and herself to represent objects with mass but decides she isn’t getting her point across.)

    Teacher: “[My Name], stand up a second, please.”

    Me: *seeing where this is going* “Please, no…”

    Teacher: “Don’t be silly. Stand up now.”

    (I slowly stand.)

    Me: “Look, miss, I know what you’re about to say and I’m begging you, please don’t. Really, just don’t.”

    Teacher: *ignoring me and to the rest of the class* “Now both [My Name] and I have mass and therefore we are attracted to one another.”

    (At this the whole class bursts into laughter making all the usual remarks and causing me to become quite embarrassed; however, rather than noticing, my teacher decides to persist with the explanation.)

    Teacher: “And since we are attracted to each other in a zero-gee environment we would… come together.”

    (The class is continuing to laugh and I am just too embarrassed so I shout out.)

    Me: “Not really. More likely, given our current separation, we would bounce and then settle into some kind of orbit – i.e. we wouldn’t touch. Now if you are done humiliating me, I’m leaving.”

    (With that I walked out of the class. The teacher later phoned home and spoke to my Mum to apologize for what she later realized was inappropriate and to commend me on my understanding of gravity and orbital mechanics.)

    Lord Of The Dance

    | IL, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Religion, Sports, Teachers

    (Twice a week in gym class, we can pick an activity for that day. I am in the dance room to do step aerobics. The dance teacher comes in. She is known for being very liberal.)

    Teacher: “Good morning! The step aerobics video we were supposed to use today wasn’t in the video drawer. This one was available. I haven’t used it yet, but it should be just as good.”

    (We begin working out with the video. The workout is good, but I start to notice something weird. The music on the video sounds like Christian pop music, and the instructor keeps shouting things like ‘praise Him!’ I am Jewish, so this makes me uncomfortable. Halfway through the period we take a water break.)

    Me: “Ms. [Teacher], did you tape this off of a Christian aerobics hour?”

    Teacher: “What do you mean?”

    (I explain what I heard in the video.)

    Teacher: “Oh. Did anybody else notice this?”

    (Other students nod.)

    Teacher: “I’m so sorry. We don’t have another video to use, but let’s just get through this one today and we won’t use it again.”

    (She starts the video again. The Christian elements get more frequent until the end.)

    Video Instructor: “I hope you enjoyed our workout today. But what’s even more important than a physical workout is making sure that you get a good SPIRITUAL workout—”

    (The teacher stops the video.)

    Teacher: “Class, I have to say something. I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state, and that… that was weird.”

    Third World Problem Solving

    | London, England, UK | Awesome, Geography, Politics, Students, Teachers

    (Our geography class has been divided into groups, each representing a country, and sent to a table in the school dining hall. The tables are filled with a mix of paper, pencils, scissors and rulers. Each country is given $500 of its local currency and we are told we have to create shapes from the paper to sell at the world bank, who is represented by our usual geography teacher. The catch is that countries like the UK and USA have lots of scissors, pencils, and rulers but not much paper, and the third world countries have lots of paper. Since their national currency isn’t worth anything they cannot afford to buy the scissors or rulers to cut their paper, but rich countries with lots of money can buy the paper really cheap and make shapes to sell. I wound up in a third world country and decide I wasn’t going to lose, so I take all of our paper and money and go to the USA.)

    Me: “Hi. I’m from Ghana but we’re losing badly. If I give you my nation’s resources and money can I be American?”

    USA Team Member: “No. Go away.”

    Me: “Okay, fine.”

    (I go to the UK instead.)

    Me: “Hi. I’m from Ghana but we’re losing badly. If I give you my nation’s resources and money can I be a UK citizen?”

    UK Team Member: “Sure. Just start cutting out squares quick.”

    (My best friend is also in a third world nation and decides he wants to win, too, and cheats by stealing from other countries and ‘sneaking’ across international borders when restrictions of trade were put in place. At the end of the class we are speaking to the head teacher.)

    Me: “So, you aren’t annoyed that I cheated my way into another country?”

    Head Teacher: “You stole your countries natural resources and sold them out for personal gain… Who said that was cheating?”

    Me: “You mean to say that although probably not what you expected I behaved exactly like someone with power in a third world nation might by exploiting his own nation to benefit himself, right?”

    Head Teacher: “Exactly.”

    (To this day that ‘geography’ class is still the best education I have ever had on how world politics works.)

    The God Of Misunderstandings

    | Las Vegas, NV, USA | Extra Stupid, Language & Words, Religion

    Student #1: “What’s an anarchist again? I forgot.”

    Student #2: “Someone who doesn’t believe in god, dumb-a**.”


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