Category: Backhanded Compliments

Tearing Down Your Pig House

| Milton, WA, USA | Backhanded Compliments, Games, Students

(I am one of those girls who rarely has a good comeback on the spot, and I am easy to annoy. I am in science class, and we are in the middle of an experiment. I already finished my work and am now waiting for my partner to finish his. A couple of other guys are being annoying as h*** at the table over, and haven’t even looked at their work, much less done it. Note that Angry Birds, a game with an objective to fling birds at pigs via slingshot to score points, has been out for about a month at this time.)

Student #1: “Yo, we need to finish this up so [Teacher] doesn’t grade us down and give us detention again.”

Student #2: “We could have [My Name] do it for us. She’s smart and wouldn’t mind being around some hot guys like us.” *yeah, he actually said that*

Student #1: *looking in my direction, where I was staring off into space but aware of my surrounding* “Yo, [My Name]. Why don’t you come ‘ere and help us do this.”

Me: “Do it yourself. It’s not that hard.”

Student #1: “I bet you just suck at science if you’re saying no.”

(Annoyed now, I show him a hand gesture — both index and ring up, like a V, and the palm facing me. While it’s offensive in several countries, it looks like a number in the USA, and not offensive in school.)

Student #1: *laughs* “Wow, the number two. I’m so afraid.”

Me: “Actually, I want to flip you the bird, but it feels too much like Angry Birds.”

(I start packing things up after looking at the clock, not realizing the double meaning of what I just said. My partner, snickering, finishes up the work, and speaks up.)

Partner: “She just implied that you’re a pig, [Student #1].”

(The bell rang literally ten seconds later, and I’d already left the room, so Student #1 didn’t have enough time to say anything back.)

Remaining Civil In Civics

| Adair County, OK, USA | Backhanded Compliments

(I am in my Civics class. I am working on an essay to be presented in class, in pairs, and I am paired up with Classmate #1, who has just gotten back from suspension. I am also a student that takes Speech and Drama as a class.)

Classmate #1: “We should just copy it straight out of the book, and use the way it’s worded.”

Me: “No, what we need to do is flesh it out. Technically we could just BS it, but it will look better if we use a more elaborate way of wording it. I can stretch the first sentence and use it for the entire introductory paragraph. Your way won’t work, just because of the fact that Coach [Teacher] would fail both of us and you would miss out of a track meet, and we would both get detention.”

Classmate #1: “Coach [Teacher]!”

Teacher: “Yes, [Classmate #1]?”

Classmate #1: “I think [My Name] just called me stupid in a really smart way.”

Teacher: “That’s called a backhanded compliment. At least she didn’t do what she did to [Classmate #2] for screwing up their Power-Point.”

Goofing Off Has Hit The Ceiling

| CO, USA | Backhanded Compliments

(It’s April Fool’s Day. I’m in first grade. The teacher is leading a short activity where the first to find five “goofs”, i.e. minor changes, around the classroom gets a prize. I’m not particularly paying attention, so I miss this next part.)

Teacher: “And don’t bother looking at the ceiling; there are no goofs there.”

(The others quickly find four of the goofs, but can’t find the last one. I, having missed the last part of the introduction, end up finding it quickly.)

Me: “[Teacher], I’m finished.”

Teacher: “Okay, [My Name], would you mind pointing out all the goofs?”

(I point them all out, including the one on the ceiling.)

Classmate: “Hey, that doesn’t count! [Teacher] said there’s no goofs on the ceiling!”

Teacher: “April Fool’s!”

Me: *under my breath* “Yay, short attention span!”

The Age Of Innocence

| MD, USD | Backhanded Compliments, Language & Words

(It is raining in so it is necessary to have all the students remain indoors for recess. I’m sitting with some of my third graders.)

Student #1: “Did you say any bad words when you were little?”

Me: *trying to hedge around the topic* “I didn’t know many bad words when I was little.”

Student #2: “Yeah. They hadn’t invented most bad words back then anyway!”

My Teacher The Crook

| TX, USA | Backhanded Compliments, Musical Mayhem

(Our orchestra is in class the day after a concert.)

Director: “Y’all did really good at your concert last night!”

Class: “Thanks!”

Director: “In fact, I have a gift for all of you!”

Class: “What is it?”

Director: *shows folder* “It’s your next chair tests!”

Classmate: “What? That’s cruel, Mrs. [Director].”

(The director laughs as she hands us the list of the excerpts we have to play for our next chair test. My classmate notices something odd about how the list was printed.)

Classmate: “Mrs. [Director], these chair tests are crooked, just like your sense of humor.”

(The director laughed even harder, and the rest of the class joined in.)

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