That Sure Beats Tennis Elbow

| Health & Body, Sports, Teachers

(I’m in seventh grade. My best friend is actually very fit and a good athlete, but very lazy, and she’s always trying to come up with ways for us to get out of gym class so we can hang out on the bleachers. Our teacher essentially knows all her tricks and is rarely fooled. One day, we are told that we will be having a substitute gym teacher, and she comes up with a plan.)

Friend: “Okay, so he doesn’t know me, so we need to do a stuffy voice and he’ll let us off.”

Me: “A what?”

Friend: “A stuffy voice! You know. Follow me.” *walks up to new sub and begins speaking as if her nose is clogged* “Are you by stubstidute?”

Substitute: *not even looking up from his clipboard* “Nice try. It’s just tennis practice, ladies.”

(Annoyed, my friend goes to take her place with the rest of the class and I follow. The substitute comes out with a tennis racket and a ball.)

Substitute: “I know a lot of you find gym class really boring or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! There’s no reason to try to get out of it. There is literally nothing scary about any of it. Especially tennis.”

(To illustrate his point, he tosses the ball, then bounces up on his feet to hit it towards the wall… right before screaming like he’s been shot and crumpling to the ground. We run for another teacher, who calls an ambulance, and later during homeroom we are told his Achilles’s tendon had snapped.)

Friend: *turning towards me, white-faced* “You know, if he really WAS trying to show us how harmless and not-scary gym class is, he failed big time.”

(Don’t worry, he was okay, but he wore a boot and spent the rest of the year behind a desk teaching another homeroom class!)

Always Thinking Inside The Box

| Queens, NY, USA | Language & Words

(I am walking upstairs with some autistic third graders. They are holding a basket between them which holds our lunch supplies.)

Student: “This is like a funeral box!”

Me: “A what?”

Student: “You know when people die?”

Me: “A coffin?!”

Just Run With It

| Claremore, OK, USA | Health & Body

(At my cross-country meet, I end up being dead last, and this conversation happens between two of my friends. I’m running the last 200 yards.)

Friend #1: “Come on, [My Name], don’t stop running yet. You can puke when you get to the finish.”

Me: “I don’t have enough food in my system to puke, but I may pass out.”

Friend #2: “Why?”

Me: “I may have asthma, and I already doubled over twice.”

(After that, when I got to the finish all of the guys on my school’s cross country team, minus the state runner-up from last year, and all of the rest of the girls started cheering for me so that I would sprint the last 40 yards.)

Another Kind Of College Education

| USA | History

(My sister and I are talking about my college.)

Me: “We have an old building with doors that are built small enough that a woman’s hoop skirts couldn’t fit though. They didn’t want any women sneaking in.”

Sister: “Oh, that’s interesting!” *pauses, probably thinking about the other weird things I’ve told her about my college* “You know, your college had a lot of… interesting facts.”

Me: “Yeah, well, when a college is founded before the country is, stuff is going to get a little weird.”

It’s The Archimedes Principle Of The Thing

| USA | Awesome, History, Teachers

(My seventh grade Social Studies teacher is known best for two things: his wacky, offbeat sense of humor and his equally wacky ties. He has a gift for getting students interested in learning history, too.)

Teacher: “Okay! Who here knows the story of the first recorded streaker in history?”

(And that is how you get twelve-year-olds interested in Archimedes.)