X-tra Stupid

| Madison, WI, USA | Extra Stupid, Students, Technology

(While finishing my Master’s in 2009, I am volunteering at an academic conference. My job is to make sure organize the presenters’ files, and to run our audio recording software that syncs with PowerPoint. It is the lunch break.)

Me: “Hello, everybody. I’m sorry but we are having a problem with our recording software. It doesn’t work with the newer PPTX format so could you please convert your slides into PPT and re-submit them? Thank you.”

(Shortly afterward, another student comes up to me.)

Student: “I was trying to convert my PowerPoint into PPT like you said, so I deleted the X at the end of the filename, but now it won’t open at all.”


| Fairborn, OH, USA | Food & Drink, Students

(I am placed in an advanced English class. I do well, but due to an undiagnosed attention disorder, I forget to turn in assignments, so I get a ‘C’ grade in the class. In the fourth quarter, my teacher pulls me aside to talk about my grades.)

Teacher: “[My Name], please try to remember the extra credit. I really want you to get a ‘B’ so you can take French next year, like you want.”

Me: “Yes, Mrs. [Teacher]. I’ll try to remember.”

Teacher: “Good.”

(Later, she is talking about the extra credit assignments for the unit.)

Teacher: “Now as you can see, these are simple assignments. The only thing simpler is trying to bribe me with candy!”

(Somehow, I take this to heart and go home to tell my parents that I’ll get extra credit for candy. The next day, I bring in five giant bags of M&Ms, placing them on my teacher’s desk.)

Teacher: “What is this?”

Me: “You mentioned bribing you for extra credit, so…”

Teacher: “I’ll see what I can do.”

(Sure enough, my grade jumped from a ‘C’ to an ‘A’. When I visited her the year she retired, she told me about the giant candy bar she made from the M&Ms I brought in! I’ve since never bribed a teacher for a passing grade.)

The Great Escape: The Ballet

| Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Language & Words, Teachers

(The teacher is rather strict about not joking around in class even though we’re all adults. “Echappé” is where you jump from feet together to land with feet apart.)

Teacher: “And what does echappé mean?”

Me: “To escape.”

Teacher: “And what are we escaping from?”

Me: “You.”

A Photo-51 Finish

| Chicago, IL, USA | History, Math & Science, Teachers

(I’m in my university Human Genetics class, and the professor is giving us a brief overview of discoveries made concerning DNA and genetic engineering.)

Professor: “Okay, who can tell me who Watson and Crick were?”

Me: “The guys who discovered Rosalind Franklin’s notes.”

(Half the class started laughing and clapping including the professor. The textbook didn’t even touch on how crucial her work was, but at least we had a good-in class discussion about it!)

Time To Hit The Bar Bar

| UT, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Language & Words, Teachers

(The professor is going over a few basic notations in statistics class, and is now talking about different averages with which to measure normality.)

Professor: “The regular notation would be ‘y bar dot dot,’ but you see I’m old, and back when we used blackboards you couldn’t always tell the difference between a dot and dirt on the blackboard, so I’m using two bars. So we have ‘y bar bar dot dot.'”

(He continues writing, then turns around.)

Professor: “I quite like it this way because it shows I’m averaging over averages. If I would average that it would be ‘y bar bar bar dot dot dot.’ I could even go with five and more, having ‘y bar bar bar bar bar.'”

Me: “Now he starts sounding like a sheep.”

Friend: “That’s because he’s from New Zealand.”