I Would Come Up With A Title But I Was Self-Caring Instead

| IN, USA | Homework

(I have just started my Ph.D. program, and have gotten together with a classmate to study on a Friday afternoon. Needless to say, no actual work got done.)

Me: “We’d planned to get so much done, but wound up making cookies and playing with her dog.”

Older Doctoral Student: “That’s good, though! Self-care is so important.”

Me: “I love how this program calls it ‘self-care’ and not ‘procrastinating like crazy on everything’!”

Gunning For The Bible

| UT, USA | Politics, Religion, Teachers

(I am sitting in a political science class at a well known religious university, and my class is discussing the “Stand Your Ground” laws.)

Professor: “One entertaining allusion to this is a sign that says ‘This home is protected by Jesus and Smith & Wesson.’”

Class: *courtesy laughter*

Professor: “I suppose you may not understand the joke. See, that first name is a character from the Bible…”

You’re In Retrograde

| USA | Religion, Teachers

(In chorus during my freshman year, you got your grade by simply going to class and not being so obnoxious that you would be noticed. I had to miss a few times first quarter, because it was an after school class and I had doctor’s appointments, which she excused. I also had two days that I wasn’t in school at all, one due to being sick and the other due to a religious holiday. She also wouldn’t update each day’s grade; rather, she’d post it all at once at the last minute as a single grade, so we didn’t know until the very end. This happens towards the end of the quarter:)

Teacher: “Just as a reminder, if you missed class you will have five points deducted from your grade for each day you missed.”

Me: *thinking to myself* “I only missed on days where I was formally excused, and she’s probably referring to people who have skipped, so I’m in the clear.”

(Then the grades are posted. I hadvea 90. Upon further investigation, she marked off for missing classes the two days I wasn’t even in school. Again, one of those days was for a religious holiday, so it is ILLEGAL to mark off for those reasons. My mom ends up having to talk to the principal, who gladly fights on our side.)

Teacher: “How was I supposed to know she was out for a religious holiday? And she should have come to extra practice during lunch like all the athletes do!”

(The athletes were excused early every day during their season for practice or were excused completely for games, and that didn’t even mark down their grades. She also had never mentioned the extra practice sessions, plus she later implied that it wouldn’t bring up my grade if I went. The principal had to explain to her all that was wrong with what was going on. My teacher still only held my grade at a 98 because “I should have come for extra practice” and “I should have discussed it with her before.” Until she retired, she changed her grading system so she updated daily grades regularly throughout the quarters. Somehow, she never breathed a word to me about this.)

Requires A Long Explanation

| Riverside, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Musical Mayhem, Teachers

(I am a student in one of the state’s most renowned bands. We are often late to our classes due to the fact that we have to help put away every instrument. All of my teachers are okay with it, except my math teacher, a strict woman in her mid-40s that seems to have an extreme prejudice against band students, and hates admitting that she’s wrong.)

Teacher: *sneering* “Well, if it isn’t [My Name]. I saw the football performance last night. I can’t believe that your trombones fell and caused over 13 people to fall.”

Me: “Ma’am, we didn’t have a football performance last night. Heck, football season is over! Also, that video is over three years old. And, they weren’t trombones; they were sousaphones.”

Teacher: *sputters* “Well, baseball season is right now! I know it was the trombones, because they were the long ones!”

Me: “Well, baseball season IS right now, but I have yet to see a marching band performance in a baseball game. Also, there about 17 different instruments that if you stretch them out, will become longer than the average human being.”

Teacher: *blushes red* “No! I saw a baseball marching band performance! There aren’t any instruments longer than the human body! The only long one is the long one, with the slide!”

Me: “You mean the TROMBONE? Also, the French horn, the really wacky one, is over 35 feet long.”

Teacher: *speechless*

(Thankfully, she resigned a year later.)

Do You C What I C

| USA | Ignoring/Inattentive, Math & Science, Teachers, Travel

(This all happens in one math class. Most of the students are away on a field trip and there is a very relaxed atmosphere. One student stands in the back of the classroom bouncing a badminton shuttlecock on a racket.)

Student #1: “This is [Name]. He’s on exchange from Denmark and he’s going to all of my classes this week. This is his first day at [School].”

Several Students: “Hi!”

Teacher: “Today I’m going to be introducing vectors.”

(She explains what vectors are and then starts showing us a proof of something but she makes mistakes so it takes a long time and we get confused. In the meantime, the student in the back loses control of the shuttlecock and it very narrowly misses the exchange student’s head. She apologises, retrieves the shuttlecock, and keeps going.)

Teacher: *still writing out the proof* “So then we simplify that and get C equals…”

(She pauses, looking confused.)

Student #1: “C equals C. We did all that and just proved C equals C.”

Teacher: “No. That’s shouldn’t be right.”

Other Students: “We proved C equals C! We didn’t prove anything!”

(We laugh uncontrollably.)

Teacher: “Well, anyway…”

(She abandons the proof and moves onto other topics.)

Teacher: “These vectors are parallel. These vectors are orthogonal. That’s just another word for perpendicular. Let’s look at an example. Can someone tell me what the relationship between these two vectors is?”

Student #2: “There’re orthodontal vectors.”

Teacher: “That’s right, but the word is orthogonal. Now just so there’s no confusion for our exchange student orthogonal means parallel but orthodontal has to do with getting braces.”

(She draws a pair of orthogonal vectors and a set of teeth on the whiteboard and labels them appropriately. This is the first and only thing she explains clearly in the entire lesson. We are all laughing. The exchange student sat silently for the entire 90-minute lesson and probably had a terrible first impression of American education.)