Reading Too Much Into It

| Boston, MA, USA | Books & Reading, Hall of Fame, Students, Top

(At an event for a popular but literary author, I take a seat behind two women who appear to be in their early 20s; they are discussing how their professor is giving extra credit to students who attend this event. In the Q&A part, one of them raises her hand.)

College Student: “Our professor told us that [character]’s room being blue is a symbol of his loneliness and isolation. Is that what you meant?”

Author: “No. I just like blue. You can tell your professor they’re full of s***.”

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Math Can Be A Slippery Slope

| USA | Math & Science, Students, Teachers, Top

(I’m in math class. The students are a bit rowdy and not focusing on the lesson as they should be.)

Teacher: “You guys need to pay attention to this stuff. One day, knowing Calculus could save your life.”

Student: “Really? Give one example of how Calculus could save our lives in the real world.”

Teacher: “Okay, how about this scenario? Say you are walking down the street one day, hand in hand with your significant other. Suddenly, a man jumps out from the shadows brandishing a knife. With a wild look in his eyes, he screams, ‘You better know what the second derivative of x^3 + 2x^2 + 4x + 8 is, or I’m going to poke you full of more holes than a spaghetti colander!'”

Student: “That’s ridiculous. Like that is ever going to happen in the real world.”

Teacher: “Son, let me assure you… if there are any jobs in the world likely to cause a psychotic break, high school math teacher is at the top of that list.”

(The students spent the rest of the day focused on their lessons.)

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He’s Baconing To Understand

| Vancouver Island, BC, Canada | Food & Drink, Students, Teachers

(I’m working with a seven-year-old boy on his reading skills.)

Me: “Today we’re going to read a story about a pig, so on this paper I want you to write something that you know about pigs.”

Student: “Okay!”

(He works for a couple of minutes.)

Me: “Alright, why don’t you read me what you wrote?”

Student: “Pigs are pink. And when you smoke them, they turn into ham!”

U Of Poo

| VA, USA | Parents, Students

Me: “Office of Residential Life. How can I help you?”

Woman: “Yes, I wanted to ask you questions about your dorms.”

Me: “Sure, I can tell you about every residential hall on campus. What would you like to know?”

Woman: “Do they have elevators?”

Me: “Yes ma’am, all our buildings are multiple floors and fully ADA compliant.”

Woman: “So they have stairs too?”

Me: “Yes.”

Woman: “And what about bathrooms? Do all the buildings have bathrooms?”

Me: “Yes.”

Woman: “On each floor, even the ones with classrooms?”

Me: “Well, yes, I believe so.”

Woman: “That’s good, because my son has explosive diarrhea, and he must be near a bathroom at all times.”

Me: “…”

Woman: “Which dorm do you think he should live in?”

Me: “Um….try [random hall name].”

Woman: “Thank you!”

Now Your’e Just Axe-ing For It

| Brookfield, WI, USA | Bad Behavior, Geeks Rule, Students, Teachers, Top

(Our history teacher is notoriously terrifying. He gives students detentions for almost everything. He is also a Lord of the Rings fan. My sister is late to class.)

Teacher: “[Sister’s name], why are you late?”

(My sister takes a breath and puts her hands behind her back.)

Sister: “But sir, a student is never late. Nor is she early. She arrives precisely when she means to.”

(The teacher blinks for a second.)

Teacher: “Is that so?” *points at the board* “A wizard detention for Gandalf, then!”

(My sister writes her name on the board.)

Teacher: “Good. Now, then—” *spins around and looks at me* “You know what I don’t get? Gimli smashes his axe on the Ring, and it breaks. Then one second later, HE HAS ANOTHER AXXXE!”

Student: “Maybe he has a spare?”

Teacher: “What, a cart full of axes behind him? Anyway. We have a different schedule today, so your lunch period will be separated.”

Me: “Cut in half, as it were.”

Teacher: “Like an orc.”

Me: “…or Frodo’s finger.”

(Only three of the students plus my sister and I understood the references, unfortunately. My sister served about three seconds in detention before she was let go early by the teacher.)