We’ve Reached The Tripping Point

| UK | Bad Behavior, Students, Teachers

(It is almost time for our exams, and this boy keeps on mucking about in class. At one point, he walks by me and falls over.)

Boy: “Miss, she tripped me up!”

Teacher: “No she didn’t. I was watching. Now get on with your work.”

Boy: “But she should get detention!”

Teacher: “I said get on with your work!”

(He goes back to his seat. This happens many times throughout the class; he falls over next to me and saying I tripped him. The teacher has had enough.)

Teacher: “Your exams are coming up, and while you may not want to study for them, the other students do! If you disrupt the class one more time, I’m sending you out!”

(Some time after this, he sends me an evil look. Trust me, I have no idea why he has it in for me, but it’s the final straw. So when he walks by, I trip him up for real.)

Boy: “Miss, she tripped me up!”

Teacher: “That’s it! Out!”

(Another teacher is called and takes the boy away. After class, the teacher pulls me aside, and I realize she must have seen me.)

Me: “I’m sorry I tripped him, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. We’re all working really hard, and —”

Teacher: “I know, and frankly, he had that coming to him. He’s been disrupting the class all year, and his problem now is it’s finally sunk in that he hasn’t been working properly, meaning his chances of passing are slim. He doesn’t know how to cope with this. Let’s hope that hit on the head did him some good.”

About To Get Left Behind

| Baltimore, MD, USA | Politics, Students, Teachers

(I’m in an upper-level English course about early 20th century literature. Our professor is explaining how the political leanings of certain authors influenced their work.)

Professor: “…and since Hemingway was quite a lefty, you can see how that shows in the wording of this story…”

(He continues with the lecture and one student raises his hand. A few minutes later the professor calls on him.)

Student: “I still don’t understand what being left-handed has to do with his political views!”

Gotta Hand It To This Student

| Savannah, GA, USA | Students, Teachers

(I’m a university professor and I know from experience that students will do anything to make their papers seem longer. As such, I have very strict formatting requirements. The following exchange happens when students are turning in a short one-page essay. One of my students hands me a handwritten essay on a piece of notebook paper.)

Me: “Woah, wait just a second. What is this?”

Student: “That’s my essay!”

Me: “What?! This is unacceptable! This is in no way even close to the right format.”

Student: “But it’s one page long.”

Me: “I specifically stated 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.”

Student: “You mean you wanted it TYPED?”

(Well, she got me there. Leave it to college students to find any loophole imaginable. I took it for granted that they would know that universities expect typed essays. Maybe she went to Hogwarts?)

Grammar Unleashed

| Incheon, South Korea |

(My Korean students have started developing a habit of adding “was” and “were” to any past tense statement.)

Me: “‘I walk home.’ The past is…?”

Student: “I was walked home!”

Me: “No, it’s ‘I walked home.'”

Student: “I was walked home?”

Me: “Hmm. Let me try something.”

(I draw a picture of a student walking along the sidewalk and turn back to the class.)

Me: “I walked home.”

(I draw a leash coming from the student’s neck to the hands of a larger drawn person.)

Me: “I was walked home.”

(The class gets a bit flustered and giggles at the idea of being walked like a dog.)

An Offtweet Sense Of Humor

| Storrs, CT, USA | Students, Teachers

Professor: “So, in the prisoner’s dilemma, are the two prisoners allowed to communicate with each other?”

Student: “No.”

Professor: “That’s right. They take away their cell phones so they can’t tweet ‘I’m in prison LOL!'”