Named And Shamed

| Seven Oaks, Kent, England | Bad Behavior, Teachers

(My given name is Elisabetta but it’s always been shortened to Lissi (rhymes with kissy). We’ve had a new maths teacher for about five weeks and he has, so far, called me Lisa, Lucy, Alicia, and about six other names, even though I’ve repeatedly told him my name. His name is – let’s say Mr Jones.)

Teacher: “So, Leanna, can you tell us the answer to #4…? Leanna…? Umm, Melissa?”

Rest Of Class: “LISSI!”

Me: “Sorry, Mr James. I didn’t realise you were talking to me.”

(Variations of this keep happening and, each time he gets my name wrong, I do it back to him. This goes on for another month until he finally snaps.)

Teacher: “Elizabeth, do you really think I don’t know what you’re doing…? Elizabeth…? That’s it! Headmaster. Now!”

(So we go see the headmaster, who has been my headmaster for four years. The teacher tells him I’m rude and a troublemaker.)

Headmaster: “What’s the problem? You’ve never been brought to me before.”

Me: “Ask Mr. Jackson my name.” *the headmaster looks confused* “Go on. Ask Mr. Jameson what my name is.”

Headmaster: “What is going on? Mr. Jones, what is this girl’s name?”

(The teacher just looks from me to the headmaster for a bit before shrugging.)

Teacher: “I’m sorry, I just can’t remember. YOU know what it’s like. I can’t be expected to know all of their names.”

Me: “He hasn’t got my name correct once. If he can’t show me the most common curtesy of calling me by my name then I don’t see why I should have to do it to him.”

Teacher: “How dare you talk to me like that?! I have over 100 names to remember. I will not—”

Headmaster: “I believe Lissi’s right. Respect is earnt, not doled out automatically, especially from teenagers. If you can’t show her the most basic sign of respect and get her name right by now, then there’s nothing I can do to force it from her. I suggest you learn her name, Mr. Jones, and start treating her like a vital part of our school.”

(It only took him two more lessons — and being called Mr. Phones & Mr. Bones — for him to start calling me by my name.)


No One Expects THAT Spanish Inquisition

| SC, USA | Extra Stupid, History, Teachers

(I’m a history major and have loved history since as long as I can remember. However, this professor is unprofessional, rude, and often gives inaccurate information. There is about ten minutes left of class after we go over the last night’s readings, so he’s giving some background “history” regarding our readings. I’m not really listening because he often says things I don’t believe are historically accurate. I’m just staring at my notes when suddenly he says something that peaks my interest.)

Professor: “Queen Isabella believed that when Jesus came, all the Jews in the world would be killed. That’s what the inquisition was really about. She was trying to help them.”

Me: *thinking in my head* “What the actual…”


It’s Not Easy Getting A Diploma

| ON, Canada | Lazy/Unhelpful, Staff

(At my graduation ceremony I walk up to the front and am given the paper tube with my diploma in it, except that when I open it there is no diploma. Just a note saying ‘Please see the Registrar.’ I go to the Registrar’s office.)

Registrar: “You owe us $35.16. You need to pay this before we will give you your diploma.”

Me: “No, I don’t. I have paid up exactly.”

Registrar: “Go talk to the accounting department.”

Accounting Department: “We owe you $12.50.”

Me: “No, you don’t. I have paid up exactly.”

Accounting Department: “Go to [Name] building. Go to the basement and talk to the lady at the last desk on the left.”

Lady At The Last Desk On The Left: “We are even. Take this note to the Registrar and he will give you your diploma.”

(I go back to the Registrar’s building and ask to see him. On entering his office I give him the note. He swivels in his fancy chair at his fancy desk, rummages around in a cardboard box on the floor, and hands me my diploma.)

Me: “Thank you very much.”


The Teacher Has You Under The Microscope

| NC, USA | Teachers

(As my professor knows, I’ve taken higher-level college bio courses at another college but, for whatever reason, my new major requires this specific entry-level class to graduate. Today’s lab is just learning how the microscopes work, but I’ve gone on autopilot and set up my microscope already, as have a few others.)

Professor: *looking directly at me* “Some of you are speeding ahead of the rest of the class. You should know, I’m the Microscope Traffic Police, and if I catch you speeding again, I’ll write you a ticket.”

Class: *chuckles*

Me: *quietly adjusts my microscope back to defaults*


Olden Days

| Grand Rapids, MI, USA | Language & Words, Technology

(Back in 1978 I had a job as a lab assistant in a college computer lab. The job called for us to wear silly yellow vests with “LAB ASST” stitched on the lapel which almost always had the T covered with a bit of yellow tape. One of the most common problems with college students entering information into a computer just doesn’t exist anymore and went like this:)

Student: “Hey! This thing is rejecting what I type in sometimes.”

Lab Assistant: “What are you entering?”

Student: “I am trying to type ten and it keeps stopping.”

Lab Assistant: “You are typing in little el and big oh, not one and zero.”

Student: “But they are the same!”

Lab Assistant: “They are as different as P, D, and Q.”

Student: “But they look the same.”

Lab Assistant: “It doesn’t matter. You still have to use one and zero. That is, if you want to complete your assignment.”

(And for those of you reading this who are under 40, I’ll point out that conventional typewriters from the old days often lacked one and zero and students were often taught to use little el and big oh for the numbers.)

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