Thirteen Funny Moments With My Students
1. The Student: “My teacher hates me.”
Me: “Why do you think that?”
The Student: “Well, I was just sitting there in class, and then suddenly my jacket was on fire.”
Me: (Silently) Yeah, she probably does.
2. Me: “Back in the 70’s, when I was growing up…”
My student: Gasps so hard in stunned amazement at how old I am that he almost turns his head inside out.
3. Me: “Oh, I see we’re getting ready to start the chapter on…THE PLANE.”
Me: Waiting expectantly.
My student: Stares at me blankly.
Me: “THE PLANE”.
The Student: Nothing.
Me: “Tattoo? Fantasy Island?”
My student: Looks at me quizzically.
Me: Feeling like a total idiot. “Uh, never mind.”
4. Anytime I try to use “Top Gun” and Tom Cruise as examples of knowing what’s “cool” when you’re a teenager.
5. Student: “Will you take me to get my belly button pierced?”
Student: “Why not? I really thought you would.”
Me: What?! Why?!
Me (silently): frantically reviewing every interaction I’d previously had with this student, wondering how I’d possibly given out the message that I was someone who would accompany teenagers as they voluntarily allowed others to drive very sharp needles through various parts of their body.
6. Usually I am pretty good at getting in the last word. Words are what I was trained in, and now words are my business. But yesterday I met my match.
I was working with a tutoring client and trying to elicit some information from him in a process which, incidentally, has given me entirely new insights into the phrase, “blood from a stone.”
I asked him if he was this difficult in all of his conversations with others, and he said that he liked to present people with a challenge.
Me:” Well, that’s just like waving a red flag in front of a bull” (I love a good challenge).
Him: “Yes, but then it’s just like in the cartoons when I pull the flag away, and there’s an anvil there instead.”
7. My Student: “I should never be given the power of invincibility, because if I were invincible I would go around hurting everyone else just because I could.”
Me: “Hm, interesting.”
Me (silently): OK, Universe, are you listening here?
Me: “So, you’d really be more of a super villain than a super hero.”
My Student: “Exactly.”
Me: “And then you’d need a super hero to come against you.”
My Student: “But no one could, because I’d be invincible.”
Me: “Ah, but everyone has a weakness. There’s Superman and kryptonite…”
My Student(interrupting): “Well, I guess you could bore me to death.”
(I still haven’t figured out if he just meant people in general, or if he was talking to me specifically at that moment. So I haven’t decided yet whether or not I’m offended.)
8. Today has been a mixture of tutoring some students in Spanish and getting ready to go out of town for a conference.
I guess getting ready for my trip has put me a little on edge, because by my last tutoring session my answers to the student’s questions had become a bit flippant and sarcastic.
This caused him to stop, put down his pen, look at me, and say, “Hm, apparently smartass is catching. Who knew?”
9. Yesterday I saw one of my students for their final Spanish tutoring session ever. It’s good for both of us; for him, because he HATES Spanish; for me, because I am no longer responsible for shepherding him through academia now that he has discovered the magical sugary-caffeinated elixir that is a Tall Vanilla Latte.
As he was pacing around my office and working off his coffee high he began closely inspecting everything on my shelves, including my collection of cat figurines.
“Oh, don’t look at those,” I said. “I don’t want you to think that I’m a crazy cat lady.”
“Oh I already know you are,” he replied. “Three’s the magic number!”
He is very lucky that I am not the person in charge of grading his final Spanish exam.
10. Me: “What is the correct form of this verb?”
My student: Answers incorrectly.
Me: “No, it’s this.”
My student: “You’re right.”
Me: HEAVILY sarcastic. “Yeah, I KNOW!.”
11. My student: “I think I’m not gonna start drinking until I’m older.’
My student: “Well, my parents didn’t start needing to have wine every night with dinner until my brother and I were born.”
12. A new student arrives for their first tutoring session.
Me: “OK, let me see your book.”
The student: “Oh. I was supposed to bring my book?”
Me (to myself): Why is it that I don’t drink, again?
13. Me: “OK, so are you going to look over these vocabulary words again tonight so you’ll be ready for your test?”
My student: “Mmm, nope.”
Me: “Well, at least you’re honest.”