Re: Terrible Teachers

1

He made us all calculate our dates of conception, and then asked everyone whether that was near our mother or father's birthday, their anniversary, Valentine's Day, etc.

That's just objectively brilliant trolling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 5:45 AM
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"Heinrich Hermann, you were conceived on 4/20. I guess that explains why you got that name."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 5:48 AM
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"Plastics."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 5:54 AM
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4

I think I may have mentioned this, but my dad's music teacher told him that during the concert he should just move his mouth without making noise. I'm not sure if that counts as terrible or just being a little too honest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:02 AM
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The elementary school librarian made me cry when I was around 6. She was hell bent on preventing my taking a certain book and told me I couldn't have it because I couldn't read. I told her that I could read, thanks. She then said I couldn't have it because it was too hard for me. By way of proving this she opened the book to a random page, found the word "ingenious" and asked me what it meant. I said, "Smart." Not exact, certainly, but near enough for kindergarten one imagines. WRONG! she bellowed, slammed the book shut and put it behind her desk.

I also had an elementary school teachers tell me I would "never amount to anything" because I talked too much. I can't say she was wrong, but it wasn't very nice.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:05 AM
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6

At least it wasn't your concert.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:05 AM
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7

I had a teacher who told me I was wrong to assert, at the age of about 10, that my parents' wedding china was a Wedgwood design, because "There is only one Wedgwood design, I thought you'd have known that." The next day I brought a piece of it in and showed him the manufacturer's name printed on the bottom, and the silly bugger still quibbled.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:12 AM
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6: At least nobody she didn't make me work out that I was conceived on my parents honeymoon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:14 AM
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9

I am sure I have mentioned before the high school history teacher who threw his shoe at somebody in the class because they were sleeping and who also bet me an A on the midterm that he hadn't misspelled a word on the board (I won; he still made me take the midterm; I got an A anyhow). He was kind of great, though.

My worst teachers weren't interestingly bad, just kind of petty and shitty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:15 AM
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10

My 8th grade science teacher asked a question about which government agency is in charge of space exploration. One guy said "NASA" and she said no. Another guy said "National Aeronautics and Space Administration" and she said no. We all just stared at her until she yelled that the answer was "N - A - S - A," with each letter sounded out. I think a family member had died that week or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:18 AM
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I dunno if there was a worst utterance ever -- certainly a lot of my teachers said objectively shitty things to me. I believe the most humiliating action a teacher ever took was when I was in 3rd grade, and our teacher, who was nearly as old as my grandparents, got annoyed that my desk was so messy. So she up ended it, scattering all my papers and what-not across the floor, and made me pick everything up. She also kept me in from recess most of the time, for not having homework done, so I would rip off stuff from her desk in retaliation. I've never been so glad to see the last of a school or a teacher than on the day 3rd grade ended.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:22 AM
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9.1 reminds me of my French teacher who could throw pieces of chalk with such devastating accuracy that if anybody fell asleep he would land one in their open mouth or the top of their head (depending on how they were sleeping) every time. He had flown night fighters in WWII and was a bit of a hero to us.

I agree with Sifu that, apart from a couple who obviously didn't like children (and they were teachers why?) most of the bad ones were mainly petty and a bit stupid.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:25 AM
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"You're a bum. You'll always be a bum."

5th grade math teacher. Since I had skipped two grades I was 9 or 10.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:28 AM
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I had a teacher tell me that she expected I would someday be killed in a bar fight. I had another teacher pour a vase of water over my head in the middle of class. These were two of my favorite teachers, and I still remember them (and these particular incidents) fondly.

The general background level of insanity in my elementary school is hard to convey to people who aren't Catholics of a certain era.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:30 AM
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The general background level of insanity in my elementary school is hard to convey to people who aren't Catholics of a certain era.

One of my in-laws saw a nun break a child's arm, and then punish him further for crying.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:33 AM
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15: Insanity conveyed.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:39 AM
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12: My seventh grade math teacher specialized in chalk-throwing. He was particularly proud of the way he could look in one direction and throw in another, catching his victims by surprise.

On one occasion, after executing this maneuver flawlessly and bonking some kid on the head, he said to the the class, "Pretty good, eh?"

I said, "Yeah, but it helps to have four eyes." (He wore glasses.)

He looked at me stone-faced, turned and wordlessly started scribbling on the blackboard. He covered the blackboard with chalk, then he erased it. He asked if someone had a comb he could borrow. My friend Jim volunteered his.

Mr. K-- asked me to come to the front of the class. He proceeded to use the comb to knot up my hair, then pounded the eraser into my head, turning my hair yellow. He returned the comb to Jim.

Jim then loaned me the comb, which I used to pull out the tangles in my hair. I returned the comb, and Jim took it between his thumb and forefinger and showily walked over to the trash and dropped it in.

We had a lot of fun in my school.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:42 AM
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18

That taught you about life.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:43 AM
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Moby Hick @ 11 - did we have the same third grade teacher? because I still have nightmares about Ms. Silverstein overturning my messy desk in front of the whole classroom and forcing me to clean it up.

In my memory, I'm the only one she did this too, but I ran into an old classmate a few years ago and he remembered that she did the same thing to him.

Of course, I had this woman for BOTH 2nd and 3rd grade. I'm not sure I would have made it out of elementary school if it wasn't for a truly wonderful 4th grade teacher who actually understood me.


Posted by: sam | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:46 AM
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20

realizing that I'm screwing up the names/vs comment numbers and my comment should be directed to Natilo, not Moby. oops!


Posted by: sam | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:47 AM
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That was Natilo. I don't know 3rd grade teacher's real name because she was a nun, but I'm going to guess it wasn't Silverstein.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:47 AM
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One of my in-laws saw a nun break a child's arm, and then punish him further for crying.

My arm wasn't broken by a nun, but it was an incompetent nun trying to set it that meant it's still dislocated to this day. By the time I got it looked at by a proper Presbyterian doctor it was too late.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:50 AM
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11th grade math. A test most had done poorly on, but I apparently especially so. Teacher stops at my desk, hands back the exam, and with exasperation exclaims, "A *D* Ms. Kotimy."

[In honor of spring, I'm considering changing my surname to Phenhydramine. Fucking pollen.]


Posted by: di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:54 AM
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22: There's a Simpsons clip I can't find about that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:55 AM
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I can't think of when a teacher ever said anything unpleasant to me. The teachers I hold grudges against were the series of elementary school teachers who pinched my cheeks and sent me back and forth between classrooms to repeat whatever adorably precocious thing I'd inadvertently said to the teacher in the next room. Hopefully they're all in nursing homes with untreated bedsores now, but I don't have any particularly malicious incidents to report.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:58 AM
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26

Here it is, sort of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:00 AM
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27

Mrs. Hill in 9th Grade English "you are just kind of a B student." Hi Mrs. Hill I write things for a living. You were usually nice and you took us to the theater which was great but kind of fuck you.

Mr...uh...I forget name. Mr. Fundamentalist in 10th grade Chemistry, well so this one requires some setup. He did the thing where you put a rubber glove in a bell jar and take out all the air and it inflates demonstrating, what, Boyle's Law? Don't remember because don't care. As he let the air back in, the glove drooped over and looked like a limp wrist, at which his remark was "I guess that's more like Gay-Lussac's law." Fuck You X 10^23! Also in Chemistry class, highly relevant statements about abortion being wrong. He eventually went to seminary.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:14 AM
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19: No, this was a Mrs. Curr/er. I had a number of other run-ins with her, and a few other people earned her wrath, but I think I was the only one who got his desk turned over. I was also at the top of the class in terms of reading/language arts, but I was not allowed to go to the gifted-and-talented language arts class because I was behind on homework. (I could have been caught up on homework, except that I had matriculated to that school 3 weeks into the term, and she insisted that I had to do ALL the homework and class work from the period where I was at my other school.) I don't think it is too much of an exaggeration to say that 3rd grade was a necessary, if not sufficient, experience for the development of both my anarchism and my loserdom.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:16 AM
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I also had an elementary school teachers tell me I would "never amount to anything"

OMG you should have gone on to invent psychoanalysis!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:16 AM
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27.1: Buck's journalism career is largely devoted to proving something to a series of high school English teachers who wouldn't give him a grade over 88 on any of his work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:18 AM
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31

I got all sort of encouragement and support from my teachers. I don't think it helped much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:19 AM
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32

I wasn't in this class but there was one famous child-hating second grade teacher at my school whose claim to fame was that she canceled the Christmas party the first week of school once.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:21 AM
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33

My guidance counselor told me I had no chance at getting into the school where I went on merit scholarship.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:24 AM
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34

My guidance counselor gave me a pass that let me out of study hall every single day so that I could go flirt with a girl I was too shy to ask out even after a whole year of chances. Again, lots of support, but I don't know that it helped.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:27 AM
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35

Damned unions!!!!!!!!!


Posted by: Bames S. Jhearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:31 AM
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36

I don't have good stories in this regard (Montessori until high school), but my mother was told by I think a guidance counselor not to apply to out-of-state colleges; she went to Har/vard.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:33 AM
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37

I'm amused by the google-proofing in 36.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:35 AM
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38

my mother was told by I think a guidance counselor not to apply to out-of-state colleges; she went to Har/vard.

Good thing she grew up in Massachusetts then.



Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:36 AM
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39

I don't even know where Harlvard is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:38 AM
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40

I'm sure everyone had the history teacher who wanted to teach history because he hated liberals so much. Mine (5th grade) was of the anti-tax variety, which made it pretty easy to explain why the American Revolution was a force for pure good. Someone would ask whether there were any reasons at all why we wanted to revolt, other than taxes, since as you know, kids don't exactly have a personal conception of how taxes make our lives a misery. This was deemed a frivolous question.

Then there are the "dumb teacher" stories. I guess that's a different thread.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:41 AM
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41

39: Clambridge.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:42 AM
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42

I had a sixth grade teacher who liked to make fun of my weight in front of class. He'd call me "Porko van Popbutton", and a friend of mine "Fatso Finnigan". When we asked him to stop, he spouted a lengthy line of bullshit about how *complimented* we should feel about him giving us affectionate nicknames like that, and went right on doing it for the rest of the year.

It probably doesn't need saying, but neither one of us was fat. We were just the designated "fat kids" in the class because we were burlier than anybody else. Apparently Mr. Bratt heard the kids calling us names and decided it'd be appropriate for a teacher to join in the bullying.

I heard he ended up running the county school district later. Infuriates me when I think about it.


Posted by: Evan | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:43 AM
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43

I'm sure everyone had the history teacher who wanted to teach history because he hated liberals so much

Oddly enough, we actually had one of these at my high school, although I didn't take his class (A.P. European History). The history teacher I mentioned above was driven to share his Marxist principles.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:44 AM
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40: I believe I've previously mentioned my history teacher with the really weird politics, who was basically a New Deal liberal who also was obsessed with James K. Polk and Manifest Destiny and believed very strongly and sincerely that the US would inevitably annex Canada and Mexico, with their states/provinces becoming US states. Hell of a guy, I really enjoyed his class, but a bit of a nutter for sure. He was also a trainspotter.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:46 AM
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45

I had a history teacher whose big things who seemed highly interested in Nixon and Vietnam, but not really pushing a strong liberal or conservative line. Also, he let us chew tobacco on field trips despite the fact that it was very much against the rules.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:46 AM
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WRONG! she bellowed, slammed the book shut and put it behind her desk.
Oudemia's librarian was John McLaughlin.
I had a gym teacher who completely lacked a sense of humor and wanted all the kids to follow his example. On April fool's day I tried to put a sign on his back, he caught me and made me stand up in front of the class and wear the sign on my nose.
I mostly have dumb teacher stories. Our AP biology teacher killed all the fruit flies we were supposed to study because she left them in the fridge too long. Another day we were supposed to dissect bananas and when we got to class she said she had to change the lesson because she had forgotten her lunch and was hungry so she ate the bananas.
I had a history teacher who mixed me up with another kid who looked similar and swapped our grades at the end of the semester.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:50 AM
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"Yes, I remember. Your essays weren't always very well researched but they were always beautifully written. And very short. But I could never find anything you'd left out."

Explains my career...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:52 AM
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48

Another day we were supposed to dissect bananas...

Maybe she just realized how stupid that sounds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:56 AM
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49

I had a US History teacher in 11th grade whose big interest was the Native American genocide (do we call that a genocide?) We read all kinds of things about it, which was a shockingly interesting and unusual thing to do in high school history, I think, but I passionately hated history so I don't remember any of it.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:58 AM
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46: Our Chemistry teacher, now semi-legendary (kids who went to the same HS 15 years later had heard of him, despite his having retired not too long after I left), had his own language of neologisms, slang, baby talk and mumbling. At some point during my sophomore year, some asshole complained and so he got stomped down by the administration, but by the end of the year he was talking in his usual way again. He had a lot of great farming stories, told us all about the Bolt Weevils and such.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 8:00 AM
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||
I've been inexplicably nauseated off and on since yesterday morning, but right this minute I am craving State Fair food. Sigh.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 8:02 AM
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52

You're body probably wanted to have a reason for nausea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 8:04 AM
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My freshman HS history teacher had a really charming catchphrase. He'd say "No tickee no laundry" in mock Asian accent. (He was and older white man.) He'd say this to explain things like "You have to do your homework to get a good grade." Sometimes he'd just say it because he liked saying it.

He sucked in dozens of other ways, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 8:04 AM
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54

I've mentioned before my third grade teacher who insisted that the Plymouth colony was settled before the Jamestown colony, and that any written source I pointed out to her (including the textbook) was simply mistaken. (Not that any of it mattered, since both were mere prelude to the Alamo.)

The Canadian provinces would make fine states, and help dilute our Southern heritage. Someday, our Canadian friends will realize that they need to do this for the good of humanity. I've generally rather favored giving Texas, and southern California, back to Mexico, but would be willing to entertain a request from Mexico for a merger.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 8:05 AM
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55

51. Have you considered that you might be pregnant?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 8:14 AM
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56

I guess the flip side of the anti-tax guy, in terms of teachers who wanted to be political, was my high school health teacher who taught us in terms of something called "the nine types of sexual behavior", which I'm pretty sure she made up.

A lot of the class consisted of testing us on the definitions of vocabulary words including "double standard", "Madonna-whore complex" and "ol' boys network". By now I'm sure she's added "slut-shaming" and "rape culture".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 8:45 AM
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56.1: A totally novel sexual act.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 8:46 AM
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56.1:

Those that involve the emperor
Embalmed ones
Those that require training
Those involving suckling pigs
Those involving mermaids (or Sirens)
Fabulous ones
Stray dogging
Those that are included in this classification
Those that tremble as if they were mad
Innumerable ones
Those drawn with a very fine camel hair brush
Those that have just broken the flower vase
Those that, at a distance, resemble flies


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:06 AM
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Actually, a far more plausible answer for 56.1 is that the nine types are Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good, etc.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:10 AM
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5: Arrrrgh terrible librarians. I have already told my awful middle-school-librarian story.

I'm sure I've also talked about my awful 9th grade science teacher. I'm not sure what the worst thing he ever said to me was. Maybe "you would never make it as a chemist".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:22 AM
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We had a kid in class with some kind of issue, and to this day, I can't offer an opinion on what it was. He wasn't mean. He wasn't dumb. He was unathletic, but no worse than, say, me. He had no social skills, but he didn't come across as Asperg-y. He wasn't a behavior problem in class. It's just that he couldn't persuade anybody to like him. Ever.

Our third grade teacher decided he was a "pansy," and called him that repeatedly - mind you, he wasn't even effeminate, and I don't think any of us even had any sense of that word as an anti-gay slur. But we adopted that word.

In recent years, I googled him, and someone with the right characteristics shows up as an adult, so maybe at least he survived it. But Jesus, I know how tough my childhood was, and he had it so much worse. I think some teachers tried to help, but others were active participants in the awfulness.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:24 AM
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"You will fail if you want to, and be good at it, so be sure that it is really what you want to do. It seems to be the skill you have learned best."

My smartass 7th/8th grade science teacher at the private middle school (for the Gifted and Talented), in a written year-end evaluation. I had "attempted" suicide and been hospitalized for a week earlier that year, as she knew. My "computer class" teacher also went into great detail about how I was uncreative and best suited for tedious, menial work -- my recollection is that I fucking hated writing hypercard programs and sat around doodling and composing space operas in my head, or drawing extremely detailed graphics with MacPaint or such.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:27 AM
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63

I was also pretty upset with the guidance counselor who wouldn't nominate me for a Presidential Scholarship, which sounds kind of dumb in retrospect, although the kid they did nominate was an asshole and not very smart.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:28 AM
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I guess the worst thing my hated 9th grade teacher did, rather than said, was to throw out the homework of students he didn't like and give them zeros. Assuming he wasn't actually hitting on his female student assistants, which was widely speculated but, in retrospect, probably not actually true.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:33 AM
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63 really does sound bad. Maybe I was just petty and entitled in high school.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:34 AM
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I went from my insane elementary school into a terrific public high school.

In Catholic school, one of my little rebellions was to subvert school assignments. If I was asked to write a sentence with a subject and a verb, the verb would invariably be something like "stabbed" or "killed" or whatever. Teachers had a tough time dealing with this, because I was always careful to follow the terms of the assignment, and I always got the right answer.

I did this in high school, and my teachers loved it. I remember being given an assignment to write an explanatory essay and I submitted a recipe that involved cannibalism. My teacher thought this was hilarious. A+.

As you can imagine, a few months of this pretty much destroyed my creativity and sense of humor.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:37 AM
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42 reminds me of a science teacher in I guess 7th grade that everyone loved whose schtick was teasing/namecalling, and it all somehow seemed funny and good-natured at the time but in retrospect was utterly appalling. The only one I can think of is that he always called one overweight kid "Tons of Fun".* Oh, and there was the girl who wore white pants on a class trip to Great Adventure, and when she got wet on the log flume everyone could see she was wearing "BLOOMIES"-printed underwear, and for the rest of the year this teacher called her "Bloomies" or something like that. What a prick.

*And I think it was the following summer that this kid went off to camp, decided to eat nothing but lettuce and carrots, and returned skinny and orange-tinged. Not that this science teacher was the first or only person to tease him about his weight but I wonder if it helped put him over the edge into eating-disorderdom.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:52 AM
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I mostly had OK teachers, I think. A couple of grumpy-asshole old ladies in Primary school. One of them totally lost the rag at me once [humblebrag] because I'd done a year's worth of Maths worksheets in a morning.

'What are you going to do NOW during Maths HOURRRRR? I told you to bring them to me to mark after you did EACH ONEEEEEE.'

'You had a queue, so I thought I might as well use the time I was waiting.'

'YOU IMPUDENT LITTLE BOY!!!'

I had one high school Chemistry teacher single me and a friend out in front of the whole class as most likely to fail. I think we'd pissed him off by not paying attention. He must have been a total idiot. [Humblebrag] I think I got the highest mark in the school, and my friend got, iirc, either an A or a B. I can think of a few more incidents like that, but they genuinely didn't bother me, as I was self-contained and smart-arsed enough that it was like water off a duck's back.

I had one furious row with the deputy Rector [i.e. head] of our high school in which I told him to fuck off. However, I was in the right, and there were no comebacks.

Mostly my memories of school are pretty positive.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:54 AM
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69

My AP Chemistry teacher had us design our own chemistry performances for a final project, and she let us use a reaction that generated a significant amount of gas that (unknown to her, I assume) has a pretty low LD50. No one died, though.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:00 AM
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I had a history teacher in high school who was a year from retirement and several years past when senility should have led to retirement who once gave us "The revolution of 1842 was a ______ war" and got mad when no one chose the right adjective. On a different test, I went and asked about an ambiguous question whether she meant A or B. After thinking about it, she said, "Well, YES!" But I don't think anyone hated her and she wasn't cruel, just a bit lost.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:01 AM
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I remember a couple of really bad tempered fuckers, come to think of it, and until I was about 14 you could still get the 'tawse' in Scottish schools. But something about the structure of the school day and maybe the culture of the school, meant that I don't think I was aware of any really consistent bullying behaviour by teachers. I've always assumed most people just chalk bad behaviour by teachers as just part of the whole 'adults are kind of arseholes' thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:05 AM
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'What are you going to do NOW during Maths HOURRRRR?

Ummm... More advanced maths?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:09 AM
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73

69: At least you didn't get charged with a felony.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:10 AM
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re: 72

I think that would rely on her having a source of that maths for me. We were doing the SPMG (Scottish Primary Mathematics Group) textbooks and worksheets, and I think I was already quite a bit ahead of where I was nominally 'supposed' to be [not the only one in the class, either]. I don't think she wanted to move us to the next set of books and wasn't able to provide us with anything of her own bat. There was a bit of scope for moving ahead of the average in the class, but if you got more than a book or two ahead, you'd get reined in.

I spent quite a lot of time at Primary school reading quietly in the corner.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:18 AM
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73 is vile, insane and it's impossible to believe it isn't entirely motivated by racism.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:18 AM
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69: she let us use a reaction that generated a significant amount of gas that (unknown to her, I assume) has a pretty low LD50

Never been to Taco Bell before, huh?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:20 AM
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I've done chemistry magic shows in elementary schools where I put a piece of dry ice in a balloon and it inflates until it pops. Is that illegal in Florida too?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:25 AM
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78

"The revolution of 1842 was a ______ war"

Hilarious?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:26 AM
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I can think of a few petty things but nothing truly terrible. There was one episode where my parents were trying to push me ahead a year in math (from arithmetic-year-6 to "pre-algebra", normally a 7th grade class), since the existing work was so easy as to be deadly dull, and the guidance counselor suggested a remedy of giving me more homework in the same class. Fortunately, smarter heads prevailed.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:27 AM
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And actually, ours was one of the less explodey projects. There was a methanol cannon and a lycopodium powder cylinder.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:27 AM
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81

Opium?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:36 AM
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82

There was no opium.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:36 AM
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83

I had a lot of dumb teachers, but I was enough of a goodie two shoes that they mostly were nice to me. My HS guidance counselor got super annoyed at me when I pointed out that he'd put the wrong ACT score on my state college application. (I had taken it twice, and he wrote in the lower of my two scores.)

More recently, at our (mostly useless) childbirth class, the instructor had asked us for things about labor we were scared of or worried about. When I mentioned a thing I'm slightly worried about, she told me I read too many blogs. (Apparently, some things that are approved topics of worry include your water breaking in public and whether or not you will poop. Sorry lady, I'm just not worried about those things!)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:12 PM
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84

You will poop.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:15 PM
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85

Your water will break when Al Gore is on Saturday Night Live.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:16 PM
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I'm cool with pooping. Much less unpleasant than puking.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:17 PM
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Puking really doesn't seem to be unpleasant for babies. Luckily for them as they do it almost as often as they poop.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:27 PM
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re: 87

Apparently breastfed babies puke less, although xelA seems to be in a phase of occasionally vomiting copiously.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:36 PM
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88: One of CA's nephews is xelA, which works nicely because he's Scottish (parents are anyway) and she's Greek (parents are anyway). They tried to make celA happen for a while, but nobody, including the Scottish grandmother whose father's name that was, called him that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:39 PM
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90

Formula-puke will put rust-colored stains on clothing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:40 PM
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90: FACT. Or, like, really bright tumeric-looking stains. O was breast-fed and formula-fed and you could instantly tell which food produced which by-product.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:44 PM
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92

I see the opportunity for a new art medium.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:45 PM
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93

92: Or gameshow.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:50 PM
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73 is vile, insane and it's impossible to believe it isn't entirely motivated by racism.

Might be stupidity, but hey, it's FL, might be both. We had an lieutenant who would show up on calls like this and push for ridiculously over the top charges. Thankfully she got caught lying about a work matter and her dumb ass got fired.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:53 PM
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In high school, the guidance counselor told me that I shouldn't take a classes from the local college because it would make the school look bad. (Because the high school with a single honors class and no APs needed help in that regard, apparently.)

Instead, I took a couple study halls. It didn't take much to convince me, really. I was (am, whatever) pretty impressively lazy.


Posted by: rural merkin | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 12:56 PM
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91: Shout will get rid of it, unless you don't notice it until after it has been through the dryer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 1:01 PM
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Haven't we had this thread before? I know I've mentioned my seventh grade science teacher, who about midway through the year told me I wasn't allowed to ask any more questions in class for the rest of the year. I thought she was joking, but nope, she was serious. And she gave me detention for raising my hand from then on.

I'm fairly sure I've also mentioned the second grade teacher who spanked me with a paddle (which was allowed back then, at least in my district) for not doing my math homework. That really pissed me off. But at the end of the year I broke her knee, so at least there was some justice.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 1:09 PM
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98

||

NMM to the lack of a MN House vote in favor of legalizing gay marriage.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 1:11 PM
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re: 89

Yeah, it's my great-grandfather's name [I think, it's a big vague in terms of family history but pretty sure that's right], but that's not the reason we picked it. We wanted something that has a variant in Czech, too, and the Greek connection isn't entirely accidental.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 1:12 PM
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But at the end of the year I broke her knee, so at least there was some justice.

I'm just going to assume the superintendent or somebody allowed you to break it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 1:13 PM
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I was interviewed pseudonymously as "David" in high school, by a friend in the journalism class, for an article about closeted gay students in our school district. The interview ran in the local newspaper and caused a fair amount of chatter and speculation as this was long ago and far away, etc. My high school band director, who had figured out I was gay and did the really pretty basic math on the article, went out of his way to mock it in front of me. He would do this limp-wristed mincing walk and lisp to others of my classmates, "Ooooh, hello boys, I'm Daaaaavid!" and then he would look at me when they were done having a big laugh. I fucking hated him. I was long since locked into being an arts geek, though, and I was one of his very best performers so he wasn't willing to actually do anything more than make sure I was terrified of him at all times. Mr. Dickson survived a series of debilitating heart attacks several years ago and I debated sending him a card that just said, "I heard you lived. Maybe next time!"

Another fave was the substitute teacher in 9th grade Algebra II who saw me kneeling by a female friend's desk while we worked on some proof or another and told me I had to stand because, and I do quote from memory, "no man should ever put himself lower than a woman." We told our bull dyke teacher about it upon her return and she got the guy fired and banned from future substituting in our county. That was pretty great in the end, actually.

Mostly, though, the bad teachers were just dumb and their general confusion in the hands of a fast-changing world came out looking more like meanness than it was probably meant. The good teachers ran a lot of interference. On reflection, it turns out students were highly skilled at spotting the ones who just wanted rooms full of victims to abuse.

ttaM's tale of maths homework reminds me of the first grade teacher, whom I dearly loved, who sincerely happily reported to my mother that she wasn't sure what she was going to do when she ran out of sixth grade math workbooks to give me. She was smooth as could be; I don't recall having had any idea that I wasn't doing the same work as everyone else.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 1:40 PM
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102

I had a seventh-grade male teacher announce to the class that he could tell from the way the girls walked which ones had had sex in the previous day.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 2:01 PM
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I had a college roommate who thought the same thing, but was smart enough not to mention it to seventh grade children.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 2:03 PM
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I had an older brother who said the same thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 2:18 PM
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And he could also tell which ones had gotten pregnant by sitting on someone's lap with clothes on.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 2:23 PM
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106

Having been seduced by D'yer M'aker.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 2:32 PM
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I don't think any teachers were ever mean to me. I had a lot of really dumb ones though. Like the Home Ec teacher who told us that sea level is "at about 1,000 feet", and that water boils at a lower temperature there so you have to cook pasta longer.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 3:01 PM
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Kid C has a music teacher (whole class music lessons, not a particular instrument) who is a twat. (Which I thought before the boy started at the school anyway.) He said to them, "I don't mind racism, I don't mind sexism, I don't mind discrimination - what I DO mind is stupidity" and "stop shouting like primary school children with special needs". Arse.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 3:07 PM
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Maybe she was thinking of the surface of Glacial Lake Missoula?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 3:56 PM
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The lower boiling temps at higher elevations is true but yeah, you'd think the term "sea level" would be self explanatory.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 4:15 PM
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No, she said lower temps at sea level than in the mountains. We all argued with her for a few minutes but she was insistent and she was so full of other crazy ideas that nobody paid that much attention to anything she said.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 4:24 PM
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In middle school, roughtly over the three years I was there we had one teacher fired (and charged) for bouncing a kids head off the desk behind them, another for sleeping with a student. One left for being an unmanageable drunk (there was another who somehow stayed, but she was usually sloshed by mid afternoon.. She must have had good dirt in someone). Also a couple of nervous breakdowns as they called it. In retrospect, probably not the best school in the area, but we all mostly enjoyed it.


Posted by: Dee Lurking | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 5:36 PM
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110: Because of tides and crabs splashing each other, it can get a bit technical to measure, but I think differences of 1,000 feet are still pretty easy to distinguish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 5:59 PM
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97: Haven't we had this thread before?

Yep. I know I've mentioned the senior year English teacher who tried to have me and two friends expelled from her class for the rest of the year because we'd jointly taken issue with her reading of "The Hollow Men." Those were some awkward moments in the principal's office, explaining why she'd sent us down there. Everyone was pretty awkward about that overall, since she'd gotten red-faced and shouty at us, but the principal couldn't grant her demand. Truth, we were probably acting like brats, not respecting authority (which was the nature of her red-faced rant).

Otherwise, though, I can't think of terrible things a teacher has said to me. Stupid things, and to the class in general, but not abusive/obnoxious things personally. Maybe I just don't remember.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:16 PM
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In both 4th and 6th grade, the child-shaped monsters I went to school with locked substitutes in the closet. The 6th grade sun also had her jacket destroyed, took it badly. Also in 4th grade one kid went out the window, 2d floor above blacktop.


Posted by: Lw | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:21 PM
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We had a window jumper in 4th grade too! Not very far, maybe half a story (school was built against a hill) but the jumper claimed she was pushed and tried to recreate who was standing where and who could have pushed her from behind. It was like our own JFK shooting.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:25 PM
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Not really relevant: Stuart Brinworth reviews Iron Man


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:27 PM
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I got inadvertently locked in the locker room (by a teacher) after everyone had lefy for the weekend, in 6th grade. I escaped out the little vent window, above the toilet stall walls. I was super proud of my escape but super embarrassed about the context, so I kept it a secret.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:35 PM
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I had a teacher ask me if I'd considered going to graduate school.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:48 PM
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Now camp counsellors, I could come up with some good stories. Like the one who was fired for pushing a kid into a puddle on a hike and freaked out so much that they ended up making a ghost story based on him. Or the one night a month that counsellors were allowed to go into town and drink and how they'd come back and do stupid shit like waking up their kids to go watch them hit golf balls in their underwear on the baseball field. The drinking night seems like a bad policy overall.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:49 PM
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Oh, gym class (phys ed). I bet I've blocked some of the events there for sure. Early high school had me cringing from a set of fellow students, twins, who'd decided they had it out for me during dodge ball. In retrospect, they were probably really good at dodge ball, but the experienced result was me being targeted for vicious pelting, from two directions, by them. Fuckers.

I can't remember what if anything the gym teacher did; it seemed like general applause in their direction for their coordinated attack strategy. Sports!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 6:55 PM
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108: This makes me wonder about the classes before. Even if you were racist, why volunteer it to the kids as kind of an offset to not allowing stupid unless you figured the kids enjoyed it. Maybe the year before they asked questions.

"Can we have class outside?"
"No."
"Can we be racist?"
"Well, the last decisions did go against you."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:05 PM
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You be the judge .

The day after a sixth grader from Harlem drowned in the Atlantic Ocean on a class outing, a fifth-grade teacher in Brooklyn posted some rather impolitic comments about her own students on Facebook.

"After today, I am thinking the beach sounds like a wonderful idea for my 5th graders?" the teacher, Christine Rubino, wrote in 2010. "I HATE THEIR GUTS! They are all the devils spawn!" She added, concerning one student, "I wld not throw a life jacket in for a million."

So should she stay or should she go?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:05 PM
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Musing further on that dodge ball thing, it pissed me off, the twins pissed me off and upset me, but I don't think I felt that the gym teacher was being a horrible person.

I think we moved pretty rapidly from one physical endeavor to the next, so the dodge ball segment gave way after a couple of weeks to the gymnastics segment. Ha, let's see you do a walkover like this, stupid twins. Of course then we might move on to the field hockey segment. Shit, what a yucky sport. But then! We'd move on to the volleyball segment. Okay volleyball! Try for the grace to bump a ball over the net, stupid twins.

I didn't realize I remembered so much about all that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:12 PM
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My only terrible teacher story is also a Catholic tale. I was whispering with my best friend Carlos during Religion, and Sister No/l* busted us, digging her fingernails into our arms something fierce. That was the worst I got. Other kids were routinely put in trash cans and closets. She was forcibly retired after our year (which gave our class two nuns in a row: Kindergarten nun abandoned the fold and got married after our year).

*Yes, google-proofing. To this day I fear her wrath.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:22 PM
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My dad and various classmates put his typing teacher in the trash can. Mom confirmed that they did this at the 40th reunion. It was flirting in 1949.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 7:32 PM
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My dad and various classmates once threw their English teacher off a bridge into the Rideau Canal. Or so went the story, at any rate.

"We were but savages," my father always said in defence of the harsh discipline of the Catholic school system, "and the priests meant to civilize [the savages], and that was the only real path out of poverty for us."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 9:35 PM
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I can think of two things that still vaguely appall me, years later.

Thing #1: From my high school debate coach, in a tone of surprise: "You know, you're actually sort of pretty." The horrible thing about this is that it was apropos of absolutely nothing -- we had had no conversations about physical attractiveness, and I was just reading a book at the time. It was quite apparent that she had been thinking for years that I was rather ugly. (This is the same woman who informed my brother that it was his duty as a male presence in my life to make sure I grew up to be a proper helpmeet as a good Catholic girl should. Luckily he thought that was the most hilarious thing ever and did not try to do as she wished.)

Thing #2: My history teacher, also the high school football coach, taught us by showing videos -- things like "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" for medieval Europe (I kid you not). Unfortunately there weren't many movies about Ancient Greece... so the sole thing he taught us about Aristotle? That he had said "women are inferior, men are superior." I nearly died. Unfortunately it was a required class.


Posted by: Forza | Link to this comment | 05- 9-13 10:58 PM
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Like the Home Ec teacher who told us that sea level is "at about 1,000 feet"

I can think of a few horrible teachers but no really outstandingly ignorant ones.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 1:12 AM
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Mom confirmed that they did this at the 40th reunion.

Wow. I could see doing that sort of thing when they were in school, but at the reunion?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 5:51 AM
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I assume everybody was drunk except my mom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 5:53 AM
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Was your mom on antibiotics or something?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 5:54 AM
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Aristotle:

Why have men more teeth then women?
By reason of the abundance of heat and blood which is more in men than in women.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 5:57 AM
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My mom was never a big drinker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 5:57 AM
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Aristotle: Man is defined as a featherless biped.

Diogenes (holding up a plucked chicken): Behold, Aristotle's man!

Yes, I know it didn't quite go that way, but what the hell.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 6:01 AM
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135: It's with Plato instead of Aristotle. Why are you incredulous?


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 6:09 AM
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Thing #2: My history teacher, also the high school football coach, taught us by showing videos -- things like "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" for medieval Europe (I kid you not).

Coach Worley, "World History", Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. In his defense, he was a sweetheart who wouldn't have harmed a fly and it was near the end of the year.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 6:15 AM
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138

What I know about the history of the world, I learned from Mel Brooks.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 6:23 AM
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123: It'd depend on other information. I don't think Facebook stupidity on this level should be, by itself, grounds for dismissal.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 7:10 AM
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Robust!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-10-13 5:34 PM
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