"Why teachers drink"

TalkThe Green Dragon

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"Why teachers drink"

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Oct 21, 2010, 2:46 am

I felt that perhaps some people in here might appreciate this -


Oct 21, 2010, 3:16 am

Oh boy. Those are the sorts of answers I would put on my tests. Honestly, I thought the questions were ambiguous. Never could figure out why my teachers had a propensity to bang their head on the desk. ;)

I love the answer to "Find X" :D

Oct 21, 2010, 4:25 am

Yeah, that was one of the very best!

One of the VERY best is not on there - a colleague recently told me how a guy in his (Swedish equivalency of high school) class answered the question "which star is closest to Earth" with "Sol" and was told wrong...

Oct 21, 2010, 4:28 am

I thought many of them were good.

And seriously - the only danger you are exposed to from living close to a mobile phone mast is walking into it. I very very much hope no-one is being taught anything different.

Oct 21, 2010, 7:41 am

#4 - Yeah, its the regular power lines towers that scramble your brains. ;o)

Those are awesome, Busifer! Many thanks for that.

Oct 21, 2010, 7:49 am

3> Busifer, teacher reminds me of this:


Oct 21, 2010, 9:07 am

ah....aren't they cute.

It is true I drank a great deal when I was a teacher

Oct 21, 2010, 9:17 am

Tears, I have tears of laughter now. Oh Busifer thank you! So funny. I do like the "X" answer too, and also the "Free Press" answer.

Oct 21, 2010, 9:55 am

I have to admit the "because she's a woman" one was horrible, though :(

Oct 21, 2010, 10:46 am

Conversation with a kindergartner this morning:

Her: I know what this is that I'm wearing.
Me: What?
Her: A poncho.
Me: You're right.
Her: Yep. Chinese people wear them.

Oct 21, 2010, 11:36 am

I would give full credit for the Romeo one. I would also love to see those dames in the river- it might actually work though it would be hard on the large women.

Oct 21, 2010, 11:39 am

#9 - Some of those answers were just snotty, clever things kids write down when they don't know the answer, like the "James Bond" or "because she is a woman." I wouldn't take it too seriously.

I had a friend who wrote the receipe for blueberry muffins on an AP test (test for college credit in high school) when she didn't know the answer.

Oct 21, 2010, 11:45 am

>12 psocoptera:
If after a test bake I was satisfied with the muffins, I might consider partial credit.

Oct 21, 2010, 12:18 pm

I'm assuming most of you have seen this at sometime in the last 15 years?


Oct 21, 2010, 2:10 pm

I also laughed out loud with "Mrs. Orpheus." Technically (at least in English) it is a correct answer.

As for #14, a fair bit of it can be explained with misspellings or, worse yet, mishearing of a term the teacher spoke but the student didn't hear distinctly (I'm not saying whose fault that was . . . the student in theory could have looked it up *gasp*).

Nevertheless, I loved "Another important invention was the circulation of blood." Yes, I would say so.

Oct 21, 2010, 6:34 pm

Thanks, Busifer! I love those!

True story -

Last week the English/LA teacher on my team was grading essays. She got to one student's essay and there were no periods and no capital letters! None! She called the student to her desk and asked him about his essay. She said, "Thomas, you have no periods in this entire essay. What happened?" He answered, "I don't use those." *sigh*

This student is also in my math class. We were graphing equations earlier this week. He had worked out the equation and left the graph blank. Yes, you guessed it. He told me, "I don't use the graphs."

Is it any wonder he is repeating the 8th grade??

Oct 21, 2010, 9:23 pm

Yesterday, I was testing 3rd grade on using the library catalog. Been teaching it for 3 class sessions...they had to do an author, title, subject search; write down the author, title, call number. The online catalog even says "call number". One kid turned his in and instead of call numbers, he'd put the author's date of birth. 3 times I sent him back to the computer to find the call number. 3 times he came back with no changes. I finally told him that if he turned it in that way, he would fail the test, is that what you're choosing to do?. Yes, he says, that's was what he chooses to do. So I report this to his teacher, she gave him the riot act; I gave him a zero, and he'll have to do the test over again. Evidently this is his M.O. on all his work. His mother insists he's just "bored" and that's why he doesn't do his work.

Oct 22, 2010, 8:27 am

16 - Maybe he's been getting bad ideas from a linguist. When we say that we're more concerned with describing language than prescribing it (or proscribing it, for that matter), there are still cultural conventions to worry about. As it was described to me the other day, breaking all the writing conventions in an essay is like turning up to a job interview in your pyjamas. Sure, you're covering up, which is one of the primary bits of clothing, but you're not going to get the job. When you write an essay the same way you'd chat with your friends on MSN, you're communicating, but you sound like someone who doesn't know how to dress properly.

Oct 22, 2010, 9:13 am

You know the answer to the higest frequency a human can hear was really mariah carey but I would take a point off for the hearts because nobody really likes it

Oct 22, 2010, 1:39 pm

I think I'd give partial credit for knowing that good vibrations were "discovered" in the 60s. 1966 to be exact.

Wilson's publicist Derek Taylor described "Good Vibrations" as a "pocket symphony". It featured instruments unusual for a pop song, including prominent use of the cello and an electro-theremin. It is number six on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".1 The song "Good Vibrations" is part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.2 (Wikipedia)

Oct 22, 2010, 3:07 pm

Monday's fiield trip gave me this chuckle:

Student: Miss W, I wore my suit to my grandpa's reunion.
Me: Oh, really. What type of reunion was it.
Student: I don't know. He died.

*Note that I have 24 boys in my 2nd grade class. You can't imagine the stories I've heard this year. I really should write them all down.

Oct 22, 2010, 6:54 pm

Yes, you should. You and some of your kids might end up being famous, or maybe infamous.

Oct 22, 2010, 7:14 pm

And then you can blackmail them!

Oct 22, 2010, 10:16 pm

I had a student last week ask me why I was wearing a dress. Let me add, I am female so shouldn't come as a shock to see such a thing....

Oct 22, 2010, 10:40 pm

I've seen some too:
"King George wouldn't let the Pope cut off his head." Whose head? King George? The Pope's. That would be quite a task, wouldn't it? Cutting off your own head.

"The heart is one of the fatal organs." (I think the kid meant visceral; not fatal, at least I HOPE so!)

One of my science students told me the difference between the inner and outer planets: the outer planets are gas planets. I asked her to explain, she said "they're big balls of gas."

Oct 28, 2010, 4:49 pm

Those were very funny. 'Find x' was one of my favourites, along with 'ice' as a brief description of hard water.

Oct 28, 2010, 5:08 pm

#14 - I've never seen that before but I don't think I've laughed so much in months, that was wonderful!

Oct 28, 2010, 5:30 pm

I think Booksloth sent me this story once and I think it fits this thread.

The "Middle Wife" by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher

I've been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the
best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second-grade classroom a few
years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my
students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty
tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch,
stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them.
If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they're welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater. She holds up a snapshot of an infant. "This is Luke, my baby brother, and I'm going to tell you about his birthday."

"First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed
in my Mom's stomach, and Luke grew in there.

He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord."

She's standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I'm trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

"Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, 'Oh, Oh, Oh,
Oh!' Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. "She walked around the house
for, like an hour, 'Oh, oh, oh!' Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.

"My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn't have a sign on the car like the Domino's man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this." Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.

"And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!" This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!

"Then the middle wife starts saying 'push, push,' and 'breathe, breathe'. They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom's play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there."

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I'm
sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it's show-and-tell day, I
bring my camcorder, just in case another "Middle Wife" comes along.

Oct 29, 2010, 7:17 am

Love it!

Oct 29, 2010, 7:21 am

What a great story!

Oct 29, 2010, 8:29 am

My kid's contribution to the topic.

Oct 29, 2010, 11:58 am

I will never forget an episode from when I was in 6th or 7th grade. We had a test on ancient history and one of the questions had to do with Carthage. The teacher read out one of the answers (greatly embarassing the poor kid) emphasizing each use of the words, "Carthage Indians."

Edited: Oct 29, 2010, 12:40 pm

Once again we are reminded how teachers have embarrassed kids through out the years. On behalf of all those teachers, I do apologize.

I know I made many a kid cringe for one reason or another during my years in the classroom - all very unintentional, I am sure (fingers crossed behind my back).

Sometimes it is hard not to say something unforgiveable.

Nov 10, 2010, 1:51 pm

Today, I graded encyclopedia research papers for 4th grade. Each student got a different animal to research...one question was "What is this animal's habitat?" One girl had bears, and her answer: This animal's habitat is Earth."

What? As opposed to Martian bears??

Nov 10, 2010, 3:16 pm

Well, "bear" doesn't indicate any special kind of bear (polar bear, black bear...) so I think you kind of earned it ;-)

Nov 10, 2010, 4:05 pm

Don't forget Ursa major and Ursa minor. ;-)

Nov 10, 2010, 6:00 pm

Sigh...you're probably right, I was just asking for it. I'm thinking next year, I'll tweak the project, and make "habitat" a multiple choice question.

I'm trying to teach 3rd grade to use the encyclopedias also. Oy vay...it's going to be a long semester. Actual questions this morning: "Do you want me to write the answer down?" "I can't find it"...supposed to be looking up "heart", and had the A volume. "Do I read it?" No kidding.

And then a 2nd grade teacher informed me she assumed encyclopedias were just obsolete. Grrr. Am I a dinosaur? Or shouldn't students at least be familiar with using a hard copy of the encyclopedia?? I teach them to use the online encyclopedia too.

Nov 10, 2010, 8:58 pm

I spent many a happy hour reading encyclopedias as a kid! Yes, I think kids should have at least some small nodding acquaintance with those fine volumes; as should all elementary and middle school teachers. You might be surprised if you surveyed your faculty and asked how many of them had ever used an encyclopedia.

Learning how to take notes from an encyclopedia article is priceless and is a very real lesson in how to not plagiarize.

You go, you librarian, you!

Nov 11, 2010, 1:37 am

In my mind you're not teaching them how to use encyclopaedias but how to find knowledge, utilising encyclopaedias. And it's valuable experience to have learned that knowledge can be found if you search in an appropriate way.

What age are these kids? 10? Do you use children's edition encyclopaedias? I have a (swedish) language one that any kid loves to peruse, it's full of infographics made by renowned illustrators of children's books (and it's made by a publisher that published only encyclopaedias so it's really really good). It's a good and easy entryway for kids.

Nov 11, 2010, 6:06 am

#34 "One girl had bears, and her answer: This animal's habitat is Earth."

Well sort of, but then again No. There are plenty of places on Earth that don't have any type of bears. All the ocean bits for a start, antartica, a lot of europe, a lot of africa (all of it?)

Maybe you could do a subtle wiki edit, and then get them to compare versions, and learn that wiki isn't always right.

Nov 11, 2010, 6:42 am

#40. All Africa. And Australia (Koalas are marsupials.) And, as far as I know, South America. Us Gondwanalanders need to rise up and support TEL!

Nov 11, 2010, 7:00 am

Well, compared to the rest of the universe Earth is the prime habitat of a lot of species, even if they don't cover the whole globe ;-)

(And bears are naturals all over continental Europe, only humans have pushed them away so they won't re-emerge until our towns are in ruins...)

Nov 11, 2010, 9:06 am

Thanks, guys! I feel vindicated...and as long as I draw breath, my students will learn to use an encyclopedia!!

Nov 11, 2010, 9:16 am

I've been trying to teach the kids at daycare to go to the dictionary instead of asking me how to spell something. One little smart-alec said when my back was turned, "I think she can't spell anything"

Nov 11, 2010, 9:23 am

Many years ago, my niece's class was asked by their teacher whether anyone could count to 100. "I can", said my niece confidently. "One, two, miss a few, 99, 100!" She's still a smart-arse ...

Edited: Nov 11, 2010, 5:25 pm

I have to tell this true story that just happened last week.As many of you in here know, I'm a teacher.Today, we honor our Veterans and we have the day off from school.However, after paying my due respect for our Veterans I will be keyboarding most of the day since my report cards are due soon and I have to write narratives for 22 students. In addition, I have to averaging and post grades for the six subjects that I teach for each student.
Anyway,I had a rough week last week,so I was so exhausted I picked up one of those ready-made meals at the market and passed the wine aisle as I was leaving.Hmm, I think I will pick up a bottle is what I was thinking. A Billy Joel song came to mind."A bottle of red,a bottle of white."Which one? Dang, I'll get both.While in the check out line, a man in front of me turned around. well, yes you guess it folks,it was the Superintendent of my school district. Holy cow! I never two fisted two bottles in line at the market ever and the one time I do.Anyway, his comment was great! Tough week huh?? I was so relieved.

Nov 11, 2010, 10:07 am

#41 South America has spectacled bears, if I remember correctly ...

... and it's exactly that kind of nit-picking got me into trouble one time with my chemistry teacher at grammar school. In a conversation I referred to some kind of fish as an animal and he corrected me - it's not an animal, it's a fish (he said). So I said it was not a plant so it must be an animal. He told me to shut up or I'd get 'lines'.

The sad thing is, a year or two later I was in his biology class. No wonder I hated school ...

Edited: Nov 11, 2010, 10:51 am

#46 - Ha. It figures. If you were buying seltzer you wouldn't have met anyone you knew! :o)

#31 - I love it! Nice comment from the teacher too, Dayner.

Nov 11, 2010, 3:45 pm

Just finished grading the last of the encyclopedia research papers...these are actual answers.

Sam Houston: Why is this person famous?
He found Houston, Texas in 1970 and 1980

Rattlesnakes: Where in the world is this animal found?
Page 151

Haiti: What language is spoken?
Assuming Spanish

Columbus Discovers America: When did this happen?
In 1970s.
Where did this happen? City of Columbus

Rhinoceros: Where in the world is this animal found?
Well they travel a lot.

I need some of that wine jewels got today...

Nov 11, 2010, 3:54 pm


I feel for you.

Nov 11, 2010, 3:57 pm

dear friend, I feel your pain. Very frustrating. I guess we can give those kids some points for creativity and, in some cases, an unintended sense of humor.

Nov 12, 2010, 9:28 am

One time in College I was waiting for the bus and fuming about how hard the economics exam I had just taken was when The economics teacher joined me at the busstop and said " Well I don't think that exam was too bad, do you?"
The smart ass in me popped up and said" yeah for you! You had all the answers!"
he just laughed

Nov 12, 2010, 2:57 pm

#49 - Okay, maybe not great answers for 3rd graders, but that last one shows some humor, at least!

Nov 13, 2010, 6:07 pm

49 - Remind me not to open that book anywhere around page 150...

Nov 13, 2010, 10:12 pm

#49 Was that encyclopedia published in 1970?

Nov 13, 2010, 11:59 pm

I still remember a grade school multiple choice question that went like this:

How long is the Mississippi River?

A) Under 1,000 miles long.
B) Over 1,000 miles long.
C) Over 2,000 miles long.
D) over 3,000 miles long.

I wanted to choose C, but wasn't sure, so I chose B, because if it is over 2,000 miles long, then it is ALSO over 1,000 miles long, right?

My teacher did not buy my logic. Even in grade school I understood a VERY poorly worded question, and insisted that my answer was NOT wrong. She said "Technically you're correct, but C is the answer I was looking for because it is more correct."

Roughly 40 years have gone by and it still irritates me, LOL!!!

Nov 14, 2010, 9:56 am

You are right, mrgroo, the teacher wrote a really stupid multiple choice question. She should have given you an A for catching it.

Nov 14, 2010, 10:35 am

Agree with maggie, but many teachers do so hate to be caught in their unperfect mode by a student.

Nov 14, 2010, 1:30 pm

LOL, groo. Isn't it funny how things like that can stick in your craw, and stay in your memory FOREVER? LOL You should look that teacher up and remind her. ;o)

Nov 16, 2010, 11:28 am

Here's another reason teachers might drink.


Pretty wild stuff.

Nov 16, 2010, 1:13 pm

# 60 that is one reason they call it a BS degree. I did find in college that the skill of writing mattered more than a knowledge of the subject.

Nov 16, 2010, 2:44 pm

>#47. This guy taught Biology too?!? That's pathetic, and I see why you hated school. I did too, but some how ended up as a high school Biology teacher. Go figure.

Nov 17, 2010, 10:36 am

#62. We had another chemistry teacher (sadly, he never taught my class) who was famous for messing up practical demonstrations - popular lore was that he never got them right. Anyway, his greatest achievement was setting fire to a test-tube of 'water' while trying to boil it over a Bunsen burner. Needless to say, he'd managed to use some alcohol or something for distilled water (and, apparently, it was not student sabotage - all his own work).

Nov 17, 2010, 2:12 pm

63, omg, it sound as if it is lucky the school is still standing. In the early 90s, we had to do a mandated clean up of all the science storage rooms and found materials that could easily have blown us all up. I'm surprised your chem teacher didn't cause some kind of catastrophe!

Edited: Nov 17, 2010, 2:23 pm

#64 - Well, I vaguely remember (this was forty-five-fifty years ago) him having his arm in bandages for a while after that - don't think he harmed anything or anyone else.

Nov 18, 2010, 11:05 pm

I am at the Jr. Beta State Covention with 18 8th grade students. We are spending the night!! HELP!!! Send PGGBs....fast!

Nov 19, 2010, 3:14 am

*pours...and pours...and pours...and pours...*

Nov 19, 2010, 8:19 am

oh, gosh, I hope GeorgiaDawn survived! 18 Eighth graders....a fate almost worse than death.

No, seriously....I'll bet it was seriously fun. A barrel of laughs if you can keep from crying.

Nov 19, 2010, 7:22 pm

We all made it home safely. There were about 6,000 middle school children in one place for two days. The students with me behaved and were where they needed to be on time. I am very proud, and exhausted!

Thanks for the PGGSs. :)

Nov 19, 2010, 7:39 pm

PGGBs? Heck, you need a massage. Call a pool boy over... :)

Nov 19, 2010, 7:39 pm

In the meantime,....I am going into the chat room, right now!

Nov 19, 2010, 8:27 pm

DrNewt - that's a wonderful idea!!

Oh, Pool Boy Johnny! Over here! **bats eyelashes**

Nov 20, 2010, 10:49 am

"I have a wedding dress and a prom gown for sale if interested in either one leave me a messeage i have picture of both of them on my profile on here u r more welcome to go their to look at the pictures of the dresses up their thanks for the wedding dress I'm asking $70.00 and for the prom gown $90.00 both are in execellent condition"

This entry is from a county online yard sale page on Facebook. When I clicked on her name to go to her profile, she had the following entry for her bio:


*shudder* It's no wonder I feel like my brain cells are shrinking with so many of the people I come into contact with. Shrinking and screaming bloody murder.

Two books I bought recently: by Lynne Truss, Talk to the Hand and Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

Nov 20, 2010, 10:32 pm

Today on my Facebook profile there was a notice from my high school group telling people that a certain person requesting friendship through that group was not really from our high school, but just wanted friends for FB games. It said you didn't have to feel guilty if you wanted to ignore her request.

There were two replies and they made me cringe and want to holler for my English teachers. Both asserting they went to our high school and how dare anyone consider being so mean to this girl. Anyway, the girl/woman is beside the point. The grammar of her two defenders was oh so very sad.

Edited: Nov 21, 2010, 9:29 am

MrsLee, the basic rules of grammar are all but ignored by so many! Even in math, I require some writing from time to time. These are some of the "words" I routinely find in the assignments.

prolly for probably
are for our
mines for mine
haft for have
there for their
mafs for math (yes....believe it or not!)

I even heard one of my brightest students refer to an escalator as an excavator and did not know why I was correcting her. I thought it was a slip, but she really thought it was an excavator. I know we live in the very deep south, but we do have escalators (and excavators)!!

Texting language used in writing for school drives me insane! I will give back the assignment and not grade it until it is corrected. I've also had students write "IDK" beside a multiple choice question.

Nov 21, 2010, 1:05 pm

My kids, esp. my 16 year old, use textspeak verbally all the time, but she can still write perfectly well when she wants to. I think that teens need help understanding when it is appropriate and when it's not. So few people seem to proofread before they hit that 'submit' button.

FYI, (can I say that here? JK!) I abbreviate when I text all the time. And on here, but when I do my book reviews, I try to be a little more formal.

Nov 21, 2010, 1:57 pm

I've had to proofread for friends and classmates. While my friends are fine (I hang out with geeks and am one, so I guess that shouldn't be too surprising) I am amazed at how poor some people's writing ability is, IN COLLEGE. I mean, by the time you're in college you've been writing papers for seven years (or at least I was) you would think this would have lead to some improvement. Were I a professor I would have handed back at least half the papers I've read and refused to grade them, simply because the person couldn't write coherently.

Nov 21, 2010, 6:05 pm

I think that teens need help understanding when it is appropriate and when it's not.

This is the key, as far as I'm concerned. I love the ingenuity and variability that you can have with text/online language, but convention says that you have to be able to be able to use your language in the right way, like not coming to class in your underwear.

Nov 21, 2010, 8:47 pm

I submitted a memo to my employer today to "proofread." She corrected my spelling of affidavit to affidavid. :)

Nov 21, 2010, 10:07 pm

that is the funniest thing i have seen for a while, bless them, u can tell that they are totally not intrested! how are children supposed to know what they want to do at that age, i have a friend who is a careers advisor, she asked a boy what he wanted to be and he sais a "porn star" what are you supposed to reply to that without laughing! lol xx

Nov 22, 2010, 7:24 am

#75 - I'm not well up on these acronyms that crop up and I had to google IDK (should have guessed, of course). But a secondary meaning I found was , 'I Don't Kare'. My mind is definitely boggling.

By the way, I'm surprised your list doesn't include 'of' for 'have' - as in 'I should of done it'. I see that online so often.

Nov 22, 2010, 10:31 am

Why teachers drink:
24 boys + fingerpaint

I'm still cleaning up paint from last Friday. It actually went surprisingly well. There was no paint on any clothing that I know of. This could have to do that I threatened to take away part of recess if they touched anyone else on purpose.

Nov 22, 2010, 5:23 pm

#79. OMG!

Nov 23, 2010, 2:53 pm

rankamature - I'm glad you mentioned "of" for "have." I have seen that! I listed ones that I thought of quickly. I'm sure we can all add to the list. Thanks!