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Poking idiots in the eye since 2002
...it's mocktacular!
The recent misspelled name post reminded me of this gem. Lets go… 
30th-Jul-2008 05:47 pm
The recent misspelled name post reminded me of this gem.

Lets go back 20 some-odd years to kindergarden. We were learning how to write our names. My name is spelled Jaime, as opposed to Jamie. Not only did the teacher tell my I was spelling my name wrong, she called my parents and threatened to fail me because I refused to spell my name Jamie. When my parents told her my name is in fact spelled Jaime, she refused to listen. She even took the time to yell at my parents and tell them they were wrong for teaching me to read and write before kindergarden(both activities that I loved to do when I was that young). The teacher then told the principal that my parents were undermining her teachings and filed a complaint with the superintendent of the district. This resulted in a meeting between the super, my parents, and the teacher. All was resolved when my parents showed my birth certificate that in fact had my name spelled Jaime.

It boggles my mind that the teacher had to go that far just to be told by her bosses' boss I had in fact been spelling my own name right. Then to tell my parents it was wrong to teach me basic reading and writing? I mean come on. Seriously.
31st-Jul-2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
I was once hauled into the principal's office, with the principal, vice principal, both my parents, the head of the social studies dept, my US history teacher, the head of the Talented & Gifted program, and the school counselor because I had, on purpose, written a ninth page to what was supposed to be an 8-page paper. It was apparently, in my teacher's eyes, a vicious act of rebellion.


I did that once, and the teacher only asked me to explain why I didn't restrict myself into the page limit. I explained that given her font size and spacing requirement, I would have to remove necessary paragraphs that would have resulted in an answer that I felt was less than complete. She docked me a *single* point (99%, woo~) for not following instructions.

The next time she assigned us work (which qualified as our final exam), it had a page minimum of 12 pages and maximum of 35. I submitted twelve pages of text, three of hand-drawn illustration, and scrambled to put it all together in a folder. The rest of my year level were telling me I was going to majestically fail the subject. The day we turned in our work, she sprang on us a quiz "write a summary of your research topic answer in 3 minutes." Exactly 3 minutes later, she told us to stop and submit our work, regardless of whether or not it was complete.

I discovered that day that the lazier students, who submitted 35 pages of research paper with color printed illustrations and hardbound work had hired and paid for someone else to do the research, write it up and bind it. They could not answer the quiz - and the quiz was what the teacher ultimately based their grades on, as she had been warned beforehand that some students did this. It was totally beyond my comprehension that anyone would do that. The ones who turned in nonsensical answers failed the exam (though, not the grade in some cases.)
31st-Jul-2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
That's actually a really awesome idea!
31st-Jul-2008 03:02 pm (UTC)
He never bothered to talk to me about it, EVER. He immediately went to the principal, who immediately went to my parents. It was my parents who told me I was in trouble, not the teacher!
31st-Jul-2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
That reminds me of the English teacher I had in high school. I had, by sheer dint of the fact that I spoke nothing but English and the whole faculty knew this, was one of the students who could be counted to give proper pronunciation and use of words, grammar, etc. in English, not to mention the schoolwide reputation of being hardcore nerds who were always, always reading. This teacher, who was brought in to replace the English teacher who was taking a year's sabbatical, refused to use English in the classroom in teaching. She also displayed a horrible inability to use the language - she would give us five words, usually three nouns, a single adjective and a verb, and tell us to write five sentences using only those five words. I shit you not. Oh, and 'don't use the same words the same way twice.' The students who bullshitted her with fake sentences that weren't even real English, got the good grades. Because I was consistently failing her 'assignments', she decreed that I needed remedial English classes.

The whole faculty came down on her like a ton of bricks when they found out (which was a scene straight out of a comedy in of itself - my two other friends who also spoke English like natives, asked me if I'd also gotten told I needed remedial English. The Science teacher, who was the teacher in the anecdote above, and the algebra teacher who was also several shades of awesome, overheard. They grabbed the lot of us and marched us to the faculty room, and exclaimed in tones of shock, that the three of us were being told to take...remedial English. The principal apparently, took the teacher to his office and told her that my friends and I liked to read dictionaries for fun, and could be tasked to write anything under the sun, and she was told that we were to be removed from her 'remedial classes' unless I was the one to teach it. The principal then asked us - alone - to give examples of her work. And was horrified to find out that she didn't use English in teaching...English.

The English teacher, humiliated, tried to get me in trouble. She reported me as having used obscene language while on the school grounds, and my parents were summoned. Like you, I wasn't even aware I was in trouble until I saw my parents appear in school. My friends and I passed them from where they were sitting in the library, and for the first time ever we heard the English teacher speaking in straight English, and she was haranguing my parents about my 'attitude'. We went to the very far end of the library to find some books we needed for a different class, when we heard the teacher say in loud, sanctimonious tones "I have it on the best of authority that your daughter was heard calling someone 'stupid'!"

My dad replied "But 'stupid' is not a swear word. It is an adjective. If she was describing someone as stupid, it means that -" and he deliberately dumbed down his English "the person she was describing is not very intelligent." He then proceeded to give her several examples of the word 'stupid' in a sentence, ending it with "This is a stupid waste of time."

The librarian burst out laughing, and the teacher - who was completely unaware she'd just been insulted, thanked them for coming, and then left. Later, my Dad said "If you were calling her stupid, I'd agree. But you shouldn't show your disrespect for the teacher, she's still the teacher." My friends actually said that we were calling her assignments stupid, not her. On the way out, we saw the teacher with the school tattletale. The teacher was fired soon after that because she apparently violated a lot of rules in the disciplinary hierarchy to get my parents to come in, along with other reasons. One of the maths teachers, Mr. Cruz, was tasked to teach the rest of the school year. The students who had been used to sucking up to the bad English teacher to get good grades found themselves in a lot of trouble gradewise.

Looking back, I only had a few bad teachers. It was generally my fellow students who made my life hell...
31st-Jul-2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
That right there is total awesome.
31st-Jul-2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
Most of my high school and college teachers were total awesome. The few bad apples never lasted beyond the school year. The English teacher in the story and the Chemistry teacher, who was a rabid Seventh Day Adventist (Well, that's what he claimed to be, I have no idea what Seventh Day Adventists are really like) who used his class as an excuse to try convert people and pass out those little pamphlet comics were the worst in high school (the chem teacher got sacked when a parent complained to the school that her son, who was brainwashed, literally, by said teacher, was terrorizing them at home with condemnations that the mother and his younger sister were going to hell for the sin of Eve or something equally insane. I think the school pushed to have that teacher's license revoked.) First and second year high school was... stormy, to say the least, thanks to those two teachers...

The professor who gave me a lower grade because I destroyed all her idealistic imaginings about Socialist society (I lived in East Berlin as a kid) AND because I wasn't into her brand of rabid, man-hating feminazism was the most pathetic one in college, but the actual cake goes to the Statistics professor who took extra pleasure in informing me that I wasn't going to graduate because I failed her exams - the last semester where thesis also figured in (I wasn't good at rote formula memorization, and this professor wanted us to memorize what the other teachers were allowing students to use notecards for). This was the school year where a thief had stolen all our tuition money the day before enrollment. (We suspected it was our relative, but we never had proof, and we never told my Dad, who had scraped together all the funds he could to send us to school. We pawned a lot of jewelry; most were heirlooms from my grandmother but came up a kid's tuition short.) It was my friends from abroad who sent me to school (I was intending to drop out that semester and they wouldn't let me.) and I only remember things going dark. My classmates later said I was found in the stairwell leading up to the roof, crying. My department head was utterly livid when she found out; she got even madder when she found out I'd failed the exam by half a point. She filed a complaint against the teacher and the teacher was made to give make up finals for all the students who failed the exams by a point or two, AND to allow the use of formula notes. The math teacher's marriage, apparently, was going badly, and she was taking out her rage on a number of students. I graduated.
31st-Jul-2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
I don't know... While that's a really clever way to weed out the cheaters who were paying someone else to do their research papers, I would have been really irritated if one of my teachers pulled that after I went to the trouble of writing a 12+ page research paper and drawing illustrations and diagrams and whatnot, when all she really wanted was a three-minute essay. That would feel like a major waste of time and effort on my part, and like she was penalizing the students who actually did the work.
31st-Jul-2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
The ones who didn't do the work couldn't answer at all. As in, these people didn't even read the research papers they didn't write (and most of them had picked the topic of the fruit fly's DNA...something.) The ones who did, were able to answer even giving just a short description. One student had something like "The fruit flys DNA is easily infected by bacteriums." And nothing else. The rest of the cheaters' answers were as bad.
1st-Aug-2008 03:01 am (UTC)
I get that. I understand why it was effective in weeding out the ones who cheated by having someone else write their papers. I'm just saying that if I were one of the kids who DID write their own papers, I'd feel like I'd wasted a lot of effort on something that the teacher wasn't even going to bother looking at, and thus would be pretty pissed.
1st-Aug-2008 03:38 am (UTC)
Well, the thing was the cheaters were sure they'd get really good grades; the ones who actually went and sweated over the work felt very cheated, since none of our presentations looked as shiny. There was one student though who wanted her work to look as shiny as the cheaters; but since she showed she knew what her report was about, her report was graded properly (she got a 95% - she messed up on some scientific terminology I think, since that was the only spelling that the teacher would grade on as it was relevant to the class). The essay weeding only showed who actually did the work - and their papers were graded properly. As I recall, a lot of the students were relieved that the weeding out occurred.
2nd-Aug-2008 03:46 am (UTC)
so if a cheater handed in a 35-page, thorough paper with no spelling or grammatical errors that was very informative, the paper would be given a high grade... until the cheater proved that he didn't even read the paper, let alone write it. then that high mark became a zero.
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