Dedicated to providing information for learning assistance professionals.
By Barbara McLay, University of South Florida
Sometimes You Have to Laugh
When I was an undergrad at USF, you either had to pass a swimming test,
swimming the length and back in an Olympic-size pool, or take a PE swimming
course and learn four strokes. I could barely dog-paddle, so I had to
take the course. I never did learn to do the breast stroke and so was
prepared to fail the course and suffer through it again the next semester.
During the final exam, I competently used the other three strokes to
get across the pool—sidestroke, backstroke, crawl—and left
the one I could not do to last. I was at the starting point, debating
whether to climb out and confess or to risk to drowning and humiliation,
but a loud clap of thunder saved me. The instructor said, "Okay,
everybody out of the pool! Barb, you pass; the rest of you come back
tomorrow to do your tests!"
To pay for graduate school, I was teaching a freshman level writing course in the evenings and substitute teaching on days I did not have to attend classes. One substitute teaching experience was so amazing that I told my writing class about it:
I did not know that I had been called to teach a special education
class, but when I got to the school, the principal and I encountered
a young man in the hallway and he introduced us. “John, this is
Mr. McLay. He’s going to be your teacher today. “
“Yeah,” answered John, hanging his head.
“Mr. McLay doesn’t know how smart you are, John. Why don’t
you tell him the square root of 2025?”
“Forty-five,” John answered immediately in a bored voice.
I certainly can’t do square roots in my head, but I could multiply
and know that he was correct.
The principal had John do a couple more square roots, and then asked
me, “When were you born, Mr. McLay?”
“December 1, 1969,” I told him.
“Monday,” John muttered without hesitation. I was flabbergasted!
This is an almost impossible calculation to do without a computer.
At this point in my story to my writing class, a young woman exclaimed
incredulously, “You were born in the sixties?”
Please share with us your funny classroom experiences or faux pas from students’ papers. Send contributions to email@example.com. Please put “LCN Humor” as the subject.
Information :: Feedback
:: About the Authors :: Subscription
Information :: Submission
Site Last Updated September 28, 2006.
Sponsored By AccuTrack and NCLCA