Student: Will this be on the test?
Student: Then I’d better pay extra attention and learn it now, since I probably won’t get around to reviewing it later.
Teacher: Yes! Precisely.
Student: Also, I have an insightful, on-topic comment to share. But it’s very long, so feel free to sit down and finish your coffee.
Teacher: Oh, if you insist.
Student: For homework last night, you told us to do page 126, numbers 3 to 9. But there were no problems on page 126. They started on page 127.
Teacher: Ugh. So you’re telling me you didn’t do the homework.
Student: Of course I did! It was obvious what you meant.
Teacher: You’re right! It was.
Student: Why would I feign ignorance, just so that I could miss out on a night of learning and fall a day behind? The only time I’m that literal-minded is before starting a test, when I’m carefully reading every word of your directions.
Student: Why did I lose points on this question?
Teacher: Look, I’m not going to change your grade.
Student: Change it? I don’t care about my grade. I just want to learn from my mistakes.
Teacher: In that case, let me check it again… hmm… actually, you should’ve gotten full credit. I’ll adjust your score.
Student: Don’t bother. Updating your grade book is such a hassle. Instead, you can reward me by finishing that complex thought you had half-articulated when the bell rang.
Student: I have to miss class. Here’s a note.
Teacher: We’re taking a test today. You’ve known about this for weeks!
Student: But I’m not missing today’s class.
Teacher: [looks at note] You’re missing class four months from now?
Student: I’ll make sure to do the homework in advance and get the notes from a classmate. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience—as a gesture of my goodwill, here’s a hot latte and a croissant.
Student: Do you have extra copies of the syllabus?
Teacher: No! I told you the first day of class to keep it someplace safe.
Student: Right. I’m just letting you know I’ve made some spares. There’s one framed in my bedroom, obviously, plus I’ve been passed out annotated versions to my classmates. And I submitted it online for a “World’s Best Syllabus” contest, because you picked the best Far Side cartoons.
Teacher: I really did, didn’t I?
Student: What will happen if I use my cell phone in class?
Teacher: I will end you. End you.
Student: No, I mean, what will happen to my attention span and higher-order thinking abilities? I worry my generation’s overreliance on technology has stunted our growth—not just cognitively, but socially, ethically, even spiritually.
Teacher: Wow. That’s a great question. I think—wait, I should answer this text.
Student: Take your time. I’ll be here, pondering.
Student: This material is really interesting. Could you go into more detail?
Teacher: Nah, I’d rather not lead the whole class on a detour. And I didn’t prepare any other notes for that topic.
Student: But we all want to delve deeper, don’t we, guys? [other students shout enthusiastically] And we’re ahead of schedule. Can’t you improvise some facts off the top of your head? [others call, “Improvise! Improvise!”]
Teacher: I really can’t. I didn’t pay attention to that lecture in college.
Student: Oh. Why not?
Teacher: Why would I? The professor said it wasn’t going to be on the exam.