Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy General Holiday!

Student: Do you celebrate Christmas?
Me: Not really. My parents would get a tree and give presents, but it was more of a cultural thing.
Student: What are they?
Me: Buddhist.
Student: What do you celebrate?
Me: Nothing really.
Student: Well then, Happy Nothing!
Me: Thanks!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Not all-knowing.

Student: I don't get how you know like every word, but you can't pronounce some.
Me: I read a lot but didn't get to use the words. It's more common than you think. And it just seems like it should be ve-He-ment. I really want to pronounce that h.
Student: What's this word? Om-ni-see-ant?
Me: It's omniscient.
Student: Are you sure?
Me: . . .

Monday, December 13, 2010

Alumni or You're on it now!

Me: Hey! I started a blog. You are in it. Check it out.
Former Student: Awesome. . . Hey, that isn't how it happened!
Me: Scroll down.
Former Student: That's how it happened!
Former Student's Brother, Also a Former Student: Am I on your blog? I've said some funny shit.
Me: Your humor is hard to translate.
Former Student's Brother: True.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Baby Food.

Me: Baby corn. That's a weird snack.
Student: I like corn but I don't want to have to make it.
Me: Ok. Let's look at your essay . . .


Me: Baby carrots. You are on a baby roll.
Student: Yes. Next I'm going to eat babies.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

You know her, she's small and to the point.

Me: For the synonym of concise, you choose small.
Student: Yeah. Someone who is concise is direct; they don't use a lot of words. They use a small amount of words.
Me: Yes, but what is a better option here?
Student: Brief?
Me: Yes. You wouldn't call a concise person small, right? A small person could be verbose.
Student: You're small and to the point.
Me: True.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Greater than 4

Student: What is the probability of rolling a number greater than 4 on a standard die.
Me: Do you know how to do that?
Student: Yup. It's easy. Wait, does that include 4?
Me: I don't know, does it?
Student: Hm. . .
Me: Is 4 greater than 4?
Student: That's really deep.
Me: . . .
Student: No?
Me: Good.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Special Education

Student: My English teacher thinks I'm retarded.
Me: Why?
Student: I don't know. I got a B on my paper and she was like, that's great!
Me: Well. You are really goofy. That could come across as retarded.
Student: I can't help it. I'm . . .what's the word? Aloof?
Me: You are not aloof. You are the opposite of aloof.
Student: Can you be loof?
Me: . . .

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We are not friends.

Student: Do you have Facebook?
Me: I will not be your Facebook friend.
Student: But do you have it?
Me: No.
Student: You should get one. It's so fun. There are these games where you can send your friends. . .
Me: I know.
Student: How do you know?
Me: I am on Facebook.
Student: But you just said . . .
Me: I will not be your Facebook friend.
Student: Ok.

Monday, November 29, 2010

He can dance like her too.

Student's 1-yr old Brother: gaga gaga
Me: Hey! How you doing?
Student's 1-yr old Brother: gaga gaga!
Me: Do you mean Lady?
Nanny: He loves Lady Gaga.
Me: Can you sing?
Student's 1-yr old Brother: Alejandro! Alejandro!
Me: That is excellent!
Student's 1-yr old Brother: Alejandro! Alejandro!
Student: Hey Ky. Quiet down there little man.
Student's 1-yr old Brother: Alejandro! Alejandro!
Me: I think that was my fault.
Student's 1-yr old Brother: [escorted out by nanny] Alejandro! Alejandro!

Friday, November 26, 2010

No need to look behind the curtain.

Me: Quit stalling. I need you to do these two pages.
Student: But wait, I was telling you a story.
Me: I'm going to time you.
Student: . . .
Me: . . .
Student: What happens if I don't do it?
Me: . .
Student: . . .
Me: Nothing. You are first student who has figured that out. Normally, when students see me take out my iPhone timer, they just do the problems.
Student: Haha! I'm not going to do it.
Me: Fine. I'll tell your mom.
Student: Ok. I'll do it. . . . . Hey, turn off the timer.
Me: No.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

He knows 5 ways to kill you with a gum wrapper.

Student: I like your pen.
Me: You can have it.
Student: Awesome! I love this type of pen. I can shoot people.
Me: . . .
Student: You take out the coil and you can use it to . . .
Me: Please don't shoot anyone with that pen.
Student: Ok. I could use it as a blow dart. I would just empty the barrel and blow into it.
Me: For when you are attacked by aborigines at school? You can't have the pen.
Student: Oh, come on!
Me: You just told me two different ways you . . .
Student: There are three.
Me: I am taking back the pen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What else can we get them to do?

Student: Did you make this review sheet?
Me: No, it was made by monkeys. Or robots.
Student: Or robot monkeys!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If I say it is 7, can we stop this? Part 2

Student: I want to help you find your favorite number. I'll say a word and you say the first number that comes into your head.
Me: Ok.
Student: What is your favorite food?
Me: 20.
Student: That was just a question. Ok. Bubbles.
Me: 0
Student: . . .
Me: How about I give you a problem and you say the right answer when it pops into your head.
Student: Fine.

Monday, November 22, 2010

My favorite number is irrational.

Student: Do you have a favorite number?
Me: Not really.
Student: How come you don't have a favorite number? You are a math tutor.
Me: I don't know. I just don't.
Student: My favorite number is 57.
Me: That is very specific.
Student: It's been my favorite number since I was 5.
Me: Really?
Student: You need a favorite number. You need to find your inner you, find your inner number.
Me: . . .

Friday, November 19, 2010

This would be weird if she weren't 5.

Student: Tehee tehee. Ha ha ha ha.
Me: Oh, you've got the giggles. Is it time to shake them out?
Student: Yes!
Me & Student: [shake] Teehee. Ha ha. Tee hee. [shake]
Student: Ok. I'm serious now.
Me: Hehee he.
Student. Ha ha. Tehee. Now you've given me the giggles! We have to do it again!
Me: Haha. Ok.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Too Many Chinese!!! Part 2

Student's Brother: We are going to order some food. Do you want to stay for dinner?
Me: Sure, what are you going to order?
Student's Brother: Here are the menus: Mexican, Indian . . .
Me: Hm . . what else?
Student's Brother: Thai . . . Chinese
Student: I don't want Chinese.
Me: Cuz you hate the Chinese.
Student: I don't hate the Chinese!
Me: Too many Chinese!
Student: I don't.
Student's Brother: . . .
Me: How about Indian?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soy sauce runs in her veins.

Student: Kyyyyyyy! I can't believe you wrote "too many Chinese" when I was talking about the population explosion on my study guide.
Me: That's what you said. I was just typing.
Student: I handed it in to my teacher! She'll think I'm racist.
Me: Just tell her your tutor is Chinese. It'll be fine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Guitar Villain

Me: Do you know what callous means?
Student: Like the callouses on your hands?
Me: Yup. Nice association. It also means emotionally calloused, like unfeeling.
Student: Yeah, I was thinking of when I get callouses from playing too much guitar hero.
Me: . . .

Monday, November 15, 2010

And then sometimes I just sit there.

Me: Don't forget to . . .
Student: I got this!
Me: Ok, I was just going to say . . .
Student: It's B.
Me: That's right.
Student: I'm doing really well so far.
Me: I guess my work here is done.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lazy Liar.

Me: Indolent means lazy. Can you think of a person you know who is indolent?
Student: My brother! He lied and said he couldn't take me to school, but it was really because he was lazy.
Me: Ok. Your brother was indolent about taking you to school.


Me: What does indolent mean?
Student: Indolent means . . . don't tell me!!
Me: . . .
Student: Indolent . . .
Me: Who did we say was indolent?
Student: My brother! So it means a liar!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

There are no words.

Me: You used good and bad a lot in your essay, so let's make a list of words you can use to replace them.
Student: Ok.
Me: Do you know any synonyms for bad?
Student: Abysmal?
Me: Really?
Student: What?
Me: You had abysmal in your head this whole time and you used bad instead?
Student: That's pretty abysmal, huh?
Me: Exactly.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Next time, ask him to throw a stapler.

Student: How did I do on my practice test?
Me: You did well on everything except the reading comp.
Student: Oh. I was distracted. Three of my friends were there.
Me: That makes sense. This passage though, you did really well.
Student: I remember that passage. That was when my friend threw a pencil at me.
Me: . . .
Student: Maybe I can get him to throw pencils at me during the test.
Me: That seems like a perfectly reasonable strategy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not just any prosaic word.

Student: I used one of our vocab words yesterday in school!
Me: That's awesome. Which word?
Student: Prosaic. I just added it nonchalantly into my sentence. Aren't you impressed?
Me: I'm more impressed that you just used nonchalantly.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Math Masochist.

Student: Why are these problems so hard? Why are you doooing this to me?
Me: You asked me to.
Student: But these are especially mean.
Me: You asked for them.
Student: So mean.
Me: Do you want a safe word?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kit for Kat.

Me: Do this page.
Student: I'll do it if you me a Kit Kat.
Me: I don't have Kit Kat's.
Student: I do.
Me: Ok. Do this page and give me a Kit Kat.
Student: That isn't good for me.
Me: Ok then, how about just do this page.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Young Dali.

Me: Why are you drawing a mustache on yourself?
Student: I'm going to say it was you.
Me: No one is going to believe that.
Student: Grandpa, look what Ky did to me!
Student's Grandpa: [passing through] It's an improvement.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Language Fowl.

Me: Amiable.
Student: Friendly.
Student: Honest.
Me: Paltry.
Student: Chicken.
Me: That would be poultry.
Student: Oh, then meager.

Monday, November 1, 2010

1/2 (v+u) = there is a limit to my knowledge.

Student: I have Physics homework.
Me: Oh. That's the one subject I can't do. I can get you a Physics tutor.
Student: No. Can't you learn it like you learned Algebra II for me.
Me: No, I relearned Algebra II. That's different. I never took Physics.
Student: You'll just look at the chapter and be fine.
Me: Ok, fine. So problem number 1. Hm . . . How long does it take an object to accelerate . . What is acceleration?
Student: . . .
Me: Oh, here it is. The first bolded term in chapter 1.
Student: . . .
Me: So the formula you would have to use . . .
Student: Can I get a Physics tutor?
Me: Yes.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Next thing you know, the Avaricious will move in and ruin the neighborhood.

Student: Avaricious is the noun of avarice, right?
Me: Avarice is the noun.
Student: Then what is avaricious?
Me: Something that you just made up.
Student: No, it's a word.
Me: Yeah, it is a word. It's an adjective.
Student: Adjectives are words too. Don't be racist.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On your test, don't forget to decimate!

Student: What does decimation mean?
Me: Do you know what decimate means?
Student: Yes.
Me: What is it?
Student: When you put a number into decimals.
Me: Yes, but only if you then completely destroy it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Cuz we all look the same.

Student: But that clearly doesn't apply to you because you are Korean.
Me: I'm not Korean.
Student: I thought you were Korean.
Me: We do this every week. I'm not Korean.
Student: I thought you were. You are, aren't you?
Me: Still not Korean.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Student: Evade means to sidestep?
Me: A better definition is . . . I can't think of the word. What's another word for duck?
Student: The animal?
Me: To avoid. Evade also means to avoid.
Student: I thought you meant the animal.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dumb Models.

Me: So after Dalton's solid atom and Thomson's discovery of electrons, it was Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment. What did he discover?
Student: He found that the atom was mostly empty space and that there was a positive nucleus and then Bohr said there were electron orbitals.
Me: Fixed orbitals, but yes.
Student: But that is wrong.
Me: Yes, we now know it is an electron cloud.
Student: Dalton's model is the lamest.
Me: . . .
Student: All he said is that things are made up of tiny invisible dots. Thanks a lot Dalton.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My dream is get a yacht, for ocean.

Me: You answered box is to storage as hat is to head. What was your sentence?
Student: You put storage in a box like . . .
Me: You put a head into a hat? It's not quite the same.
Student: No.
Me: How about a box is used for storage . . .
Student: As a boat is used for ocean. That's the answer!
Me: Really? Like, why did you buy that boat? Oh, you know, for ocean.
Student: Ok, that's not it.
Me: What are you doing this weekend? Oh, my friends and I rented a boat for ocean.
Student: The answer is C, car is used for transportation.
Me: What is your greatest passion? I have a passion for ocean.
Student: I get it.
Me: Ok. The next one is ridicule is to tease . . .

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I have taught him too well.

Me: Auspicious
Student: Promising.
Me: Right. Conspicuous.
Student: Obvious.
Me: Good. Meretricious.
Student: Falsely attractive.
Me: Yup. Flippant.
Student: . . .
Me: What does flippant mean?
Student: . . .
Me: Are you thinking? What are you looking at?
Student: . . .
Me: Oh, I get it. Nice.

Friday, October 22, 2010

To his credit, we were discussing Chemistry.

Me: You see how we need to know the speed of light to figure out frequency when given a wavelength.
Student: Totes my goats. You know what happened in soccer today? I'm getting tested for ADD.
Me: You might have ADD.
Student: Today, I couldn't run at all during soccer. Which is weird, because I work out all the time. But my hammy gave out and it is still sore.
Me: Hmm. . . I don't think that is a symptom of ADD.
Student: No, it's not, but watch this hilarious video on YouTube.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I think Jay-Z wrote a song about that.

Me: Hey.
Student: 'Sup.
Me: I like your do0-rag.
Student: [nods]
Me: White is a good color on you.
Student: I'm going to get dreads.
Me: Yeah, that is usually a good idea for a 12-year old.
Student: My mom said I could.
Me: Is that Dre's autobiography?
Student: Best rapper ever. It's all about the hood.
Me: By hood, do you mean your brownstone off Park Avenue?
Student: Hood is a frame of mind.
Me: Word.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Incognito 2.0.

Me: Right. And where does the decimal go?
Student: Between the 0 and 9?
Me: Yup.
Student: A decimal is so lame.
Me: Why?
Student: It's just a wanna be period.
Me: Yeah. I can see that. The poor decimal with dreams of one day becoming a period.
Student: Yeah!
Me: It should give up.
Student: Yeah.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

He thought he was applying to UC San Quentin.

Student: So I don't have to be accurate in the SAT Essay?
Me: Nope.
Student: I could say Crime and Punishment was written by Jane Austen in 1980 and is about a boy on his raft with a runaway slave.
Me: Yup.
Student: What if I write something untrue about me? Is it legally binding?
Me: What do you mean?
Student: What if I wrote that I killed someone. Could they use it against me?
Me: You want to write a confession as your SAT Essay?
Student: What if I did, what would happen?
Me: You would get a zero for being off topic.
Student: But could it be used in court against me?
Me: Let me rephrase. You are forbidden to confess to murder in your SAT Essay.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trapped in a Stairwell Part III of XII

Student: Wait, I want to show you something.
Me: What? The elevator's here.
Student: This is the stairwell that I locked the other tutors in.
Me: Haha. That isn't funny.
Student: Do you want to see it?
Me: Nay.
Student: Come on, I won't lock you in.
Me: Not falling for it.
Student: Just for a second, I promise.
Me: Nope.
Student: It's pretty cool in there.
Me: No.
Elevator: Ding!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Me: Articulate means . . .
Student: Articulate means, wait, wait, I know this, don't tell me.
Me: . . .
Student: Don't tell me!!
Me: . . .
Student: Articulate means . . . to talk!
Me: Talk how?
Student: Talk good.
Me: Close enough.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Do not try to kaholay me.

Student: Kaholay means . . .
Me: The word is cajole.
Student: Oh. It would be kaholay in Spanish.
Me: Yes.
Student: Kaholay means to urge, right?
Me: It's still cajole.
Student: I like kaholay better.
Me: Yeah.

Friday, October 15, 2010

If the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus board trains moving in the opposite direction . . .

Me: Since there is 10th grade math on the test, I'm just going to review what you need to know to answer the questions but not really explain much because you'll get it all more in depth in 10th grade.
Student: Ok.
Me: Ok! First is SOHCAHTOA.
Student: What? That just sounded like you spoke another language.
Me: It's trig. I'll explain. SOH stands for sine over . . . . . . and you see, it's all based on right triangles.
Student: Ok?
Me: Ok, now combinations and permutations . . . . . . . and then you divide by 5 times all the numbers below five. It's called factorial and it is noted by !.
Student: You're making this up.
Me: I swear I'm not. Now imaginary numbers.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Who would appreciate this besides W.C. Williams?

Me: Beside means next to and besides means except for or in addition to.
Student: Like I don't like vegetables besides spinach?
Me: Yup. And so much depends upon a red wheel barrow, glazed with rain, beside the white chickens.
Student: . . .
Me: Let's move on to affect and effect.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm pretty sure this won't be on the test.

Student: You know who's fast?
Me: . . .
Student: Kenyans. They could give me an hour head start and I'd still lose. Do you know why?
Me: . . .
Student: Because they're Kenyans.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

But how does she feel about Post-its?

Me: Ambivalent means unsure. What would your sentence be?
Student: I am ambivalent what time the game is tomorrow.
Me: No, it is more about feelings. Like, I'm ambivalent about the movie. The trailers are bad, but the reviews are good, so I'm unsure about it.
Student: I am ambivalent when the baby is going to be due.
Me: Try again.
Student: I am ambivalent if my brother likes the movie.
Me: It's more about your feelings.
Student: I'm ambivalent about glue.
Me: Glue?
Student: Yes, glue. It's good because it makes stuff sticky but it gets all over the place. I'm unsure about it.
Me: Ok, yes. You are ambivalent about glue.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Me: Endure means to put up with. For example, let's say your brother told a really long story and you didn't . . .
Student: But I like my brother's stories!
Me: Ok, let's say you are watching a sports game with your dad and you didn't . . .
Student: But my dad never watches t.v. with us!
Me: Ok, let's say your mom takes you shopping and you don't . .
Student: I love shopping with my mom!
Me: Ok, you do not like hypothetical situations. You cannot endure hypothetical situations. Does that make sense?
Student: Yes!

Barnyard Math

Me: You have a Problem Of the Week?
Student: Yeah, this is our POW.
Me: I really like POWs, actually.
Student: That’s nice, Ky.
Me: I said POW.
Student: Oh, I thought you said cow.
Me: I know.
Student: I thought that was random.
Me: Yeah.

Sounds like a Math Monster.

Student: I tried to write slope y and wrote slopey.
Me: . . .