Monday, June 6, 2011

Square peg, round hole.

Student: I don't understand this mess.
Me: You have to first complete the square to get the equation of a circle.
Student: There has to be a life lesson in there somewhere.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tutor Dynasty

Student: Have you seen Step-Brothers?
Me: No, you ask me that every week. Can we focus?
Student: It's so funny. I'm going to keep asking until you see it.
Me: Focus.
Student: Have you seen the Tudors?
Me: Really?
Student: Gosh, I was only asking you a question. I can't ask questions?
Me: I might have to hurt you.
Student: Ok, ok. I'll do the problem.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monarch of Math

Student: So here, can I just divide everything by 7?
Me: No, you cannot divide under the square root sign.
Student: Do not tell me what I can and cannot do.

Monday, May 16, 2011

He clearly does not understand the gravity of the question.

Me: Well, technically, scientists haven't proven that gravity exists.
Student: [drops pencil] There just I just proved it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Philosophy 101

Me: Hey, can I use your iPhone charger? My phone's gonna die.
Student: We are all gonna die.
Me: . . . .

Monday, May 2, 2011

Closer to the Sun

Student: I dropped a cashew.
Me: I see it. I'll get it later, just finish this problem.


Student: I dropped my pencil.
Me: I'll get it. Here, use mine.
Student: Where'd it go?
Me: It's next to the cashew.
Student: Oh, I see it. It's closer to your chair than to the cashew.
Me: Really? Well, you could do that with anything. The pencil is closer to the cashew than the sun.
Student: Everything is closer to the cashew than it is to the sun! The people in China are closer to the cashew than they are to the sun.
Me: Haha. True.
Student: The moon is closer to the cashew than to the sun!
Me: Look. I've thrown the cashew away. Can we do this math now?
Student: Mars is closer to the cashew than it is to the sun.
Me: Yes. Ok. Let's move on.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Student: . . . the citizens' were then able to voice their unrest.
Me: Use discontent. You can't really voice unrest.
Student: Sure you can. I am unrested. I have not rested. I am voicing my unrest.
Me: That doesn't work.
Student: Ok.

Monday, April 18, 2011

He speaks with applebomb.

Me: Which two you were down to?
Student: Well, I didn't know what applebomb meant but I figured it was bad. You know an apple bomb. That would be bad.
Me: Apple bomb? Really? The word is aplomb.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fake Functions*

x \oplus \!\, y = (x+y)², find 5 \oplus \!\, 3

Student: What is this thing?
Me: Don't freak out. The symbol just tells you there is a relationship between x and y and it tells you what it is. You just plug the numbers in.
Student: First there are letters, and then there are symbols? What's next? Sounds?
Me: Like ding dong equals 15?
Student: And dong equals 5
Me: What is ding?
Student: 3!
Me: Nice.

*Knowledge of made up math required to understand this post.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Me: Ok. The problem is: Expand (2x +1)(x-1). What do you do?
Student: You have to FOIL, obviously.
Me: Yup.
Student: . . . It's 2x^2 -x -1. Did you just see that? I was mentally FOILing. I was moiling.

Monday, March 28, 2011

So awkward.

Student: When we are done, I'm going to read this GQ magazine so hard.
Me: That is really awkward phrasing.
Student: Haha. I'm going to take this test tomorrow so hard.
Me: . . .
Student: I am going to eat this tangerine so hard.
Me: I really wish you would stop that.
Student: I'm going to use this phrase so hard.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Balkans

Me: Balk.
Student: [makes a face]
Me: You have to be more specific.
Student: Disbelief.
Me: Good.
Student: Do you know where that word comes from?
Me: . . .
Student: It is from the Balkans. People looked at it and went [makes same face].
Me: . . .

Monday, March 14, 2011

Physically Challenged 5

Me: What is this? Is that a 5 or a - 5?
Student: Kyyyy! Isn't that obvious? The answer is clearly 5. It's just slanting all the way so it looks messed up 5.
Me: Really? Cuz it looks like you wrote - 5.
Student: Obviously, I got it right.
Me: How about this one? You wrote - 18.
Student: . . . Oh. No, no, no. The answer is - 22. Are you blind, Ky? I clearly wrote - 22.
[erases old answer and writes new answer]
Me: That was a really terrible 22. It looked like an 18.
Student: I almost tried that on my teacher today.
Me: That would be a bad idea.
Student: Yeah.

Monday, March 7, 2011

This one's for you Snide Elliot

Student: Airooditay.
Me: It's erudite.
Student: No, it's airodiatay. Its rhymes with crudite.
Me: What does it mean?
Student: Well-educated.
Me: . . .

Monday, February 28, 2011

I'll upbraid you.

Me: Sanctimonious
Student: Hoity toity . . .
Me: . . .
Student: . . . piety
Me: . . . Ok, close enough. Upbraid.
Student: It's how my mom wears her hair. She wears it up in a braid, an upbraid.
Me: Really?
Student: It's really pretty, in an upbraid.
Me: No.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I was going to say Democratic-Republican, but that works.

Me: So you remember the difference between Jefferson and Hamilton? We talked about it last week.
Student: Yes, Hamilton was a . . . Federalist?
Me: Yup. And he promoted a strong federal government, while Jefferson was for state's rights. But then he did that Louisiana Purchase thing which was against his ideals as . . . what was it that he was?
Student: An Anti-Federalist?
Me: Right, but there is a word.
Student: Hypocrite?

Monday, February 14, 2011

We are not pleased!

Student: I haven't edited this paper at all.
Me: Ok, let's see. . . . . hm . . . Galileo was executed because the Church was not pleased with his heresy. Really?
Student: What?
Me: Who talks like that? It is like the royal we. I am not pleased with this sentence.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I, give, up.

Me: Do you know what waive means?
Student: Like when you see someone on the street?
Me: That is w-a-v-e. This is with an i.
Student: Like when you waive your rights?
Me: Exactly. Give up.
Student: [writes on card]
Me: It's "give up", not "give, up"

Monday, January 31, 2011

I might as well add dreads.

Nanny: The little one told me I had to see the Rastafarian hat you made.
Me: It's a rainbow hat!
Nanny: She thought you'd been to Jamaica.
Me: No, see it has blue on it.
Nanny: But your missing the indigo or violet.
Me: They didn't have any at the store.
Nanny: The red, green and yellow make it look Jamaican.
Me: You're ruining my hat.
Nanny: Ok, I'll leave you to it then.

Monday, January 24, 2011

He does math on the path to the bath.

Me: So we should do the word problems and then you'll be done.
Student: Ok. A stone is thrown from a throne at home -
Me: Really?
Student: No. A stone is thrown from a window 12 feet from the ground . . .
Me: Nice.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Student: I stole this pen. I have this weird thing where I only steal pens.
Me: Yeah. I was like that in high school with chapstick.
Student: Really?
Me: Yeah, I would only steal chapstick. Sometimes I still do.
Student: I was kidding. I didn't steal this pen.
Me: Oh. . .
Student: . . .
Me: Me too.
Student: Awkward.
Me: Yeah.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Student: Hokay. Takiteas!
Me: I haven't said anything.
Student: Takiteas!
Me: What's your answer?
Student: -8
Me: Hm. . . Fine.
Student: You know, when you say "fine", what you mean is "right".
Me: Takiteas.
Student: You know it's true.
Me: Fine.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In bad taste.

Me: What does ostentatious mean?
Student: Bad tasting.
Me: Not quite. The definition is gaudy, in bad taste.
Student: That's what I said.
Me: There is a difference. A dress can be in bad taste but not necessarily bad tasting.
Student: Oh.
Me: Yes.