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Here is another post on the "What Riles My Shizz Up" series:

People.  Who.  Cannot.  Follow.  Directions.

I am serious.  This is one of those things that I find astounding, not because I haven’t ever done it before because I have.  I mean, I think everyone has flouted a rule or skipped over directions at some point in time.  For instance, and this could be the reason I am not the best cook ever, I love reading over recipes and then conveniently "skipping" or "re-adapting" the parts that I don’t want to bother with.  The fact that later I whine and kvetch about how my stuff doesn’t really sound like the recipe is pure comedy gold.  And to be fair to myself, sometimes my substitutions do pay off and I do get something nice and tasty out of the deal.

But I do mean the people who, given a set of directions, seem to understand that they are required to do something… but they do something completely different and act as though THAT was what was expected of them.  So when you take a look at what they have done, you have to stop and backtrack and doubt yourself because it really is just not matching in your mind.  Because what they have done is just…. well, it’s more than incorrect: it’s creative in the wrong way.  As in people who drive down the street the wrong way and instead of sheepishly stopping and realizing the error of their ways, they give you the finger and honk at you and look at you in such a manner that you realize they want you DEAD, wrong way.

I remember a particularly good –albeit stunningly bizarre– example of this:

I gave out a pop quiz on… something, a long time ago.  It was a very simple and (I thought) straightforward piece of paper with five questions.  Question #3 asked the quiz-taker to please draw some conclusions from the results of some experiment and back up those conclusions.

So you can imagine my total puzzlement when, upon grading the quizzes, I received several forms with elaborate –if crudely elementary– drawings with stick figures.  The stick figures seemed to be very busy.  A few were hard at thought and yet a few others had little conversation globes hovering above their heads, relaying… something.  One of them had a few panels.  Alas, none of them really made sense.

When I asked one of the, er, "artistic" students why on earth he’d doodled over a good portion of his quiz, he looked at me blankly and then pointed out that "well, you asked me to DRAW."

Draw, indeed.

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This entry was published on March 15, 2007 at 4:05 pm and is filed under Schoolmarmish. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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