Everyone has had to endure being in a class with 'that' student. The one who thinks they know everything, or know frighteningly too little.
Here are twenty-one people's most memorable experiences with them.
Many thanks to the Reddit user who posed this question and to those who responded. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1/21. I'm taking a psychology class called Laughter and Humor, and one of the things we do every class is my prof calls up like 6 or 7 people to tell a joke and then discuss why it's funny.
There's this one kid who I knew from the very start was going to be a total douche bucket, because he kept trying to make our prof look like an idiot, even thought he failed miserably every time.
Anyway, about three weeks ago, his name gets called to go up and tell a joke. Instead of just telling a joke, he does about a minute of Bill Hicks stand-up, pretty much verbatim. Of course, his delivery is awkward, rushed and doesn't make any sense because he didn't set it up correctly. Then, he finishes abruptly, and before anyone can even fake an awkward laugh, he says "Crickets. Typical." and sits in his seat, as if we were collectively too stupid to get the joke.
Easily one of the most awkward parts of my college career thus far.
2/21. In my freshman world history class, we were talking about different government types across the world. We mention a few, then the teacher asks us to name countries and their governments.
One girl raises her hand and said "North Korea is a democracy!" The teacher asks where she got that idea, to which she responds "Oh, it's full name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea!"
3/21. In my International Studies class, there's this guy that just has to have an opinion on every single issue and he usually knows nothing about it.
For example, we were discussing the much-debated reasons for why the US decided to enter Iraq. He looks around and clears his throat as if to silence the room with wisdom: "If Iraq doesn't like being invaded, maybe they shouldn't fly planes into our buildings."
4/21. Well, there was that classmate who claimed to be related to the "King" of Japan.
But mostly I remember a Political Science class in which a really bright fellow student had a horrible stutter. It took him several minutes to get out a sentence, but he gave it his all. One day he said something rather controversial and a girl jumped up and blurted out, "That's easy for YOU to say!"
Pause a beat...everyone was on the floor laughing. Including the guy.
5/21. I went to a school that was preschool through high school all in one campus. This one girl was in my class from eight grade until senior year. She was always a bit of an oddball to put it lightly. In my senior English class, our teacher assigned a speech where we got to choose any one thing that we thought was interesting. I chose Kangaroo hunting because I had no idea there was a market for Kangaroo meat and it was interesting. That is neither here nor there.
This girl in my class was the type of person where her mother did most of her homework for her and everyone knew it (high school was 100 kids). She gets up and does a speech on the holocaust. This is fine because it was a big event. I don't mind the subject too much. What made it awkward and cringe worthy is that she asked if there were any Jewish kids in the audience. There was one. She asked him to come up and she held his hand as they lit a candle and turned off the lights. The kid felt awkward, I felt awkward, the whole class felt awkward. Then she held his hand and had a moment of silence for his ancestors. It was terribly awkward.
6/21. We were watching the Charlie Chaplin film, "The Great Dictator" and a girl stood up in the middle of class and stormed out. All while loudly protesting watching Nazi propoganda films starring Hitler.
7/21. The conspiracy theorist in a PoliSci class is always, without doubt, the worst possible classmate. We'd be talking about the Holocaust, and his hand would shoot up. We'd all cringe. 5 Minutes later we'd be hearing about Dick Cheney, Haliburton, Monsanto and the 9/11 setup. Somehow. Every class. Every imaginable topic was somehow related to that.
8/21. I had someone in my world literature class refuse to take tests because she was Jewish and said that we were all Christian idiots and that we had the history wrong.
She would always tell the professor that "Christians deserve to die" ... and everything, no matter what we were talking about, it would turn back to that. It was really confusing. I'm pretty sure she wasn't Jewish either.
9/21. In a history class some girl started laughing at a picture from the Holocaust. Professor promptly yelled at her and it was was awkward for the rest of the year in that class.
10/21. We were discussing jury selection in my criminal law class. Our professor was giving us hypothetical crimes and we had to pick desirable jury members for both the prosecution and defense.
The scenario we were given was as follows: "A college basketball star is charged with possession of marijuana."
This guy said: "Well I'd want a Black guy if I were the defense attorney. Black people love basketball and marijuana."
11/21. This was in high school, so most kids were pretty clueless back then, but this was inexcusable. This was in history class around the holiday season. The teacher asked if anyone knew what the Jewish version of Christmas was. This intelligent being raised his hand and answered, "the holocaust?".
12/21. One time a couple years ago I had a class where we were watching the film "Gangs of New York". Before the teacher started the movie a kid in my class asked, "Ohh, I think I've seen this. This is the movie where Abe Lincoln sells weed, right?"
13/21. While I was an undergrad at a public university, I enrolled in a "Modern Christian Thought" class that was excellent. It covered a range of contemporary issues that effected the development of contemporary Christian theology.
There was a mix of conservative and liberal students, but everyone got along fine, except for one student. He was ultra-conservative and truly did not understand why the class wasn't Sunday morning Bible study.
His objections grew more and more vocal in class. Once we were supposed to read from short essays that we wrote the night before. The student held up his paper that had two sentences on it and read, "I did not write anything on this assignment. I do not understand why we would have to do this."
Later, he just flat challenged the professor on all the class source materials and asked if she had read everything that was being cited in the books. She replied that a chemistry professor may not have done every single experiment mentioned in a textbook, but they can understand the overall line of research (or something close to that).
The student's argument got more and more heated until finally the professor stopped the conversation and asked him to meet her after class. I'm not sure what happened. It was past the date to drop the class without an academic penalty, but I don't remember ever seeing him come back.
14/21. In my biology class a girl raised her hand once and asked if we'd be able to physically see the letters (A's, T's, G's, and C's) on the DNA when we extract it from the strawberries. I'm in college.
15/21. Where it says: "Name", does that mean my name?
16/21. I had someone at my workplace tell me, "Water dehydrates the body." He elaborated this by stating, "Then why do athletes drink Gatorade and not water? Water doesn't have electrolytes which hydrate you."
17/21. Back when Felix Baumgartner jumped out of his balloon for Redbull, a girl in my class pulled up a picture of him breaking the sound barrier then asked me if this was him breaking the speed of light.
She then was completely confused when I said that it is impossible to move faster than light. This was all happening 2 days before our test on relativity. She is a mechanical engineering major.
18/21. College English class, the teacher mentions Rosa Parks. Girl interrupts him and goes "Rosa Parks is a real person? I mean, I know the Outkast song, but I didn't know that was, like, real." Then she proceeds to sing part of the song as the rest of the class gawked in disbelief.
Also, idiot co-worker asked an Indian co-worker if India had roads.
19/21. There is ALWAYS at least one of these people in every class I have ever taken, and I've taken a lot of classes (Grad student on my 7th year in college).
My favorite was "Destiny" who was in several psychology classes with me. She would interrupt constantly to ask the most ridiculous and unrelated questions in class. She seemed to have zero awareness of how awkward she was. During my psychology senior research class, she proposed a research project to interview very young children about their perceptions of sexuality and being gay because she was worried that songs like Katy Perry's "I kissed a girl" were turning children into lesbians.
The professor tried to explain to her why that wasn't an appropriate research project. I tried to explain to her why it was offensive to LGBT people. She refused to believe us and didn't give up on the project until the IRB rejected it.
Another one of my favorites was a guy in my spirituality and religion in counselling class (a totally optional course). He was an atheist and had obviously taken the class just to show everyone how much smarter he was than religious people.
I'm agnostic but never mentioned it in class because I didn't want to be associated with him. Every day was cringe-worthy.
Currently, the cringe-inducing student in my cohort is a girl spent a few years in Japan teaching English to students. Every damn day she raises her hand and begins with, "Well when I was in Japan..."
20/21. I took a lecture open to all grades my sophomore year of college dedicated to literature about war.
We were about to finish Saint Augustine after spending four classes on it. About midway through the final class on the text, a freshman raised his hand and said, "So wait. I'm a little confused. Was Saint Augustine religious at all?" The entire class suppressed laughter. The professor responded, "... Yes. Yes, I suppose you could say that."
21/21. One of my classmates in 8th grade was so dumb it was unbearable. She always asked questions that made me either hold back laughter or cringe such as: What's a knee? Africa is a State, right? and the worst by far: "What was 9/11? ...Oh wait that was that tower thing, right?
Bonus: I walked into class to see in giant letters the word "Idiot", I sat down and peered at the board until I asked the teacher why he had written "Eye-dee-ot" on the blackboard... It wasn't til everyone had finished laughing that I realised my mistake.