Childhood misconceptions

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Giant Speck
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Giant Speck » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:20 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:The Ukraine independence thing... I mean, that did happen in '91, so there is that...

The rest of it, though... what the hell?

I was in the tenth grade in 2003. There is no excuse for a geography teacher in 2003 to not recognize that a country became independent twelve years earlier.

The guy was a complete moron. For the first twenty minutes of the forty-five minute class, he'd lecture us about his left-wing opinions and his hatred for then-President George Bush instead of actually teaching us anything. Then he'd sit in the back of the class for the remaining twenty five minutes while we did bookwork.

For about a week, we had to sit through class and watch a stupid "documentary" about how aliens and Atlanteans assisted with the building of the pyramids in Egypt.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:17 am UTC

Yeah, okay, nevermind. Moron.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby the_bandersnatch » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:49 pm UTC

Burning wrote:I remember being told my Scottish relatives were coming over to visit and thinking I wouldn't be able to communicate with them. Because, of course, only people from the United States can speak English.


Hell, I'm from near the Scottish border and I have trouble communicating with the Scots sometimes - you ever heard a strong Glasgae accent? :wink:
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Giant Speck » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:23 pm UTC

Giant Speck wrote:The guy was a complete moron. For the first twenty minutes of the forty-five minute class, he'd lecture us about his left-wing opinions and his hatred for then-President George Bush instead of actually teaching us anything. Then he'd sit in the back of the class for the remaining twenty five minutes while we did bookwork.

I totally wasn't trying to associate liberals with morons. The first sentence is mismatched with the rest of the paragraph. Oops.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby BoomFrog » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:16 am UTC

Giant Speck wrote:I totally wasn't trying to associate liberals with morons. The first sentence is mismatched with the rest of the paragraph. Oops.
Any teacher should be trying to stay impartial. give students facts and encourage critical thinking. Any teacher who "rants" is doing it wrong.

That is a really awful teacher. You may want to check to see if he's still teaching and try to get him fired.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Giant Speck » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:43 am UTC

BoomFrog wrote:
Giant Speck wrote:I totally wasn't trying to associate liberals with morons. The first sentence is mismatched with the rest of the paragraph. Oops.
Any teacher should be trying to stay impartial. give students facts and encourage critical thinking. Any teacher who "rants" is doing it wrong.

That is a really awful teacher. You may want to check to see if he's still teaching and try to get him fired.

Well, it's been about seven years since I was in his class, and he was pretty old, so it wouldn't surprise me if he already retired.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Von Haus » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:48 pm UTC

BoomFrog wrote:That is a really awful teacher. You may want to check to see if he's still teaching and try to get him fired better trained.

I mean seriously? "Oh, this guy isn't perfect let's fire him, fuck up his life and add massive extra costs to the school for having to advertise and interview for a new teacher" Or you know, they could train him, point out to him any mistakes he was making and make him a better teacher.
The whole "get them fired" attitude comes up way too often and really grates with me.

It focuses on punishment for a problem rather than for trying to sort out the problem, people wanting revenge rather than improvement, and that rubbish goes a lot further than just the concept of firing people.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Sosekopp » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:35 pm UTC

When I was about 9 years old, I thought rape was some kind of violent harakiri-ish ritual old men enjoyed doing on children.

I also though sperm cells were small insects who would fly out from the man's penis and into the woman's stomach (no sex and removal of clothing required), where it would find a egg cell and then a baby would start to grow. Most of the time, this would happen to married couples, but some sperm cells had an impaired sense of direction and could impregnate the wrong person.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby folkhero » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:39 pm UTC

Von Haus wrote:
BoomFrog wrote:That is a really awful teacher. You may want to check to see if he's still teaching and try to get him fired better trained.

I mean seriously? "Oh, this guy isn't perfect let's fire him, fuck up his life and add massive extra costs to the school for having to advertise and interview for a new teacher" Or you know, they could train him, point out to him any mistakes he was making and make him a better teacher.
The whole "get them fired" attitude comes up way too often and really grates with me.

It focuses on punishment for a problem rather than for trying to sort out the problem, people wanting revenge rather than improvement, and that rubbish goes a lot further than just the concept of firing people.

If a high school teacher was spending a large portion of class time going on political rants, it's not a minor issue of poor training and innocent mistakes, it's an issue of dumbfuckery and assholeishness. If someone really thinks that that might be a proper way to run a geography class, I wouldn't want my children in his class even if he did get some sort of "don't spend half of the class going on political rants" training.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby legopelle » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:44 pm UTC

Giant Speck wrote:I totally wasn't trying to associate liberals with morons.

But left-wing still qualifies? :)

We had a stand-in when I was fifteen who seriously thought Texas was a country and USA was a continent. She wasn't teaching geography, but that's still a pretty severe error.
Our history teacher at the same time didn't know we had walked on the moon multiple times. Really.

When I was a kid, I thought every frame in 3d-games were pre-rendered and really 2d-games in disguise. :?
Last edited by legopelle on Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:36 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby folkhero » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:13 pm UTC

legopelle wrote:When I was a kid, I thought every frame in 3d-games where pre-rendered and really 2d-games in disguise. :?

That's nothing, when I was a kid, I thought that games like Doom had every single possible frame pre-drawn, and the game's job was to put them in the right order depending on what the player did.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Sosekopp » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

legopelle wrote:We had a stand-in when I was fifteen who seriously thought Texas was a country and USA was a continent. She wasn't teaching geography, but that's still a pretty severe error.
Our history teacher at the same time didn't know we had walked on the moon multiple times. Really.

Wat? :shock:
And I who was shocked when one of my teachers in primary school denied that Swaziland was an independent nation. :P

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Magnanimous » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:01 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:
legopelle wrote:When I was a kid, I thought every frame in 3d-games where pre-rendered and really 2d-games in disguise. :?

That's nothing, when I was a kid, I thought that games like Doom had every single possible frame pre-drawn, and the game's job was to put them in the right order depending on what the player did.

Me too. :| And I once tried to make a game that way. It took ages.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby legopelle » Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:37 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:
legopelle wrote:When I was a kid, I thought every frame in 3d-games were pre-rendered and really 2d-games in disguise. :?

That's nothing, when I was a kid, I thought that games like Doom had every single possible frame pre-drawn, and the game's job was to put them in the right order depending on what the player did.

That's what I meant, sorry. :?
Good to know I wasn't alone.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby KestrelLowing » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:56 pm UTC

Despite living quite close to Detroit, I had never seen a Black person until I was about 3. I saw one and I asked my mom why his skin was so dark. She tried to explain it in the evolutionary since - that Black skin was advantageous because their ancestors lived in a sunny place and their skin was better for sun. I didn't quite grasp the 'ancestor' part and believed that you could become Black if you just stood in the sun for a long time. After all, you got tan if you were in the sun for a day!

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:12 pm UTC

Had a teacher, while I was in Germany, who swore up and down that Spanish was the normal language of Americans, and I couldn't be American, because I spoke English with a slight Irish/British accent.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Oregonaut wrote:Had a teacher, while I was in Germany, who swore up and down that Spanish was the normal language of Americans
Sí, lo es.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Oregonaut » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:25 pm UTC

I wish I knew enough Spanish back then to reply to the teacher like that. Hell, I wish I knew enough German to get across to her in her native language that she was a dunce.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby legopelle » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:34 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:Despite living quite close to Detroit, I had never seen a Black person until I was about 3. I saw one and I asked my mom why his skin was so dark. She tried to explain it in the evolutionary since - that Black skin was advantageous because their ancestors lived in a sunny place and their skin was better for sun. I didn't quite grasp the 'ancestor' part and believed that you could become Black if you just stood in the sun for a long time. After all, you got tan if you were in the sun for a day!
My mother told me what my first reaction to Muslims where: "Are they going to a masquerade?". That's not even half as bas as my little sister, who started to cry.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby TheStrongest » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:24 am UTC

Learning how to pray like a good little Catholic boy...

I thought the Holy Spirit was the "Hallway Spirit" and thus prayed towards the hallway every evening. My mother never bothered to correct me because she was in stitches when I first said it.

Also, when I was little, I went to the hospital to receive a treatment via enema. Every time they tried to use it I screamed "THE ENEMY!!!"

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Little Richie » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:32 pm UTC

When I was younger I thought you created STD's by having sex.
I (growing up in a catholic school) also thought , that babies were made by kneeling. I knew the biology, but sex was never taught.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby KrO2 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:41 am UTC

I thought if you jumped off someplace high enough, you'd eventually displace enough air to balance out your weight and you'd stop falling. But then I couldn't explain why, if you let something sink in water, it always goes all the way down.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby ashtraygirl » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:02 pm UTC

Add me to the Disney thing, except I always saw it as '4isnep'. I couldn't figure out for the longest time why that squiggle was used as a logo. I just didn't read it as the word Disney at all.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Hope_ » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:06 pm UTC

I always thought the D in 'Disney' was an E and yet I knew it was called Disney, I could never work out why they wrote it as an E.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Oregonaut » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:11 pm UTC

Eisner. You were seeing that it was Eisney, which is one step closer to him pre-empting Uncle Walt.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Hoopla » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:48 am UTC

Wow. I hadn't even heard of most of these until now. The only childhood misconceptions I ever had was a series having to do with Parmesan cheese. Only having heard of cheddar and Leiden cheese, I thought that it must be farmer John cheese. It was obviously grown (idk) by him on his farm outside our town in Iowa. this got confusing when we moved to the USVI, but only after we moved back to Iowa and then to Maryland was I corrected. Of course, I misheard it as "permanent" cheese, which, of course, lasted forever.

The only reason I don't have any sex misconceptions is that when I was 8, I watched a romantic comedy from the stairs, and my parents didn't realize that I was there. Cue 8 year old asking my biologist dad what they were doing: "they were having sex, which is a thing people do with their privates for fun and for babies. You shouldn't do it until you're older though." Me: "Okay."

Another reason for so few misconceptions: both of my parents have Ph.d.s, and so value education, and leftmallmthe wild stories to my crazy Dutch grandfather.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Giant Speck » Thu May 24, 2012 9:25 am UTC

Wow. it's been over a year since anyone has posted in this thread.

I thought of one the other day. When I was a kid, I thought any configuration of three or more motorcycle riders was called "Hell's Angels". I also was not aware at the time that the Hell's Angels were an organized crime syndicate.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby AvatarIII » Thu May 24, 2012 11:47 am UTC

That you could feasibly get a cab ride from Philadelphia to Bel-Air. Thanks to the edited down version of the title sequence of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SirBryghtside » Thu May 24, 2012 3:13 pm UTC

When I played Pokémon as a kid, I thought that the random encounters and AI were directly controlled by Nintendo. As in, they had a link to my GameBoy at all times and were pushing a button to make a wild Ledian appear. I even had the master console they used for this mapped out in my head :P
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby cemper93 » Thu May 24, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

Despite living quite close to Detroit, I had never seen a Black person until I was about 3.

About the same for me (I live in Germany). The first time I saw a black person I was on the tram, being hold by my mother, and the person in question was sitting opposite to us. I did just stare at him for like 2 minutes and my mother started to grow quite uncomfortable, sending apologizing glances toward him.

I, however, was very surprised when she asked me to stop staring. I totally couldn't comprehend why she would not want me to look at this fantastic creature. After having thought about it for a moment, I figured my mother simply didn't know what was sitting there. To educate her, I pointed at the great attraction and exclaimed: "Mama. Ape!"

When I played Pokémon as a kid, I thought that the random encounters and AI were directly controlled by Nintendo. As in, they had a link to my GameBoy at all times and were pushing a button to make a wild Ledian appear. I even had the master console they used for this mapped out in my head

Actually, my friends and me had figured out that it was just a game. However, we had quite some interesting theories regarding Missing No (yay for Edition Red/Blue). First, we (not actually speaking English) would always pronounce his (because obviously he was the Pokemon god!) name "Misses Singo". Second, we had all kinds of crude fears of him messing up our game states. We had figured that meeting him could destroy your save state (it had happened to one of us), which was the starting point for our wild theorizing. One theory was that if you used him in a fight over a Link Cable, he would make all your Pokemon disobey you, forever. But what we feared even more was the effect of actually sending him over a Link Cable: Not only would it mess up the game of the recipient so that it could never be played again, but it would also destroy his Game Boy and therefore (because he has no Game Boy to reside in) he would crawl back into the Link Cable and reside in it, eternally damnated and eternally damnating the Link Cable as well, so that if you should ever again use this Link Cable for sharing Pokemon, the modules of the sender and of the recipient would get destroyed by his wrath.

Coming to think of it, we were pretty creative children.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby TimelordSimone » Thu May 24, 2012 8:00 pm UTC

cemper93 wrote:Stuff about Missingno

I thought this thread was for misconceptions? :P

Edit to add: I totally also did the thing with Disney, where I just couldn't see the D as a D, but it didn't really look like any other letter to me. The vertical line seemed completely superfluous, and it looked backwards somehow, and I just couldn't see it as a D.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby KrO2 » Thu May 24, 2012 10:05 pm UTC

One of my favorite misconceptions: I had just heard that if an object displaces enough fluid, the buoyancy cancels out the weight. Since this was in a science book for kids, it described displacement as the amount of fluid that had to move out of the way. Sounds pretty good so far, right? Well, I misinterpreted that to mean that if you drop a rock off a tall enough cliff, it will eventually move enough air and stop falling. So there must not be any tall enough cliffs, or you'd see rocks floating in midair.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby SirBryghtside » Thu May 24, 2012 10:26 pm UTC

cemper93 wrote:
*snip*

That's amazing! I used to make... strange theories about things all the time - I once found an American Yu-Gi-Oh card on the floor, and while I can't remember the exact details, I know I had a very tight grip on my (metaphorical) tinfoil hat.

Just remembered another one too - in a car with my parents, saw one of those height barriers you see outside of car parks. So I asked my dad what it was.

"What do you think it is, Tom?"

*pause*

"Is it the height of the smallest thief's car?"
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Arisu » Fri May 25, 2012 2:31 am UTC

I used to believe that the loser in the American presidential election would get the death penalty.
I remember being worried about Al Gore, because he lost and I liked him.
And not being an American, I kept believing this until I was 10 or so, I mean, why else would you even have a death penalty?

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Magnanimous » Fri May 25, 2012 3:10 am UTC

I used to think Barq's root beer was Barg's. It took about twelve years for me to hear someone say "Barq's", and I felt rather stupid.

And in elementary school, I once vehemently argued that humans have one kidney and two livers. Oof.

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby Deva » Fri May 25, 2012 3:48 am UTC

Recalls one from preschool. Believed that people turned to stone upon death. Treated statues normally, however. Must have distinguished between corpse statues and artificial statues. Expected more reverence around corpse statues, probably. May have been the material also. Imagined the same stone as most tombstones.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby pseudoidiot » Fri May 25, 2012 3:54 am UTC

You know those disposable cups you usually get at fast food places that would have the spots in the lid you could press down for coke/diet coke or whatever (I don't know if they're very common anymore).

Anyhow, when I was a kid I was convinced those little buttons on the lid really meant something. And I'd always feel like a rebel by pressing down all of them, because I felt like I was confusing some system somewhere, so they wouldn't know what I was actually drinking.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby AvatarIII » Fri May 25, 2012 1:28 pm UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:You know those disposable cups you usually get at fast food places that would have the spots in the lid you could press down for coke/diet coke or whatever (I don't know if they're very common anymore).

Anyhow, when I was a kid I was convinced those little buttons on the lid really meant something. And I'd always feel like a rebel by pressing down all of them, because I felt like I was confusing some system somewhere, so they wouldn't know what I was actually drinking.


as far as I know those are as common as they ever were,

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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby pseudoidiot » Fri May 25, 2012 1:29 pm UTC

I wasn't sure. I realized as I was typing that I don't pay attention to those cups anymore, so I didn't know if it was still a thing.
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Re: Childhood misconceptions

Postby AvatarIII » Fri May 25, 2012 1:41 pm UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:I wasn't sure. I realized as I was typing that I don't pay attention to those cups anymore, so I didn't know if it was still a thing.


I guess it's possible that there are different lids in the US as in Europe, I generally get fast food once a month or so and still always get those lids, I guess there's an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" policy on fast food cup lids.


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