Today, I had the dumbest argument with a student. I put a two part journal question on the board and made sure to explain that the students had to answer both parts. My no-exceptions journal requirement is 1/2 page of writing. (As you read this, remember, I teach high school).
Student: Does each question need to be half of a page?
Me: No. Just 1/2 page total.
Student: So? A full page?
Me: No. The total you need to write for the two is 1/2 page.
Student: How about you just tell me how many sentences to write for each question.
Me: I don't care. I just need you to write a total of 1/2 of a page.
Student: So, I need to write a full page? (I thought at this point he was kidding, but he was not)
Me: No. Just 1/2 page. (At this point even other kids are trying to help me) Is part of this unclear? I'm not sure what you're missing. I just need you to write 1/2 of a page.
Student: Why are you calling me stupid? Why can't you just tell me what you want??
Me: I just want 1/2 of a page.
Student then screams and bangs his forehead on his desk.