Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Phrases you do not want to see on a syllabus. From MAaM!

You may have seen the joke about putting things like "and I am not afraid to go back to prison!" on your syllabus.  What other phrases do you not want to see on a syllabus?  A few suggestions….

1. The Aristocrats!

2. Remember, it is required that you bring a condom or diaphragm to every meeting with the professor.

3. Finally, by taking this class you agree that you have sold your soul to Satan for all eternity.

4. Survivors of the lab section will receive an extra 10 points towards their final grade.

5. Required Books: Necronomicon Ex-Mortis

6. All students must bring proof of American citizenship to the first class, unless you're white.

7. Students must agree not to reveal lecture contents to law enforcement authorities.

8. Please remember not to get too emotionally attached to your lab partner.


10. Please list your next of kin in the order they are to be contacted.

11. Any student agreeing to be the professor's friend will get an A.

12. Everyone has somebody that they want to put out of the way. Oh now surely, you're not going to tell me that there hasn't been a time that you didn't want to dispose of someone. Your parents, for instance?

13. Required monthly one on one meetings with the professor will be held in the gym shower room.

14. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

15. The final exam may continue questions taken from the following material: the textbook, lectures, online readings, and what the voices in my head tell me to ask.

16. Please ignore the man with the tranquilizer gun sitting in the back. The TA has "issues" and the man is there for your protection.

17. I have found that the Roman policy of decimation really improves class participation, therefore…

18. Your thesis defense is based on one simple rule, two students enter, one student leaves.

19. While most English composition classes do not have loose tarantulas wandering the classroom, the professor feels….

20. You know what I think? I think that we're all in our private traps, clamped in them, and none of us can ever get out. We scratch and we claw, but only at the air, only at each other, and for all of it, we never budge an inch.

(bonus points if you ID the five movies I quoted/borrowed from)

- Middle-Aged and Morose


  1. "The Aristocrats!"

    Immediately burst out laughing. Greeeaaaaat start.

    Point number Four reminded me of a chemistry teacher in high school who would extol us to sit in the front row with the following logic:

    "Guys, if you're in the first row and something goes on, guess what: Instant death. Completely painless. Second row? You suffer. It's slow. Super unpleasant. Third row? Maimed for life. Your mothers won't be able to look at you and nobody will ever love you. And the fourth row has to clean it all up."

  2. That's a damn fine list. Aristocrats is a strong lead. Here are my own:

    Punishments will be halved if the offense is funny enough to post on College Misery.

    Do you feel how heart my fast is beating?

    Please like me on Facebook!

    1. Terry P. shout out. Stellar. You and must be that post's biggest fans, after Terry himself of course.

    2. Okay, I never heard of "The Aristocrats!" before. Just listened to the Gilbert Gottfried version on youtube. Good Lord, that's quite something... but not something for while you're having your evening cup tea.

    3. Fab, yeah, I think it's one of the best.

      Prof. P., there's a documentary about that joke. Worth your time but um, NSFW. Hell, it's not safe for a lot of places.

  3. 21. These aren't the grades you're looking for.

  4. 22. Remember to read every statement in this syllabus.
    23. First person to read this and run up to the front, jump up and down and yell "I'm an integral! I'm an integral!" is guaranteed at least an A in the course.
    24. There is no number 24.
    25. The most important rule of the syllabus is that you don't talk about the syllabus.
    26. Ignore number 23.

  5. Students must abide by the honor code. Students who fail to do so will be required to duel on the college quad at dawn. Professor picks the weapons. [Actually, if they noticed this one, they might think it was cool -- Hamilton associations and all that].

  6. Totally putting #14 in there, and I'm not even joking.

    1. #14 is the default placeholder text when I create a new page in the CMS at my joint. I can probably find the citation somewhere; I looked it up once. In my youth I might have even read the work it came from, in its original.

  7. "So, we're going to find out whether these seat cushions really do float..."

  8. I'll chase the bonus points.

    1. The Aristocrats
    9. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Valkyrie, Raiders of the Lost Ark
    12. Strangers on a Train
    18. Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
    20. Psycho

    That's seven. Do I get extra bonus points?

    1. sorry, you missed one. and #9 was not a movie quote. the rest are correct...

    2. I take that back, #9 was a movie quote. But from "Triumph of the Will" ;)

  9. If you don't pay attention to what I teach you, all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.