Thursday, December 1, 2016

Big Thirsty: Half Assed, Of Course...

I mentioned that titles with colons often were useful in providing a two level message. "Epilepsy: Treatment Options." "Youth Helmets: Protecting or Hurting?"

Then I got this one from a student this morning: "History of the NBA Colon All Of the History."

Q: What one student moment from the semester stupefies you the most?


  1. The student who asked to take the final early because the parentals had arranged a wonderful vacation, which sadly conflicts with the final exam. The best part was the deer-in-the-headlights look I was given when I replied "So you're asking me to do extra work so that you can go on vacation?". I have to admit that the resulting silence was it's own reward...

    1. I'm anxiously awaiting my call from the Office of Student Appeasement. (And a big thanks to Frankie for inventing/popularizing this wonderful term, and the books that contain it!)

    2. AAA, I'd love to take credit for the phrase, but the inimitable OPH originated it: .

  2. One (African-American, female) student referring to another (African-American, male) student as "nigga." Loudly. (She apologized when she saw the look on my face.)

  3. I led a discussion in a senior seminar course. The students were fun, curious, and smart. We got off on a philosophical tangent about science with lots of the class contributing to the discussion. It all ended when one kid raised his hand and asked, "Is this going to be on the test?" My mind shouted, It was beautiful and you killed it! The balloon deflated, the moment passed, we got back to work.

    It wasn't a bad question, just poorly timed. I get precious few of these experiences so I hate to see them smacked down like that.

  4. I think "It was beautiful and you killed it" could be the other tagline for this page.


  5. Unlike previous semesters, I haven't had a single, gob-smacking moment. The semester isn't over yet, though.

    So far, this semester has been more like a long, cruddy bout of diarrhea, on top of a hangover. Even if I hadn't stopped drinking, which is how you get hangovers, I'd still have the crud.

  6. I did have an angry mommy call me as I entered my office immediately after a class and complain that I must be a horrible poopiehead of a professor since precious snowflake was failing and it must be my fault. She read the mid term warnings that got sent out (even though they were addressed to Precious Snowflake) and stated that they must be incorrect. Snowy was miserably failing since s/he missed about 60% of the classes and had an average of about 18%, which was mentioned in the mid-term report. I stated that I could not discuss any of the info with her (FERPA, you know). She then started yelling again, and said that she KNEW my information was incorrect. In fact, she was going to get Snowy right now to verify it, since Snowy NEVER missed classes, and was in the kitchen eating breakfast. After informing her that the class of mine Snowy was in literally finished 5 minutes ago, right before she called, the line went silent, then dead. They live at least 40 minutes from the college.....Haven't seen or heard from either since....

  7. We spent three weeks reading several relatively short arguments which we then used to write a proposal on a topic related to the pieces we read. One student handed in his work and failed to use any of our sources. "I found my own," he said. Fortunately, he got to revise the piece. I told him up front that he needed to use our sources, the ones we had worked on, the ones that were relevant to the proposal he was writing. His revision included none of them, but he interviewed his mother, who "wrote proposals for a living in the 1980s." It was the most bizarre, illogical statement I have ever heard.

  8. I have a colon-in-titles related story just not from this semester.

    I mention the same point about colons being useful in two part titles in a writing session.

    A student from the biology department comes up afterwards and says "my essay's about plant science and plants don't have colons, so how do I get one into my title?"

    Listening is clearly a very complicated art...

    ==Grumpy Academic==


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