Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Duck Liveth

Some comments indicated concern over the well-being of the duck, which may or may not have been targeted for duck stew.

First, shame on those who would think of such a thing.

It is the duck.

Second, you'll be pleased to know:

"Drunken Duck Lover Jumps in Raging Flood Waters, Forgetting Toddler on Shore"

The duck is safe and sound.


Hi CM.

I've been around since about the beginning. I've never posted before, but I sometimes comment and I always read.

I'm a proffie at a large public college in New Jersey. Thankfully my town was spared the worst of Hurricane Sandy, and our power was only off for about 18 hours.

Now, in response to many friends and colleagues around the country, I'm letting everyone know how great I think the Red Cross is. (I know RYS and CM have a history of donating money to the organization).

If you want to help the folks on the eastern seaboard who need help, I believe the best and fastest way to do it is through the Red Cross.

You can send money by going to this site.

Or you can Text REDCROSS to 90999 on your mobile phone. That automatically will add $10 to your mobile bill.

I feel unbelievably fortunate that nobody in my circle of colleagues or family were hurt. Some of them were evacuated. Some have moved in with family and friends (two of my colleagues are in my guest room!). But others were not so fortunate, and the efforts to clean up this state and others is just starting.

Forgive me, because I know everyone has causes they believe in, but I'm grateful the mods have let me share mine.

Yours in (relative) academic misery,
Kimmie of the Kensington Kimmies

Not Really A Thirsty

This isn't really a thirsty so I added a pic of one of the compound's alpacas which Fab can work his graphical magic on.

Have you ever been tempted to answer a long email full of excuses from a student with a  simple "tl:dr"?  (sigh)

How's This? Of Course We Could Have Made it in Photoshop, Too. I Mean, If We're The Only Ones Reading and Writing, Then We've Just Challenged Ourselves For Proof Of Something We Already Faked and Wrote and Read Later On. Oh, It's Dark.

Speedy Rant: Midterm Warnings

I have learned a valuable lesson.  When a student doesn't show up for the first eight weeks, and you call his coach and financial aid and they contact him, and he comes to see you and promises that he will attend every future class and submit all the late work and so on . . . that means that he'll show up for a week, submit one hastily scratched out assignment, and then disappear forever.

Why, then, do I bother with midterm grade warnings?  Students who have made it a habit of never doing the work will not easily break that habit.  One warning and a stern talking to will not do it.  Failing the class will.  Retention is bullshit.  We shouldn't be trying to retain them, but get rid of them.  Those students without the necessary habits of mind to succeed are a drain on the resources of the university, not an investment.  

Alternately, we could train them in those habits of mind.  That's the route the more compassionate and less annoyed part of me would prefer.  But try suggesting that one at a faculty meeting or to an administrator.  

Real Goddamned Mail. Everyone Is Satisfied!

  • I hate to complain, but when you posted my article last week you gave it a title that I think undercut the whole point of what I was trying to say. I should have given it a title I suppose, but if you couldn't have thought up a better one than you did, I expected you to contact me for my input. And the graphic didn't even make sense given the story. I know most of you work on a volunteer basis, but I'd think one of you could pay a bit more attention to bringing these posts to the blog in a more professional manner.
  • Why do you let Xxxxxxxxxx comment so much. He/she goes on at such length that I'm unable to scroll fast enough to get past all the drivel. Is he/she one of the inner circle or something? Any other moderator would cut that shit off.
  • I don't believe you've had 4.5 million hits. There's never any content to read except student editorials from Podunk U or whatever.
  • Sometimes I can't log in on my iPad. Could you let me know if anyone else is having that trouble? And can you ask other iPad users if they've had luck using a proxy server through Safari? I would like the text on the mobile version of the page be larger, too, because half the time I read the blog on my iPhone 5. Could you re-set the settings to what they were a few months back when the text looked better to me?

How To Quit Caffeine And Not Fail Out Of College. From the Boston University "Quad."

By Emily Payne

Like many college students, I like to think of myself as a coffee aficionado. I’m the classic highly caffeinated procrastinator–the I’ll-sleep-when-I’m-old kind of student. As fun as a starving, sleep-deprived, and stressed-out college life may be, this level of caffeine dependency can get pretty unhealthy. So, I’ve decided to give it up.

Now, I fully expect to fall back into my old habits. I have enough self-awareness to know that this can’t last. But I do take pride in knowing how to get rid of those withdrawal headaches and somehow stay awake for an entire lecture without the boost of caffeine. I’ve done it before. It isn’t easy, but with some determination and the right tricks it is entirely possible to quite caffeine. Here’s how to keep the energy up without that wonderful drug!

1. Work out, or at least get moving

2. Drink tea

3. Eat more, smaller meals

4. Stretch while you read

5. Avoid sugary foods

6. Think about all of this

7. Get Sick


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Early Thirsty. We're Guessing Eddie's Fucked. What Do You Think?

Today in class we had a clicker quiz. There were a couple of questions that a few students got wrong; a couple of the more vocal ones insisted that their (wrong) answer was correct. I reminded them that, as always, if they could email me after class with evidence from the textbook supporting their answer, I would give them the point.

Conveniently for them, the associated page number was displayed on the overhead along with the correct answer. As this was an open-note test, all they had to do was jot down the question and the page number to refer to later.


Apparently, one of my students wrote down the page numbers but forgot to write down the questions.

So right after class he sent me this email:

Hi Dr. Clicker,
Would you be able to send the questions that we could write an appeal to on page 227 and 298? 
Entitled Eddie

Q: Fellow Miserians, what would you do?

Overemphasizing the Liberal Arts. From The Dartmouth.

By Chandrasekar Ramesh

While most countries begin specialization early in high school, the United States has a unique tradition in liberal arts education. In India, students begin to specialize in their “plus two” years, the equivalent of their junior and senior years of high school. Based on the track they choose, they apply to colleges for a specific program. Computer science majors would not take any literature courses, and business students would not take biology classes. Most proponents of the liberal arts argue that a well-rounded education provides broader tools to tackle a wide range of problems, and, presumably, such personal development also plays a crucial role in happiness.

However, from an employment perspective, a liberal arts education is disastrous. With 53 percent of all college graduates under the age of 25 unemployed or severely underemployed, this economy does not offer the luxury of postponing specialization until graduate school. According to Payscale, the top 10 schools with the best starting salaries were all technical schools, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology and Loma Linda University topping the list. Many students know from the beginning that they want to pursue a field in a hard science, and for them the “liberal arts” education is nothing but an obstacle. As these fields have shown, solving specialized, narrow problems is incredibly valuable, if not more valuable than solving broad, wide-ranging problems.


Missing Mike deserves his own post… you’ll see why. From Atua Bear.

I teach/lead a discussion section for lower-division basket weaving. We are five weeks into the quarter, and I noticed that Missing Mike had all zeros for discussion attendance and quizzes. The days and quizzes missed amount to 6% of his grade thus far. So, I shoot missing mike an email, reminding missing mike to drop the class and discussion section (thinking he forgot to drop), so that he does not get a bad grade on his transcript. Missing mike replies:

What do you mean that I'm enrolled in your section? And i have been to class and was planning on continuing to take it? I have missed a few lectures but I think I'll be able to still get a good grade and pass the class. Unless I've missed too many classes and won't be able to pass due to attendance. sorry for the confusion, I'm just not sure exactly what you mean.

I kindly responded to Missing Mike letting him know that it is mandatory to attend section with a TA. I inquire as to which section he has been attending and he replies:

oh my god! wow, I had no idea about the discussion! Is it too late now? Is there any way I can still take this class and pass? Because i really need this class! Or is there an attendance policy with the discussions and I've already missed too many? Now that i know I'd definitely be at all future discussions. Thank you for your help!

It’s not too late, and, of course, I tell him that. But, what really floors me is that he managed to get this far without piecing the puzzle together. The professor mentions in every lecture that this and that will be further discussed in section with your TA. I have sent out clarification emails to my sections to clear up any potential confusion from that day’s discussion (who the hell did he think I was?!). And, I even sent out the syllabus, via email, before the quarter began. The professor’s syllabus also mentions that section is worth 10% of their grade and briefly addresses what section is in the syllabus. The students are even required to write their TA’s name and section number on top of the quizzes, but, of course, nothing from missing mike. I just don’t understand how missing mike could have missed all these hints. Lecture has met three times a week for five weeks, so I am at a loss for words…

Maybe it’s because he’s a freshman? Maybe he’s lying? Maybe he doesn’t care? I suppose his nickname is indicative of the situation: because he has “missed a few lectures,” he missed all the hints. I hope to see Missing Mike this week, but, if he is still MIA, then I shall report back.

Monday, October 29, 2012

UPDATE: Papa Paul

So there is SOME justice in this world. A while ago I blogged about Papa Paul and his excuses. Turns out that Papa Paul has yet to login to his two online classes that began two weeks ago. Students have been communicating with him and requesting information and help, and when no response came, they contacted the chair. The chair asked IT to check on this. IT says Papa Paul has not logged in once to the Portal-Magic-Online-Hole to teach his online classes, although Papa Paul has spent considerable time on Facebook.

Papa Paul is not getting his contract renewed for next year.

And guess who is NOT taking over Papa Paul's online classes.

Why Are Parents of Toddlers Automatically Exempt?

Mama's little
get-out-of subbing
magical charm!
My first post to this blog was about colleagues who are parents and the demands they make about their schedules based on needing to accommodate junior's needs. This entry is not about the demands parents make, but about demands (not) made on parents because my chair thinks they are already inconvenienced enough by their toddlers and first-graders that work shouldn't be another inconvenience.

I'm in a small department at a SLAC. We only have but so many people to go around, and with many of us in our 30s and 40s, this means a fair number are 'with child,' so to speak. When one of us is absent (for whatever reason: a broken leg, a broken car, a hurricane in the East that grounded planes, a hospitalized spouse, a sick self, a teething baby), we cover for each other if the absence is likely to be longer than one class period.

Parents aren't even asked to cover for missing colleagues. And my child-free/spouse-free colleagues; they have NO excuse. And while I'm restricting this entry to their not having to cover for a (missing) colleague, they're also exempted from certain weekend activities, having to clean up after departmental outings, exempted from campus meetings after 4 p.m., exempted from having to advise students (it's a longer list than I'm including here, but I'm tired of it).

In no way am I saying that parents have it easy; we don't. And it's not the fact that the parents have a child that is bothering me this time; it's that my chair doesn't even consider them a viable option to cover for a missing colleague. They aren't even given the opportunity to feel guilty about having to say no. They're just automatically exempt in the eyes of our chair. This leaves the rest of us, those without young children, having to:

(a) feel like an asshole because we're just too damned tired (or selfish) to even contemplate covering someone else's classes when we barely made it through our own;
(b) scramble to change our schedules to cover someone else's classes that make no sense to us because their syllabus is incomprehensible;
(c) be resentful towards parents who are not even aware that they have been accommodated;
(d) blog about it and sit back, waiting for responses.

Introduction to Hamsters, All Stars Addition. From Stuck In Front of a Chalkboard.

After a reality show has been around for several years, they usually have an All Stars edition, full of previous cast members who didn't win during their their first time around. These All Stars are not always the most successful contestants; usually they include the louder or more controversial of the bunch. Anything for a rating!

This got me to thinking about what it would be like to teach an All Stars version of Introduction to Hamsters, full of all of the loudest and craziest students who didn't quite pass the class the first time around. I've been going through my Rolodex of previous students, and I think these would be the ones who would, for lack of better terminology, make the cut:

Here are your ALL STARS!!!!
Confident Cassandra: I had Cassandra a few years ago, and she was absolutely certain that she belonged in Advanced Topics in Hamsters. This was despite the fact that every time I asked the class a question, she couldn't stop herself from verbally vomiting out two or three incorrect answers. She felt like she didn't need to work with her groupmates and then thoroughly failed because she didn't learn anything working alone and didn't think she needed to study.

Awkward Arnold: Every single day, without failure, he showed up to class and did something or said something awkward. He told stories that had nothing to do with what we were discussing in class, and they weren't even interesting! He randomly stood up and walked around the room when we were doing group work. And he told me that he had been skipping the homework because he couldn't remember to do it on time, even though I showed him how to set a reminder on his phone. This is partially why he failed once, and it's likely going to contribute to his failing again.

My Way Malawi: Malawi strolled into the classroom ten minutes late, when she would show up at all, and took her special seat front and center. She spent twenty minutes trying to catch up on notes, and when everyone else started group work, she would ask me questions about the material she missed because she was so busy getting caught up with her notes. When I told her that she was required to purchase an access code for the online portion of the class, she had her counselor set up a meeting with the department chair to get her switched into a different section, so that she wouldn't have to purchase the access code and rely on the same book she had used the last three times she failed the class.

Sassy Sally: She showed up to class late every single day, huffing and puffing because she said she didn't have enough time to get across campus between classes. She called other students "honey" and "child" even when asked not to. Nobody wanted to work in her group because she were just too distracting, and I have to admit, I don't blame them.

Quirky Katie: I will never forget the time she came to office hours, farted quite loudly, and then said, "Oops, I tooted!" Nor will the other students who were there.

Self-Centered Cesar: Cesar emailed me on Monday evening to let me know that he couldn't make Thursday's final exam because he had booked a flight home for the holidays. I responded an hour later, telling him that he could take the exam on Tuesday instead because I was giving another exam then. I printed out a copy for him but he didn't show up. I got an email on Tuesday evening telling me that he didn't get my email in time, but he was free on Wednesday. When I told him I was going to be on another campus on Wednesday teaching a different class, he suggested I find someone else to proctor his exam. I suggested he find another flight. He didn't. He failed.

I Can't Even Think Of A Nickname In This Case: I'm not prepared to diagnose, but there must have been something going on with this guy. He would bang his head against the wall when he didn't understand something, and he was so aggressive that it was disruptive and frightening to some of the other students. Then whenever we had a break, he would curl up into a ball and fall asleep in the corner of the room. It's students like these that make me wish schools provided better professional development workshops.

Who would been in your All Stars class, and how much would they have to pay you to teach it?

- Stuck In Front Of A Chalkboard

Wherein One of the Bestest and Strangest User Names Makes An Appearance.

Dear Diva Dana,

No, you may not contact a star Show Hamster Weaver at the famous Hamster school down the road to ask, on behalf of the Hamster Department I chair and in which you are a modestly successful undergraduate, for recommendations of people to teach a subject we don’t offer at our small SLAC but which you urgently feel we should.

Professor Saucy Turtles

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Reminder from 2 Weeks Ago, A Month Ago, Six Months Ago, Before That Even, Etc.: The Thirstys.

  • Big Thirsty can ONLY happen on Thursday. 
  • Friday Thirsty on Friday. 
  • Weekend Thirsty is allowed, but slightly frowned upon.
  • Sunday Thirsty HAS to be about spiritual matters. 
  • Early Thirsty is M, T, or W. (And M shouldn't be used.
  • Twin Thirsty has to be 2 questions and CAN'T be on Thursday.
  • No Undergrad Thirsty, or any other type of made up fucking Thirsty.

[note proper use of divider, small font, bolded, with color]

How to interpret this if you have a thirsty you want to ask during the week:

Fuck a me!
Monday: Wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday: Early Thirsty.

Wednesday: Early Thirsty.

Thursday: Big Thirsty. (But if someone has already posted one, DON'T CALL YOURS A BIG THIRSTY. And don't make up a name like "mini Thirsty." That will put a revolver in my hand.)

Friday: Friday Thirsty.

Saturday: Weekend Thirsty, but seriously, why are you asking questions on Saturday.

Sunday: Why ask a question on the weekend, BUT if you have an aching spiritual query, then this is your big chance to go Sunday Thirsty.

No other made up thirstys like "undergrad thirsty" or "smelly colleague thirsty."

Now, what happens if you break the Thirsty Rules? Well, only Fab can tell you that for sure. And I own his ass.

Yers in fellowship,

Sunday Thirsty: How to handle a lost exam?

So my TA lost one student's exam--specifically the short answer section. It's worth about 1/3 of the total exam points. (The Scantron was not in her hands, so it wasn't lost. And yes, I happened to look through a few exams, including his, after I got to my office, so I know it was there.) I hand back the exams, so he'll know about it.

(As I wrote in the earlier comments, I always have a TA make copies of each exam to prevent an event like this. But she somehow forgot to copy 2 of them, and one of them is lost.)

Any suggestions on what I should do with this student, who is an above-average student whose got a few absences.

  • Give him points proportional to his performance on the MC section, or multiply his MC score * (Average class Total score)/Average MC score, but he'd have legitimate grounds for a complaint. The guy who hears complaints in our department is notoriously hard on students, but the student could legitimately take this up to the dean.
  • Let him retake the exam, which already gives him an advantage, and give him a few bonus points for the time he needed to retake it.
  • Give him the highest score anyone received on the exam. I'd rather not do this for obvious reasons.

Remember, we have a forced curve, so if he brags about getting a generous settlement, I'm screwed. (And sadly, he's from the afternoon section.)

I remember reading something like this on the Chronicle Forums a few years back, so it's probably happened in the history of academia. Any suggestions on how to handle this with the student?

(I have yet to look in my office to see if it was somehow put in the wrong folder. But I remember putting his exam, along with the others I looked at, in the accordion folder with the rest, so it's likely gone.)

Smackdown? Screw that, and get me a thermonuclear weapon.

Yo, Klueless Katie

This is the FIFTH email that I have responded to regarding your essay topic. We have established so far that:

  1. "I want to write about dogs" is not a topic related the topic of this course, which is Hamster Weaving. Hamsters are not dogs.
  2. Small dogs, while possibly resembling hamsters approximately in size, are in no other ways hamsters, and "resembling" here is a stretch.
  3. Dogs wearing hamster costumes are also not hamsters.
  4. Thanking me for clarifying the topic when I copied and pasted from the original assignment instructions is not filling me with confidence.
  5. Fish: also not hamsters.
  6. No, sorry, even looking at them sideways, fish are not hamsters.
  7. Coming to class might have helped you tell the difference between dogs, hamsters and fish.
  8. DUDE. That's a monkeyfighting LIZARD.
  9. I really really want to punch you.
  10. STFU about dogs, already.

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weiner.

sent in by CrayonEater

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Muttering Mid-term Misery

Oh, yes, it is that time of the term. The time where people appear claiming to be in the class. Although, for some reason, you cannot place them. Or, worse, you know them only too well. Let's make a list, shall we?


Myopic Marvin: I see you in my office every time I have office hours. The questions range from the stupid to the idiotic. And no, I will not review work you are submitting for another class. But, you sit the midterm and go from being myopic to having peanut butter in your ears. I said "Times up, submit the exam!" twice. The second time I said it you saw me standing in front of you with my hand out as you were the only one writing. Then, I did something you were not anticipating: I walked out of the room. No, I will not accept your exam as if you read the cover of the booklet it states that failure to hand it in when the signal is given will result in a rejection of the exam.

Meandering Myrtle: Who are you again? I think I may have seen you early in the term. Oh, that's right, you handed in a non-research paper that contained research and looked like a recycle from those many years you spent in grade 10. I gave you a week to redo it. You didn't. You also didn't do the second assignment and the Blackhole Board says you never check anything online. So, why did you sit the exam? It was a waste of your time and I'm not giving up my time to read the scrawl in the booklet. Just add another 0 to your grade list and go away.

Twitter and Facebook 'harming children's development.' From The Telegraph.

By Graeme Paton

A generation of children risks growing up with obsessive personalities, poor self-control, short attention spans and little empathy because of an addiction to social networking websites such as Twitter, a leading neuroscientist has warned.

Young people’s brains are failing to develop properly after being overexposed to the cyber world at an early age, it was claimed.

Baroness Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, said a decline in physical human contact meant children struggled to formulate basic social skills and emotional reactions.

She criticised the “unhealthy” addiction to Twitter among some users who resort to increasingly nasty outbursts under the “sanitised and often anonymous guise of the web”.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, she also raised concerns over the “narcissistic” nature of sites such as Klout, which measures users’ popularity and influence on social networks.

The comments come just 24 hours after teachers warned that over-exposure to technology was damaging children’s ability to concentrate in the classroom.
A survey of secondary English teachers revealed that more than three-quarters thought pupils’ attention spans were shorter than ever before.

Baroness Greenfield quoted figures showing that more than half of 13- to 17-year-olds now spend more than 30 hours a week using video games, computers, e-readers, mobile phones and other screen-based technology.

She said the human brain evolved to its surroundings and needed a “stimulating environment” to grow and properly develop.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Ahem! I Don't Work for Payroll! (Email Misery)

I've been receiving the following email exchange for the past few days.  Here it is in chronological order.

From: WouldLikeToBePaid
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:15 PM
To: Payroll_Bigshot#1
Subject: paycheck forthcoming?


I hope you are the correct contact person for payroll issues. If not, can you please direct me to the correct individual? Thanks.

I am one the DE embedded librarians. According to the pay schedule, I thought I should have been paid starting 9/14/2012. When that didn't happen, I thought that perhaps I got moved to the late start 10/12/2012 pay date. However, as of today, I have not yet been paid. Can you please check to see if I am on the pay roll and if so, when I should be expecting a paycheck?

Thank you so much for checking.



Why am I failing?

I suppose you all know this already, but I just dissolved into a fit of giggles when a colleague sent me this:

"You would have to invent new ways to fail in order to get a lower grade!"

Friday Thirsty: Help Dr. Penny Do Damage Control on a Game Show Gone Wrong

I posted here long ago, but this is my first post in a whie. I'm at a top-20-in-my-field public school, and the specific part of the university I'm in is very selective. The average undergrad is similar to someone you'd find at, say, UC San Diego. My class also gets students from other, less selective parts of the school.
This is a research school and that's the top priority, but my teaching evals have to improve too. They did improve from my first to second year, but it's clear that they need to improve more to be with the "masses." Like Mathematical Hologram, I've had social issues since I was a kid. I've worked hard on improving myself, making eye contact, etc. but it's an uphill climb. I bring in 1-2 observers from the teaching center every year. (Yes, I've asked several doctors about Asperger's, and all say I don't have it.)

I teach a relatively dry methods class, which has two sections: The morning section's students participate less, rarely laugh at my jokes or even at funny videos, and just generally like me less than the afternoon kids. The afternoon section are less smart and hard working, but they participate more, and from what they wrote on the anonymous midterm evaluations, they like me a great deal.When I asked about the best parts of the class, the afternoon section wrote stuff like:

  • "Thank you for your passion and enthusiasm on the topic. The material is uninteresting to me, but your positive attitude and jokes keep me interested and make me want to try."
  • "Like the teaching style & enthusiasm."
  • "Like your energy."
  • "Examples we can relate to."
  • "Dr. Penny and her personality."
  • "Teacher is concise and in control, a quality that (sadly) few teachers have." (I'd consider this my weakest point, so maybe this is anonymous flattery.)
  • "It's obvious you enjoy teaching."

Goodbye Pain.

Oh, nobody will give a shit about this me and maybe a couple of old-timers, but I retired the old "Email Yer Pain" email icon.

It's a holdover from the RYS days. I always loved it.

But as part of the new page design, I went ahead and did up a new icon using a clip art envelope I found and some language more in line with CM's now 855 day tenure on the interwebs.

Goodbye old friend. Another reason to drink.

Job Search: This Is Not a CV**

Alex Gradflake
University of Beaker Ben
26 October 2012

Curriculum Vitae: Alex Gradflake

  • University of Beaker Ben, Underwater Basket Weaving (2007-2012)
  • University of Bean Ben, Hamster Fur Collection Minor (2009-20011)
  • Taught 3 courses as a T.A. and 1 course as a Lecturer
  • 3 years Research Experience
  • 4 Conferences Presented; 10 Conferences Attended
  • 3 awards
  • Knows Spanish
  • Plays softball

Please contact for References:

** Format inspired by a Real Live CV, submitted to a conference I organized by an actual PhD on the job market.


Advice for the young in body and mind from Dr. Amelia.

Dear students,

Since your mommy is not dressing you anymore, I look out my window and see that someone needs to give you a few rules to follow to look your age in a academic environment.

"Breezy, right?"
1. If you are over 5, giant ribbon hairbows are not appropriate on you. I first saw this mistake during my own college years. It is still a mistake.

2. If it is raining from 8-8:10 in the morning, I don't care how cute your froggie rainboots are, you should not be wearing them at 4:30 when it is the end of a mostly bright and sunny day. Also, if you are over 5, no froggie rainboots. I know, life is hard.

3. Crocs are not shoes that you should wear in public. This would be true for any shoes that you can clean in a dishwasher.

4. If you wear a button proclaiming you are 101% a member of a club here on campus, it does not make you look popular. It makes you look innumerate. This is not a good thing, especially combined with #1.

5. If your skirt is so short that you can feel the chair you are sitting on, it is probably sending the wrong message. It is also definitely not appropriate for the career fair (at least for most careers you go to college for)

6. Leggings are not pants, and should not be worn on their own with a cropped top unless you are actually at the gym. However, they can solve your problem in #6.

7. Iron. Look it up.

8. A school ball cap is not, in fact equivalent to washing your hair. Also, if you resort to this frequently and never wash the ball cap, it is just as bad.

Dr. Amelia

"She's Working Her Way Through College." Today's VidShizzle.

Women in Science. From HuffPo.

"We need the
chicks to wash
the beakers!"
(NOT affiliated
with Beaker Ben.)
by Rui Dai
Student, Duke University

Gender inequality is inherently unfair. More importantly, it also discourages young girls from pursuing dreams that could one day change the world. It dashes potential revolutions before they can even begin. Appointing females to more important positions and actively mentoring female students in scientific research will not only generate new ideas, but also have reverberating effects on culture in general.
Recently in PNAS, researchers from Yale University published an inherently simple finding that asked scientists to review fake applications from a student aspiring to become a scientist. All the applications were identical except for one factor: gender. Half of the applications indicated that the applicant was male, the other half female. The results indicated that scientists, both male and female, were less willing to mentor the female applicant than her male counterpart. Despite the fact that women are earning more degrees in biology than men, this indicates a continual bias against women in science.
There are many reasons why this bias continues to exist. It is not the first study of its kind. There are dozens, if not hundreds of articles that document the gender inequality in academia. Between 1995 and 1996, a large-scale study published in 2004 surveyed 1814 full-time medical school professionals and found that female medical faculty were paid less and were less likely to be full professors in comparison to male faculty with similar professional roles and achievement. Similar finding have been reported with numerous variations in different articles at different times. Recently in June of 2012, the Journal of American Medical Association published an article that found that there was a distinct pay gap between male and female physicians.

Full Article.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More on Full Sail University

[Note: I apologize if this seems overly partisan and/or political, and if the moderators judge it to be so, they should feel free to take it down.  Regardless of the actors involved, I thought it provided an important example of the intersections of political power, capitalism, and higher ed that are adding to our misery.  I also suspect that, with a bit of digging, I could find parallel examples from the power brokers on the left. The language and self-proclaimed (and perhaps genuinely embraced/believe) motivations may be a bit different, but the results are similar.  Exhibit A would probably be the Kaplan/Washington Post connection).]

A while back, I noticed an ad for "Full Sail University" running in our sidebar, and mused a bit on its name and the significance thereof.  Now Tenured Radical has a post calling attention to a piece in the Nation that discusses Tagg Romney's investments in Full Sail, and the significance thereof.  Here's the situation in a nutshell, as described by TR:

Although Full Sail is the third most expensive school in the country, Romney has touted its online and on-campus degree programs as a good example of the private sector can help students “hold down the cost of their education.” However, one of the ways they do that is by hanging on the public financial tit: they recruit students, help them  fill out the paperwork for federally guaranteed loans, and siphon off whatever money those students are entitled to from Florida state grant programs and the Veterans Administration. . . .
Money lost to for-profits is not just lost to taxpayers, legitimate colleges and students who will pay those loans back for decades without having received a degree. The Music Men of higher ed siphon public money right into the pockets of investors and CEO’s. Only federal regulations, and federal investigations of the fraudulent promises made by these Harold Hills of education, restrain them at all.
 Oy.  Lord save us all from the edupreneurs of both parties.

Mini-Thirsty: On Earbuds

Q: What do you do when you have a student wearing earbuds (noticeably) in your class? 

(This has not happened to me, yet--but a student came into the class right after mine while I was taking notes down and bragged about listening to music during lecture. The guy sitting next to him said "Yeah, we can hear it too" but has apparently not complained to the instructor.

And if the little fuck ends up in one of my classes, you can be sure I will have something to say. I just want to know what you all think.)

This Week's Big Thirsty: Wiinston from Washington Wants to Know About Nookie.

Okay, so imagine you're at a middling and anonymous research university. There are all these people around, but nobody's in each other's bidness.

And then one of your colleagues, a really great guy, a sweet guy, a guy who'd help you out of a jam, imagine that guy starts to date a grad students SORTA in the department, but not really, not in the professor's classes or anything. I mean she was ONCE, but she was an undergrad, and there was no monkeying around then.

But now it's different. You like your colleague friend, you wish happiness on him.

The grad student is of age, she wears these cute capris, she's of age, she's not a child or anything. Nobody is being exploited or ruined or manipulated.

Q: Can this proffie get some nookie without it being bad?

My day

“Hey Dr. Ben, can we catch up to discuss my grade in your class tomorrow at 1:30?” said this evening’s email message, in its entirety.

Refresh my memory. Are you that boy in elementary school that I knew for a summer but lost touch with? Do we really need to catch up? No? Then you must be the student I saw yesterday (assuming you were in class – I don’t check because I don’t care). There’s not much to catch up on. Average your exam grades together and decide whether you want an F or a Withdrawal.


A group of students drop by my office for help as they prepare for the upcoming exam. So far, so good. After one student asks a question and I start explaining the answer, his cell phone rings. he answers it. And talks. And talks. I stare. I make a joke about how I’m happy to be put on hold. His friends laugh nervously. He keeps up the conversation. Some failing grades just happen. Some I look forward to.


We are beginning the second hour of an intense study session with a few dozen students. Their questions go beyond material that I’ve told them to study. Several had raised eyebrows of surprise (maybe fright) and I see one or two appreciative smiles as students begin to glimpse the beauty of quantum mechanics. We are rolling.

A small hand rises in the back of the auditorium. “What chapters did you say the exam would cover?” Exam? Oh, the one tomorrow morning. Yes, well, sugar, if you need to ask that question now, it really doesn’t matter what the answer is, does it?

Kitty From Kansas Kicks Some Job Misery Our Way.

Boy howdy CM, I am job miserable.

This is my first time at this here rodeo called "The Job Market." My adviser is getting long in the tooth, and tends to forget to mention important things, like using university letterhead for cover letters. Thank goodness I read the random blogs in this part o' the prairie.

I asked for letters of recommendation over a month ago, and I am passing up jobs left and right because my writers are "getting to them soon." I was only in these parts for six years. Y'all only saw me qualify for ABD status nine months ago. Heaven forbid I might want to up and hitch my wagon and get out of these here sticks.

Can't quite use my "templates" I wrote up in August for all the jobs. I spend at least a good two or three hours working on the letters and supplemental materials. Shoot, you fellas seem to want me to write a novel to get in the door. Y'all cost me quite a pretty penny, especially when you ask for more than 20 pages of material. The folks at Interfolio must be laughing all the way to the bank. Some of these jobs don't even ask for paper. It's all electronic. Yet it still costs time and money. Time away from finishing up the dissertation, and money that I have to front and wait months for reimbursement.

I'm already worried about what I'm going to wear to our first date. I mean, y'all ask so many questions about how I would teach everything and the kitchen sink. You want letters of application, CVs, teaching philosophy statements, research statements, a teaching portfolio, transcripts, your HR website's application, letters of recommendation, writing samples ..... I know I'm forgetting something. Maybe you want a picture of a gopher? Or a duck? Reading all these blogs talking about what proper candidates should wear, well, I feel I should have been saving up for the duds you expect me to afford to wear to the giant cesspool snoozefest known as our annual conference. I'd rather go to the conference to learn about my field, but I have a feeling we'll be getting to know each other real well in a hotel room. Or "the pit."

Please let me get to know you? Quit asking me for 100 pages that you'll only glance through. Just call me, baby. I'm real sweet. I know my subject. I'd be a great colleague. You should give me a chance.

In the meantime, I am thoroughly miserable and pouring hours of my life into an electronic void. It's easier to reject someone when you can just click "delete."

the squeaky wheel gets the smack, or why I won't share your "C"

A few months ago, I went to a conference in a city near the largest repertory theatre company in North America. At the end of the conference (OK, fine, during), I went to see You're a Good Man Charlie Brown with an old friend and their spawn. Not my first choice, but also not my dime. Whatever.
Partway through the show, I knew what was partly to blame for generation snowflake: Peanuts.
As exhibit A, I offer the coathanger sculpture monologue, performed by Ms. Sally Brown, the original Snowflake Sally:
"A 'C'? A 'C'? I got a 'C' on my coathanger sculpture? How could anyone get a 'C' in coathanger sculpture? May I ask a question? Was I judged on the piece of sculpture itself? If so, is it not true that time alone can judge a work of art? Or was I judged on my talent? If so, is it fair that I be judged on a part of my life over which I have no control? If I was judged on my effort, then I was judged unfairly, for I tried as hard as I could! Was I judged on what I had learned about this project? If so, then were not you, my teacher, also being judged on your ability to transmit your knowledge to me? Are you willing to share my 'C'? Perhaps I was being judged on the quality of coathanger itself out of which my creation was is this not also unfair? Am I to be judged by the quality of coathangers that are used by the drycleaning establishment that returns our garments? Is that not the responsibility of my parents? Should they not share my 'C'? (SFX: the teacher's voice is heard offstage
[brief unintelligible squawk voice mixed with electronic static]) Thank you, Miss Othmar. (to
audience) The squeaky wheel gets the grease! (exits)"
Needless to say, I was not amused.
I've thought about that day many times since, and I keep coming back to the parents in the audience, who were laughing at what was clearly a farcical and ridiculous set of arguments...because it wasn't their damn child. If *their* precious Sally had gotten a C in coathanger sculpture, or, y'know, hamster-fur weaving, you can bet that many of them would be backing her, 100%.
I'm thinking about it in this moment because it's the time of year when new undergrads are getting their first university assignments back, and getting smacked upside the head with the realization that, contrary to everything they've been told up until now, the sun does not, in fact, shine from their darling little asses. (Because, if it did, I'd ask them to point them this way. It's been awfully damn rainy lately.) I'm thinking about it because it's the same arguments delivered in the same whiny, entitled tone as the ones I'm hearing right now, albeit with better lighting. I'm thinking about it because I can respond to Sally Brown in a way I could never speak to any of my 'flakes. So here goes...
Yes, Sally, a "C". If you'd read the undergrad handbook you've been provided with, you'd know a "C" basically stands for "competent". Or, if you will, "clue". As in, "you have demonstrated you have somewhat of a fucking clue about what you're supposed to be doing, and have executed the assignment with a basic degree of skill". Congratulations. (Oh, look. Also a "C" word. I win alliteration today. Clearly.)
How could anyone get a "C" in coathanger sculpture? Because it's not, in fact, that fucking easy. Seriously, it requires actual skill and practice to do this stuff. If just anybody could do it, they'd have replaced me with a robot by now. Believe me, they've tried.
Yes, you were judged on the piece of sculpture itself, which you would know if you read the fucking rubric. No, it's not true that only time alone can judge a work of art...and seriously, girl, you need to stop hanging around boys who purposefully dress like 70s dads and say "deep" and "profound" "philosophical" shit when they've only read the Tumblr and not the source material. If you insist on hanging around them, then you *must* stop parroting their stupid. It burns.
Yes, you were judged on your talent, which, again, if you'd read the fucking rubric, you'd know. Exhibiting talent is how you get good grades around here, no matter what else you've heard. It's true talent is, to some degree, something you're born with. It's also true that hard work plays a role, and by the tag still attached to one of these hangers, I know you started your project the night before. You might want to try a little harder next time. And, PS: If your talent is not in coat hanger sculpture, don't major in it!
You might, in time, also come to the realization that you don't have enough talent to get by here, no matter how hard you work. That's cool, because not everyone belongs in university. (See: it's not, in fact, that fucking easy, above.) If that's the case, good luck to you. This is a hard enough road if it's something you love. Believe me, I know.
Sadly, Snowflake, effort doesn't always mean shit here. Some people will basically sneeze out papers it would take others weeks of sweat and toil to write. Some people work really hard in the right ways and see their effort pay off. You should probably know that I'm a cynic, though...and I'm pretty sure that if you'd spent a fraction of the time you're now spending trying to convince me, yourself, your parents, the Dean, whomever of just how very hard you worked on this sculpture ACTUALLY WORKING ON THE FUCKING SCULPTURE, you'd have scraped at least a C+.
Is your "C" a judgment on my ability to transmit knowledge to you? BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.
Am I willing to share your "C"? Fuck no. Beyotch, I got motherfucking "A"s...and I worked my ass off for them. By the way, I know you're way too stupid and entitled to realize it, but now I essentially share my "A"s with you. (I know, right?! Mind. Blown.)
Perhaps you were judged on the quality of coathanger itself?! OK, seriously, you're really starting to piss me off...and don't even try to make this a class argument. First, you left the tag from the fancy-ass all-Green cleaners on the hanger, so don't even try to go there. Second, the university makes a point of providing access to coat hangers so all students can complete the assignment. (Granted, most of those hangers are still running IE 6 and crash if you try to open multiple browser tabs, but that's another rant.)
Is it not the responsibility of your parents? Believe me, Sally Snowflake, I am holding your parents personally fucking responsible right now for the fact that your whiny ass is in my office, wasting my time, when they should have nipped this kind of behaviour in the fucking bud before you went to motherfucking grade school, you whiny entitled fucksmack.

(And for the record, I would have given Ai Wei Wei a C for this particular sculpture, too.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Speedy Rant: Essay Topics

My assignment says: do not pick a cliched, overly done topic, such as 'effects of drunk driving' or 'consequences of texting while driving' or 'not studying in college.' In class we reviewed WHY these topics are no longer viable as options for an essay. We mocked them and students appeared to enjoy coming up with other tired topics for essays to also avoid.

Guess what three students turned in as their proposed topics (this was for points, so I'm pretty sure they weren't doing it as a joke)!

Do they all share a pumpkin for a brain?


It seems that the Humanities take quite a bashing for not being as easily/numerically quantifiable as the sciences.We're taking it in the chin left and right for being about "feelings" and not about things that "cure cancer."

But, in the interest of playing off the stereotype of my studies (Hello non-academics, did you read eight, 200+ page books yesterday? No? Then stfu about the 'value' of my research/field.), I shall talk about my feelings.

I feel my pay does not adequately reflect my economic worth.

I feel tired of being asked if I would rather have part-time work so I can "start a family." I want full time work. Women used to work in the fields and squat down and drop babies out and go back to work, so I think I can manage my time and research to do the same, if I ever so choose to reproduce.

I feel undervalued and underutilized.

I feel I should have known more about graduate school and the true prospects of employment after graduation.

I feel there aren't enough hours in the day to do my awful adjunct job, commute, and research. I want to publish my way out of this hell.

I feel the weight of the world; I feel old.

Most of all, CM, I feel miserable.

Seeking Job Misery!

We'd love to feature some job search misery this week.

Feel free email your own tales of woe to the moderator.

Sure, we'll add some cuss words, add a ridiculous Amazon link, change your made up name to something we think sounds like a fart sound, and we'll blur up some awful looking image to ruin the whole right side of the page.

But, shit, this is what we get paid for.

More plagiarism questions haunt UNC-Chapel Hill. From

by Dan Kane

Do you need,
like, citations?
As the spring 2011 semester wound to a close, UNC-Chapel Hill football player Erik Highsmith had nothing to show for the blog students were supposed to contribute to for a communications class, his instructor said. The blog accounted for 30 percent of a student’s grade.

Highsmith wrote two posts in seven days. The first was about poultry farming, the second about people and pets.

Very little of either post was in his own words.

The first entry was virtually identical to a passage on an education website written by four 11-year-olds for their peers. The second mirrored much of an essay someone posted on, a website that helps people prepare for the SAT, GRE and other college entry exams.

Instructor J. Nikol Beckham said she spotted the plagiarism and reported it to the academic support program for student athletes. By then, an NCAA investigation had turned up numerous examples of a tutor providing improper help to football players, and Beckham was concerned the plagiarism went beyond Highsmith and her class.

“I suggested that they consider that this isn’t an isolated incident,” she said, “and I expressed my disappointment considering everything that had been going on for the last year. And I received a great deal of assurances that it would be handled.”

The four investigations into academic fraud at UNC-CH are largely focused on classes within the African and Afro-American Studies Department that never met. But another theme is also emerging as more becomes known about the school work: football players cutting and pasting from various sources to fulfill written assignments.

In Highsmith’s case, Beckham said someone at the academic support program told her they would talk to the student, “but after that, I never heard anything.” She has since left the university to teach at a community college in central Virginia.

Highsmith, a senior wide receiver from Vanceboro, declined to be interviewed, according to Steve Kirschner, an associate athletic director for communications at UNC-CH. Highsmith played every game last season, except for one in which he was held out for an injury.


My Student Body: Failure of Health Education. From the UMass Daily Collegian.


Alcohol. Drugs. Sex.

Push play and repeat.

The United States educational system has been fighting an ambitious war against these “evils” for years, hoping to warn the youth of our country of their devastating effects.

The University of Massachusetts, along with other major colleges such as Wake Forest and Louisiana State, uses the website, “My Student Body” to inform students further of such high-risk behavior.

Incoming freshmen are required to take an online health course that the site offers or else, as an email from University Health Services states, “you won’t be able to register for Spring classes.”

There is no arguing the benefits to preventative action in the case of alcohol, drugs and sex, but you can really only bring a horse to water.

The real beverage our generation wants, they drink.

One segment of the online health course asks students to enter a statistic for what they believe to be the percentage of peers that partake in drinking, drug use and sex. It then goes on to report that the number guessed is much higher than what is actually the case.

Are we all so cynical that we think the number of teens drinking and having sex is catastrophically higher than it actually is? Unlikely.

It happens in several high schools or facilities of underage kids: Students are handed an anonymous survey, in which they fill out how often they have used a specific substance.

What does a large portion of America’s paranoid youth do on these surveys?



Not me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CM midterm madness game: state your current misery in 5 words or less.

Please, allow me to go first.



I am out of bourbon.

May the force be with you all.


Classroom Management: An Early Thirsty

We are supposed to "manage" our classrooms.  I get that.  But then, somebody comes along who needs to be managed to the extent of 86ing them from the classroom.  They make noise in the Dean's Office about it and then the Dean hates you.

The following semester, you decide that a better approach would be to not involve administration.  Just try to grin and bear things, reason with people, give the evil eye, etc. but then certain students just won't knock off their shit.  Worse yet, your students start to complain to the Dean about the disruptive students.  The Dean then hates you for "not managing your classroom".

Q:  When was the last time YOU were called into the Dean's Office over classroom management issues, while at the same time you aren't actually allowed to manage your classroom?

"A hilarious, and exquisitely thorough, rebuttal for every time your parents bring up 'The G-Word.'" -- Rob Kutner, writer, “The Daily Show,” “The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien,” author, Apocalypse How"

“The academic world is so full of humorless wonks and pedants, that Ruben arrives like a crazed party-crasher. It's as if a tweedy committee coma has been interrupted by someone from the roller derby. This very funny book also slings many sly arrows into an overstuffed and moribund culture that needs repair and reconfiguration.” -- Compound Calico, Moderator,

"Adam Ruben's book is funnier than even the funniest dissertation, thesis, lab report, or legal brief. I wish my law school casebooks had been 10% as enjoyable to read." -- Jeremy Blachman, author of Anonymous Lawyer

“Indispensable for any prospective grad student who wants to get a jump on his or her anxiety requirements. This book proves that years of obscure, excruciating academic toil can, in fact, make a meaningful contribution to society as a source of comedy.” -- Jay Katsir, writer for “The Colbert Report”

“Why waste a few years in grad school when you can waste a few bucks on this hilarious and insightful book instead? You'll end up with the same career prospects (zero), but have had a lot more fun." -- Jeff Kreisler, author of Get Rich Cheating

"Hilarious! Adam Ruben has nailed the graduate student experience, and has done it with a great sense of humor....this is a true survival guide for anyone foolish, er, ambitious enough to embark on an advanced degree." -- Dexter Holland, Grad School Sufferer and Sympathizer (Lead Singer, The Offspring)

Our sidewalks need a slow lane.


Dear powers that be,

I would like to formally propose that Basket Tech install slow lanes on campus sidewalks. This lane could accommodate students with mobility issues such as those on the following list while allowing those who have to be somewhere to get there in a timely manner:

  1. Texting while walking
  2. Wearing cute rainboots you can't really walk in
  3. Riding a skateboard you can't really ride all that well
  4. Reading while walking (uncommon, but does still happen on occasion)
  5. Explaining poor grades to Mom while walking
  6. Wearing cute flip-flops you can't really walk it
  7. Done for the day and downshifted to meander mode

Dr. Amelia

Monday, October 22, 2012

Early Thirsty: How We Grade.

I am currently burned out on grading papers, it being midterm and all, and a question has occurred to me.  In graduate school, lo these many years ago, I was yelled at by my mentor for being "too blunt" and "not respecting their ideas," on papers.

Since then, I try to say something "nice," but more and more it's becoming hard to do that and remain authentic.  So my comments are starting to fade back into "This is wrong.  Fix it this way.  Rewrite this by moving it here or there.  Split this paragraph where you change topics."  Blunt, brief criticism with very little sugar coating, in other words.

I'm kind of afraid those "nice" comments might end up making their writing worse.  I strongly suspect some well-meaning teacher said "I like this rhetorical question" at some point, so they make every third sentence into one.  So, I thirst:

Q: Do you try to find something positive to say about every paper, or do you just give direct, blunt suggestions for improvement (or mean, cruel sarcastic comments)?  How do you go about finding nice things to say when it's clear that the student started writing the paper ten minutes before the due date?  Do you think there's any real value in "nice" comments if they're not authentic?  Am I just being a jerk by being business-like in commenting on papers?  Are these too many questions for a thirsty?

Plagiarized. From Sparknotes.

First line of paper, found on Sparknotes. 

After a whole class review of MLA citations.

After going over the assignment, which includes the following:

  •  You must follow MLA guidelines for documentation. You are not required to do outside critical research for this paper, but if you use ANY outside information in the writing of this paper, YOU MUST CITE YOUR SOURCES or it is considered to be plagiarized. Plagiarized papers will earn you an automatic “0” for the assignment as well as referral to the Dean’s office.



/Chrome out

A Mantra for Midterms

They feel even more overwhelmed and behind than we do
They feel even more overwhelmed and behind than we do
They feel even more overwhelmed and behind than we do
They feel even more overwhelmed and behind than we do

Keeping this in mind won't work with every student (it doesn't do much good, for instance, with those who are inclined to project their insecurities outward into accusations, e.g.  Bella's Amber or Greta's shrill little one-note bird).   But when I'm feeling horribly behind, and fearing that every class, conversation, and/or email will carry a complaint that I'm taking an unreasonable amount of time to grade things (a complaint with which, at this point in the semester, I often at least half-agree), it helps to remember that chances are good that the approaching student may well be feeling at least as overwhelmed and apologetic as I am.

This has been a public service announcement. You may now resume your regularly scheduled grading, prep, committee work and/or drinking.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Last week, I was presenting my freshmen comp students with examples of how to organize their comparison/contrast essay.  I wrote a couple of detailed outlines on the board, illustrating methods they might choose, with examples. 

About halfway through, I noticed that most of them were just staring at me.  There I was, showing them step by step on the board exactly how to organize their papers, which are worth fifteen percent of their final grade, and they were just looking at me, all glassy-eyed. 

I paused for a moment, then said, "You realize that I'm not just doing this for my heath, don't you?  I'm showing you how to organize your essay. I told you when we started class that you'll need to understand and refer to this template when you start writing it."

More staring.  I put the chalk down.

"Why aren't you guys taking notes?  Do you expect to just remember this a week from now, both of the organizational templates I’m presenting, as well as the examples of how to organize the interior paragraphs?"

All of a sudden there was rustling, a flurry of activity, notebooks being opened, etc.  Some students were obviously doing this because everyone else was, but some looked a bit sheepish. 

Kunstnik Got Fucked on Office Space.

I teach a popular topic that we might call String Theory for Ducks, a discipline that is frequently considered fluff, but, of course, isn't. Such a topic requires specific physical facilities in order to properly teach this subject, not mention this topic needs space to store all the technology used in the study and production of String Theory for Ducks. Alas, I have no such facility, unless you count my office. People ask, when they visit me, if my office is a storage room. I routinely knock things over, and to get things out, you have to move things out of the office.

To make matters worse, my classrooms are usually across campus, and in small lecture rooms. In order to teach this String Theory properly, I must drag the relevant equipment to the classroom. I have purchased a grocery cart for this activity, the sort of cart used by elderly people to carry groceries home. Sometimes, I am fortunate to have a band of students help me carry these items back and forth. Often, I am left trying to open a door, while pushing a cart and carrying a heavy tote bag.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Thirsty. No Wonder College is So Miserable. We Don't Have Any Good Jokes.

Linus from Liberal sends this note in:

I'm giving a presentation to 100 college sophomores next Monday. They are in an accelerated track in my daughter's school. I wanted to work a couple of college-related jokes into my talk, or adapt them to some stories, so I did some fruitless Google searches.

Here's what I've found:

So, a pig
walks into a bar...
“So, thundered Greg’s furious father, “you have been expelled from college, have you?”
“Yes, Dad. I am a fugitive from a brain gang.”


“Now my motto in life,” said the school chaplain, “is work hard, play hard and pray hard. How about you, Harriet?”
“My motto is let bygones be bygones.”
“That’s good. Why did you choose that?”
“Then I wouldn’t have to take any history classes!”


A son his calling his mom from college, and telling her that he had just got his degree. The mother says: That's great honey! What kind of degree? And the son, almost squealing with excitement says: The best one ever, a Celsius degree!


A college student said to his mother, “I decided that I want to be a political science major and that I want to clean up the mess in the world!”
“That is very nice,” muted his mother. “You can go upstairs and start with your room.”

Q: Do you know any GOOD college jokes?