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?


  1. The University of Phoenix!

    No, wait: that's a joke *of* a college, not a joke *about* a college.

    1. That's basically what I was thinking, too -- I could name some colleges that are, unfortunately, jokes, but can't think of any good college jokes.

  2. Q. How many students does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    A. Thirty. Out of that many, you will probably have one with initiative.

    Oh, wait, that's not funny. It's only true.

    1. Sorry, but he got his friend to change it so it's not his fault it was done wrong.

  3. A math major, an engineering major, and a business major are taking a general ed physics class. Their assignment: Determine the height of the Arts & Sciences building using only a barometer.

    The math major takes the barometer to the ground floor, takes the readings, then goes up to the roof, takes the readings, and calculates the height of the building from the difference in air pressure.

    The engineering major takes the barometer up to the roof, drops it off, and times how many seconds it takes before it hits the ground.

    The business major knocks on the building superintendent's door. When the superintendent answers, the business major says, Hey, if you tell me the height of this building, I’ll give you this barometer."

    1. I like it -- it captures the spirit of the majors well -- but didn't the engineering major violate the terms of the assignment (no stopwatch/timer is mentioned)? And the professor forgot to stipulate that the barometer needs to be intact, and available to be returned, at the end of the experiment. One would hope that such instructions aren't necessary, but sadly, they are.

    2. I suspect most of the good college jokes do, indeed, have to do with departmental/disciplinary/professional peculiarities. For instance, I found a list of not-bad librarian jokes (by googling "Deans" and "light bulb jokes"; I didn't go down all the results, but I suspect there are more reasonably-satisfying ones on the list).

  4. Psychology is really biology.

    Biology is really chemistry.

    Chemistry is really physics.

    Physics is really math.

    And math is really hard.

    1. That reminds me of a good old violist joke. Here's a transposition, which a violist would probably not be able to do.

      A chemist at a third-tier primarily-undergraduate institution is walking on the beach, when he finds an old bottle with a stopper sealed with the Seal of Solomon. He breaks it open, and the genie grants him three wishes.

      "Oh," says the chemist, "I want to be involved in exciting research and have good students and be smarter and more successful."

      "Your wish is my command." The genie waves his hand, and the chemist is now tenured at a lower-tier R1 institution, with grant money and graduate students.

      After a few years of that, the chemist decides he'd like to do better, so he calls the genie again and wishes to be even smarter, with really good graduate students and better institutional support.

      "Your wish is my command." The genie puts our hero at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, giving him a stellar research group and unlimited NSF grants.

      After a few more years, the chemist decides he'd like to do better. He calls the genie and wishes for a situation in which he's even smarter, with better research.

      "Your wish is my command," and the genie turns him into a mathematician at a lower-tier primarily-undergraduate institution.

    2. Forgot to add: "chemist" and "mathematician" can be replaced with any fields of your choice. See also Richard Armour's footnote to Shylock's line, "How like a fawning publican he looks." [note]

      [note] Republicans please read, "How like a fawning mocrat he looks."

  5. Three economists were out hunting, and a bear came into view.

    The first economist lifted his rifle, aimed, and fired, but the bullet passed a yard to the left of the bear.

    As the animal looked around in confusion, the second economist fired, but missed by a yard to the right.

    The third economist started jumping up and down with excitement. "We got him! We got him!"

  6. The other day I was dreaming that I was lecturing my class. I woke up . . . and I was.

    The Latin professor on his way home gets mugged by three young men. When he arrives home, he's all disheveled, his tie is askew, his sports jacket torn. His wife says, "My God, what happened to you?" "I was walking home through the park," he said, "when all of a sudden, out of the bushes, came three hoodla."

    I was stopped on the quad by a student the other day. He asked me a few questions, and then said, "Okay, thanks. See you professor." "One moment," I said. "Was I going toward my office or away from it?" "Toward it, professor." "Ah, good," I said. "Then I've already had lunch."

    and, my favorite . . .

    I was handing out papers, and a student came up to me after class with hers. "But professor," she said, "How could I have gotten a D?" "You have no thesis, no organization, and never cite the text at all." "But professor, I worked really hard on this."

    Wait. That last one isn't a joke. It's my life.

  7. An engineer, a computer programmer, and a business manager are taking a drive in the Rocky Mountains when the brakes on the car go out. Their lives flashing before their eyes, the car careens down the road. Amazingly, they make it to the bottom of the mountain and coast to a stop.

    The engineer pulls out a multi-tool and says, "Let me look under the hood, maybe I can fix it."

    The manager whips out a cell phone and says, "I'll call a tow truck."

    The programmer says, "Let's push it up to the top of the mountain and see if it does it the next time."

  8. These aren't all college specific, but for a very long thread of jokes told by very smart people, see this Making Light thread from a couple years back

  9. An administrator is lost and decides to ask for directions. He pulls up by a guy on the sidewalk, winds his window down and asks "Can you tell me where I am?"

    "You're in a car," the passer-by replies.

    "Ah, you must be a professor," says the administrator.

    "Yes I am, but how did you know?"

    "You're giving me information that's completely accurate but utterly useless."

    The professor says, "You must be an administrator."

    "Yes I am, but how did you know?"

    "You're in just as much trouble as you were before, but now suddenly it's my fault."

  10. I'd just use various examples of snowflake behavior that you've read on this blog. That always amuses my students'.

  11. if it smells, it's chemistry
    if it move, it's biology
    if it doesn't work, it's engineering

    1. I'm trying to think of some humanities and social-sciences equivalents. So far no luck. Anyone have any suggestions?

  12. Not a joke about academia, but more about philosophy. It's an oldie, but a goodie: See here

    1. Link not working? Google "Why did the chicken cross the road philosopher."

  13. A lost student stops a professor of English. "Excuse me sir, but could you tell me where the library is at?"

    "You're at Harvard now, so you should know not to end a sentence with a preposition.

    "Oh. Excuse me, but could you tell me where the library is at, asshole?"

  14. Q: How many tenured professors does it take to change a lightbulb?

    A: "Change!?!?!"

  15. Knock. Knock.

    Professor: "Who's there?"

    Department Chair: "The Chair!"

    Professor: "I'm sorry, President Obama, but you will have to come back during my office hours!"

  16. I was at a social function, some years back, with a bunch of university profs in attendance, none of us yet to have kids except for one pair who were expecting, and who had just purchased a new car seat and were having trouble installing it. A small crowd of us gathered around the minivan, including several engineering profs, shouting out advice and suggestions to get the car seat installed properly. After about 10-15 minutes of this, one fellow stops in the middle of trying to jam a belt hook in somewhere, turns to us with a wry grin, and asks "Did you hear the one about the 6 PhDs and the baby seat?"


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