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Special Category: Enrico Fermi
September 29
November 28

Lectures were once useful; but now, when all can read, and books are so
numerous, lectures are unnecessary. If your attention fails, and you miss a
part of a lecture, it is lost; you cannot go back as you do upon a
book. . . . People have nowadays got a strange opinion that everything
should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do as
much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. I know
nothing that can be best taught by lectures, except where experiments are
to be shown. You may teach chymistry by lectures. You might teach making
shoes by lectures!
           -- Samuel Johnson, quoted in Boswell's Life of Johnson (1791).

Never underestimate the joy people derive from hearing something they
already know.                   -- Enrico Fermi (1901-1954)

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From: "M.Sc. Omar Lakkis" <omar#NoSpam.sam.math.ethz.ch>
In our department there was a professor known to be God... everybody heard
about its existence but nobody actually saw him!

Lectures were given by his assistant... "the Prophet". ;-)

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From: Steven Bedrick <bedrick#NoSpam.bigfoot.com>

We've all had classes like it: you go into it expecting it to be of
middling difficulty, only to find out very quickly that this is going to be
one of those terms that teaches you *exactly* how long you can go without
doing laundry. One of those terms where you adopt a hunter-gatherer
semi-nomadic lifestyle, and subsist soley from food scavenged from academic
seminars. One of those terms where you spend more time in lab than you do
in your room. I'm currently wrapping up just such a term. Looking back,
there were numerous signs in the first week that indicated the path this
class was to take.

Things that are Bad Signs and indicate that your class is going to be a

-The syllabus has written on it "Class Motto: That which does not kill us
only makes us stronger" (this was the first warning sign);
-What is normally a full class under other professors has only seven people
in it under this one, and one of them ends up dropping the class after
falling ill, missing two days of lecture and lab, and discovering that
she's too far behind to ever catch up;
-When you tell friends who's teaching your class, they get the same look on
their face that they might get if you told them that your dog just died;
-While discussing what his tests are like, the professor mentions casually
that he considers it perfectly acceptable to test you on things that aren't
covered by the textbook, in lecture, or in lab ("I give you guys tools to
solve certain types of problems, and you should be able to extrapolate from
there. Assimilate, Correlate, and Synthesize- that's the second class
-The class average on the first test is a 60%, and the prof is impressed;
-You find yourself taking more pages of notes in the first week than you
usually do in a month of most other classes;

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From: "G.P." <G_Popper#NoSpam.Hotmail.Com>



1.When a student turns in his/her project two weeks late and asks for full credit, accept the late work and tell them that it will be awarded full credit. However, do inform them that you will not have time to grade it until after you complete your Ph.D.


1.If students will not stop talking when the class period begins, announce that there will be a quiz the following day on today's lecture. Then leave.

2.If your students are prone to reading the school paper in class, try taking out a full page ad in the paper informing them that they are going to flunk your class.


1.In the event that you are unprepared for a lecture, be sure to use the class time to stress to the class the importance of keeping up with the readings. In fact, spend most of the class time stressing this.

2.When the time comes to lecture on a subject you know nothing about, the art of controlled digression is invaluable. Here, you try to incite unrelated questions from the class which you answer at length. Then at the end of class you scold them for digressing and tell them they'll just have to get the material from the book.


1.Always use a fire engine red felt-tip marker with a 1/2 inch tip to grade papers. Position your comments strategically so that they spell "DUMB" when seen from a distance.

2.You may grade assignments however you like. Here is a guide to quick and easy grading:

20 % Name
20 % Penmanship
50 % Homework is stapled together
10 % The work itself
Warning: Be prepared for a 60% class average.

1.If student A approaches you complaining that an answer on their exam was marked incorrect but was marked correct on student B's exam, promptly mark student B's answer incorrect as well. This will redirect the heat from you onto student A.


1.If students request extra credit to make up for the homework they didn't turn in, be sure to make the opportunity available to them. Some good extra credit problems are:

Solve the dining philosophers problem, using semaphores. Write a C compiler for the Commodore 64. Translate Moby Dick into ASCII-8 code with a leftmost odd parity bit. Design a replacement for the 80486 chip. Build a File Allocation Table (FAT) out of balsa wood.

2.You may also wish to tell the student that they can do extra credit work while you decide whether to accept it. When the student turns in the work, decide against it.


1.When it is obvious to you that several people have copied each others homework, grade one person's work on a separate sheet of paper, then photocopy your comments onto everyone else's homework.

2.Should you have very skilled cheaters in your class, try giving incorrect information during your lectures. This should result in incorrect answers on exams. Examples that have proven effective at this technique include:


You are expected to spend at least 4 hours each week in the lab to assist with student's questions. Student's have been known to come up with some real beauties:

Here are the solutions to the most common problems:

P: "The screen is blank - I can't see what I'm doing"
S: Turn on the monitor

P: "How do I get into Windows?"
S: Stare at it long enough and it will start to look like candy.

P: "I can't get this computer to do anything."
S: Have them move to a computer that has a keyboard.

P: "The stupid printer printed the wrong file."
S: Reprimand the printer.

P: "WordPerfect didn't do what I told it to do."
S: Tell them they have to earn its respect first.

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From: "Alexander Vinogradov" <aevin#NoSpam.link.cytspb.rssi.ru>
During a rather dull anatomic lecture, the old professor had abruptly
inserted the beginning of the sentence: "So that not to become
pregnant...", by which all students were wakened up. Not finishing it, he
continued his discourse. He repeated this trick several times, at neither
of them finishing the intriguing sentence but still keeping his auditory
After the lecture he was approached by one student:
- But, professor, what was that means for not to become pregnant?
- Oh, that... it's a cup of coffee.
- But before or after ...?
- Instead.

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From: Anthon_Pang#NoSpam.mindlink.UUCP (Anthon Pang)

(If any of these are not original, please blame it on my Commerce 335
professor, Dr. Yair Wand.  Otherwise, all humour can be attributed to him as
the source.)

A physics professor was very strict about attendance, and despised
tardiness.  Every student caught arriving to class late (especially those
interrupting his lecture) was quickly reprimanded in front of the whole
class.  Students were quick to comment on the professor's genetics.  Well,
one day a student entered through the front doors of the lecture hall,
while the prof was writing notes on the chalkboard.  The professor caught
the student out of the corner of his eye (this acute sense of peripheral
vision, further supported the rumours of his evolution), and turned to face
the student.  He demanded, "What do you think you're doing?".  Being a
science student, one naturally thinks quickly, so the student snapped up
and replied, "I came down from the back to get a better look at the board".
The prof smiled.

Back in those days, it was required that in order for a student to receive
credit for a particular course, a card (listing of his/her courses) had to
be signed by the instructor/lecturer.  It was, at the time, policy that
students attend their courses.  But depending on the size of the class, it
was often quite possible to receive credit, even after not attending the
class regularly.  Not so, with this physics professor...if he didn't
recognize you, you would have to repeat the course (& attend!).  On one
occasion, a student handed his card to be signed.  The professor looked at
the name, then at the student, and said, "I've never seen you in my class,"
and handed back the card.  Now being a science student, he naturally
thought quickly, and proceeded to the end of the line.  When he was at the
front again, he handed his card to the prof. The prof looked at the name,
then at the student, and said, "You look familiar.  OK", and signed the

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   A professor was known for being an easy grader.  The grades he gave for
a survey course (i. e. the type where you are expected to learn
generalities and not specifics) were based entirely on two exams, and the
stuff on the exams was entirely covered in the textbook.  So showing up for
class wasn't a big deal.
   However, this started to get out of hand.  As word of the course spread,
at each semester, there was a larger block of students who would show up
infrequently or not at all, except for the exam days.  Finally, it got so
bad that about half of the students one term never showed before the
midterm.  On the day of the midterm, everyone came in and a graduate
assistant handed out exams, "Prof x. is sick, so he asked me to give you
your exams."
   There was only one question in the exam booklets: "Which one of the
pictures below is of professor x?"
   Obviously, the students who never showed up didn't know and had to
guess.  Many failed, while the students who had been showing up regularly
got A's.

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From: "Keith E. Sullivan" <KSullivan#NoSpam.worldnet.att.net>
                            SHORTAGE OF PROSTITUTES

Annoyed by the professor of anatomy who liked to tell "naughty" stories
during class, a group of female students decided that the next time he
started to tell one, they would all rise and leave the room in protest.

The professor, however, got wind of their scheme just before class the
following day, so he bided his time.  Then, halfway through the lecture,
he began.

"They say there is quite a shortage of prostitutes in France."

The girls looked at one another, arose and started for the door.

"Young ladies," said the professor with a broad smile, "the next plane
doesn't leave till tomorrow afternoon."

~From:  Evu -- Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
The Humour Man <dbarout#NoSpam.ilink.nis.za>

                    University of Delaware EE Department
                               (smirk, true)

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From: rih#NoSpam.udel.edu (Ron Ih)

This happened in a class I was attending a few years ago.

While giving a lecture on the mechanics of momentum and kinetic energy
transfer, my physics professor noticed a student busily snoozing in the
fourth row of the auditorium. He turned to a girl sitting in the first
row and asked her what the result of a collision between two particles
with masses, velocities, and trajectories that he specified would be.
After a few seconds of thinking and calculating she came up with the
correct answer.

The professor then awoke the sleeping student and said, "You! Same

The student, a bit stunned and bleary eyed, looked around and replied,
"Same answer."

After the laughter died down the professor turned around and said, "OK,
you got me on that one, I won't call on you again..."

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From: Jason King <Jase#NoSpam.jason-king.co.uk>
A professor stood before his class of 20 senior organic biology
students, about to hand out the final exam. "I want to say that it's
been a pleasure teaching you this semester. I know you've all worked
extremely hard and many of you are off to medical school after
summer break. So that no one gets their GP messed up because they
might have been celebrating a bit too much this week, anyone who
would like to opt out of the final exam today will receive a "B" for
the course."

There was much rejoicing amongst the class as students got up,
passed by the professor to thank him and sign out on his offer.

As the last taker left the room, the professor looked out over the
handful of remaining students and asked, "Any one else? This is your
last chance." One final student rose up and took the offer.

The professor closed the door and took attendance of those students
remaining. "I'm glad to see you believe in yourself," he said. "You
all have "A's."

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                        STUDENT SATISFACTION SURVEY
          Taken from the MIT Course Evaluation Guide, Fall, 1991

The Best and Worst Comments Received

"This class was a religious experience for me... I had to take it all on

"Text makes a satisfying 'thud' when dropped on the floor."

"The class was worthwhile because I need it for the degree."

"His blackboard technique puts Rembrandt to shame."

"Textbook is confusing... Someone with a knowledge of English should
proofread it."

"Have you ever fell asleep in class and awoke in another?  That's the way I
felt all term."

"In class I learn I can fudge answers and get away with it."

"Keep lecturer or tenure board will be shot."

"The recitation instruction would make a good parking lot attendant Tries
to tell you where to go, but you can never understand him."

"Text is useless.  I use it to kill roaches in my room."

"In class the syllabus is more important than you are."

"I am convinced that you can learn by osmosis by just sitting in his

"Help! I've fallen asleep and I can't wake up!"

"Problem sets are a decoy to lure you away from potential exam material."

"Recitation was great.  It was so confusing that I forgot who I was, where
 I was, and what I was doing --it's a great stress reliever."

"He is one of the best teacher I have had.. He is well-organized, presents
good lectures, and creates interest in the subject.  I hope my comments
don't hurt his chances of getting tenure."

"I would sit in class and stare out the window at the squirrels.  They've
got a cool nest in the tree."

"He teaches like Speedy Gonzalez on a caffeine high."

"This course kept me out of trouble from 2-4:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays."

"Most of us spent the 1st three weeks terrified ot the class.  Then
solidarity kicked in."

"Bogus number crunching.  My HP is exhausted."

"The absolute value of the TA was less than epsilon."

"TA steadily improved throughout the course...  I think he started drinking
and it really loosened him up."

"Information was presented like a ruptured fire hose -- spraying in all
directions -- no way to stop it."

"I never bought the text.  My $60 was better spent on the Led Zeppelin
tapes that I used more while doing the problem sets that I would have used
the text."

"What's the best quality of the text? 'Text is printed on high quality

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From: Alan Meiss (ameiss#NoSpam.indiana.edu)

50 Fun Things for Professors to Do on the First Day of Class

1. Wear a hood with one eyehole. Periodically make strange gurgling
2. After confirming everyone's names on the roll, thank the class for
   attending "Advanced Astrodynamics 690" and mention that yesterday
   was the last day to drop.
3. After turning on the overhead projector, clutch your chest and
   scream "MY PACEMAKER!"
4. Wear a pointed Kaiser helmet and a monocle and carry a riding
5. Gradually speak softer and softer and then suddenly point to a
   student and scream "YOU! WHAT DID I JUST SAY?"
6. Deliver your lecture through a hand puppet. If a student asks you
   a question directly, say in a high-pitched voice, "The Professor
   can't hear you, you'll have to ask *me*, Winky Willy".
7. If someone asks a question, walk silently over to their seat, hand
   them your piece of chalk, and ask, "Would YOU like to give the
   lecture, Mr. Smartypants?"
8. Pick out random students, ask them questions, and time their
   responses with a stop watch. Record their times in your grade book
   while muttering "tsk, tsk".
9. Ask students to call you "Tinkerbell" or "Surfin' Bird".
10. Stop in mid-lecture, frown for a moment, and then ask the class
    whether your butt looks fat.
11. Play "Kumbaya" on the banjo.
12. Show a video on medieval torture implements to your calculus
    class. Giggle throughout it.
13. Announce "you'll need this", and write the suicide prevention
    hotline number on the board.
14. Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in Turkish. Ignore all
15. Start the lecture by dancing and lip-syncing to James Brown's "Sex
16. Ask occassional questions, but mutter "as if you gibbering simps
    would know" and move on before anyone can answer.
17. Ask the class to read Jenkins through Johnson of the local phone
    book by the next lecture. Vaguely imply that there will be a quiz.
18. Have one of your graduate students sprinkle flower petals ahead of
    you as you pace back and forth.
19. Address students as "worm".
20. Announce to students that their entire grades will be based on a
    single-question oral final exam. Imply that this could happen at
    any moment.
21. Turn off the lights, play a tape of crickets chirping, and begin
    singing spirituals.
22. Ask for a volunteer for a demonstration. Ask them to fill out a
    waiver as you put on a lead apron and light a blowtorch.
23. Point the overhead projector at the class. Demand each student's
    name, rank, and serial number.
24. Begin class by smashing the neck off a bottle of vodka, and
    announce that the lecture's over when the bottle's done.
25. Have a band waiting in the corner of the room. When anyone asks a
    question, have the band start playing and sing an Elvis song.
26. Every so often, freeze in mid sentence and stare off into space
    for several minutes. After a long, awkward silence, resume your
    sentence and proceed normally.
27. Wear a "virtual reality" helmet and strange gloves. When someone
    asks a question, turn in their direction and make throttling
    motions with your hands.
28. Mention in passing that you're wearing rubber underwear.
29. Growl constantly and address students as "matey".
30. Devote your math lecture to free verse about your favorite numbers
    and ask students to "sit back and groove".
31. Announce that last year's students have almost finished their
    class projects.
32. Inform your English class that they need to know Fortran and code
    all their essays. Deliver a lecture on output format statements.
33. Bring a small dog to class. Tell the class he's named "Boogers
    McGee" and is your "mascot". Whenever someone asks a question,
    walk over to the dog and ask it, "What'll be, McGee?"
34. Wear a feather boa and ask students to call you "Snuggles".
35. Tell your math students that they must do all their work in a base
    11 number system. Use a complicated symbol you've named after
    yourself in place of the number 10 and threaten to fail students
    who don't use it.
36. Claim to be a chicken. Squat, cluck, and produce eggs at irregular
37. Bring a CPR dummy to class and announce that it will be the
    teaching assistant for the semester. Assign it an office and
    office hours.
38. Have a grad student in a black beret pluck at a bass while you
39. Sprint from the room in a panic if you hear sirens outside.
40. Give an opening monologue. Take two minute "commercial breaks"
    every ten minutes.
41. Tell students that you'll fail them if they cheat on exams or
    "fake the funk".
42. Announce that you need to deliver two lectures that day, and
    deliver them in rapid-fire auctioneer style.
43. Pass out dental floss to students and devote the lecture to oral
44. Announce that the entire 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica will be
    required reading for your class. Assign a report on Volume 1,
    Aardvark through Armenia, for next class.
45. Ask students to list their favorite showtunes on a signup sheet.
    Criticize their choices and make notes in your grade book.
46. Sneeze on students in the front row and wipe your nose on your
47. Warn students that they should bring a sack lunch to exams.
48. Refer frequently to students who died while taking your class.
49. Show up to lecture in a ventilated clean suit. Advise students to
    keep their distance for their own safety and mutter something
    about "that bug I picked up in the field".
50. Jog into class, rip the textbook in half, and scream, "Are you

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From: Alan Meiss (ameiss#NoSpam.indiana.edu)

               50 Fun Things to Do on the First Day of Class

 1. Smoke a pipe and respond to each point the professor makes by
    waving it and saying, "Quite right, old bean!"
 2. Wear X-Ray Specs. Every few minutes, ask the professor to focus
    the overhead projector.
 3. Sit in the front row and spend the lecture filing your teeth into
    sharp points.
 4. Sit in the front and color in your textbook.
 5. When the professor calls your name in roll, respond "that's my
    name, don't wear it out!"
 6. Introduce yourself to the class as the "master of the pan flute".
 7. Give the professor a copy of The Watchtower. Ask him where his
    soul would go if he died tomorrow.
 8. Wear earmuffs. Every few minutes, ask the professor to speak
 9. Leave permanent markers by the dry-erase board.
10. Squint thoughtfully while giving the professor strange looks. In
    the middle of lecture, tell him he looks familiar and ask whether
    he was ever in an episode of Starsky and Hutch.
11. Ask whether the first chapter will be on the test. If the
    professor says no, rip the pages out of your textbook.
12. Become entranced with your first physics lecture, and declare your
    intention to pursue a career in measurements and units.
13. Sing your questions.
14. Speak only in rhymes and hum the Underdog theme.
15. When the professor calls roll, after each name scream "THAT'S
    MEEEEE! Oh, no, sorry."
16. Insist in a Southern drawl that your name really is Wuchen Li. If
    you actually are Chinese, insist that your name is Vladimir
    Fernandez O'Reilly.
17. Page through the textbook scratching each picture and sniffing it.
18. Wear your pajamas. Pretend not to notice that you've done so.
19. Hold up a piece of paper that says in large letters "CHECK YOUR
20. Inform the class that you are Belgian royalty, and have a friend
    bang cymbals together whenever your name is spoken.
21. Stare continually at the professor's crotch. Occassionally lick
    your lips.
22. Address the professor as "your excellency".
23. Sit in the front, sniff suspiciously, and ask the professor if
    he's been drinking.
24. Shout "WOW!" after every sentence of the lecture.
25. Bring a mirror and spend the lecture writing Bible verses on your
26. Ask whether you have to come to class.
27. Present the professor with a large fruit basket.
28. Bring a "seeing eye rooster" to class.
29. Feign an unintelligible accent and repeatedly ask, "Vet ozzle
    haffen dee henvay?" Become aggitated when the professor can't
    understand you.
30. Relive your Junior High days by leaving chalk stuffed in the
    chalkboard erasers.
31. Watch the professor through binoculars.
32. Start a "wave" in a large lecture hall.
33. Ask to introduce your "invisible friend" in the empty seat beside
    you, and ask for one extra copy of each handout.
34. When the professor turns on his laser pointer, scream "AAAGH! MY
35. Correct the professor at least ten times on the pronunciation of
    your name, even it's Smith. Claim that the i is silent.
36. Sit in the front row reading the professor's graduate thesis and
37. As soon as the first bell rings, volunteer to put a problem on the
    board. Ignore the professor's reply and proceed to do so anyway.
38. Claim that you wrote the class text book.
39. Claim to be the teaching assistant. If the real one objects, jump
    up and scream "IMPOSTER!"
40. Spend the lecture blowing kisses to other students.
41. Every few minutes, take a sheet of notebook paper, write "Signup
    Sheet #5" at the top, and start passing it around the room.
42. Stand to ask questions. Bow deeply before taking your seat after
    the professor answers.
43. Wear a cape with a big S on it. Inform classmates that the S
    stands for "stud".
44. Interrupt every few minutes to ask the professor, "Can you spell
45. Disassemble your pen. "Accidently" propel pieces across the room
    while playing with the spring. Go on furtive expeditions to
    retrieve the pieces. Repeat.
46. Wink at the professor every few minutes.
47. In the middle of lecture, ask your professor whether he believes
    in ghosts.
48. Laugh heartily at everything the professor says. Snort when you
49. Wear a black hooded cloak to class and ring a bell.
50. Ask your math professor to pull the roll chart above the
    blackboard of ancient Greek trade routes down farther because you
    can't see Macedonia.

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From: no#NoSpam.idon'tknow.net (no no)

Subject: Science vs God
An anonymous dialogue, which I found brilliant and insightful:
"Professing to be wise, they became fools . . . "

"Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ."  The atheist
professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his
new students to stand. "You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

"Yes, sir."

"So you believe in God?"


"Is God good?"

"Sure!  God's good."

"Is God all-powerful?  Can God do anything?"


"Are you good or evil?"

"The Bible says I'm evil."

The professor grins knowingly. "Ahh! THE BIBLE!"  He considers for a
moment. "Here's one for you.  Let's say there's a sick person over here and
you can cure him.  You can do it.  Would you help them?  Would you try?"

"Yes sir, I would."

"So you're good...!"

"I wouldn't say that."

"Why not say that?  You would help a sick and maimed person if you
could... in fact most of us would if we could...God doesn't.

(No answer.)

He doesn't, does he?  My brother was a Christian who died of cancer even
though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good?  Hmmm?  Can
you answer that one?"

(No answer)

The elderly man is sympathetic. "No, you can't, can you?"  He takes a sip
of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time

to relax.  In philosophy, you have to go easy with the new ones.  "Let's
start again, young fella.  Is God good?"

"Er... Yes."

"Is Satan good?"


"Where does Satan come from?"

The student falters.  "From... God..."

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he?" The elderly man runs his bony
fingers through his thinning hair and turns to the smirking, student
audience. "I think we're going to have a lot of fun this semester, ladies
and gentlemen."  He turns back to the Christian.  "Tell me, son, Is there
evil in this world?"

"Yes, sir."

"Evil's everywhere, isn't it?  Did God make everything?"


"Who created evil?

(No answer)

"Is there sickness in this world? Immorality?  Hatred?  Ugliness?  All the
terrible things - do they exist in this world?"

The student squirms on his feet. "Yes."

"Who created them? "

(No answer)

The professor suddenly shouts at his student. "WHO CREATED THEM?  TELL ME,
PLEASE!"  The professor closes in for the kill and climbs into the
Christian's face. In a still small voice: "God created all evil, didn't He,

(No answer) The student tries to hold the steady, experienced gaze and

Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace the front of the classroom like
an aging panther. The class is mesmerized.  "Tell me," he continues, "How
is it that this God is good if He created all evil throughout all time?"
The professor swishes his arms around to encompass the wickedness of the
world.  "All the hatred, the brutality, all the pain, all the torture, all
the death and ugliness and all the suffering created by this good God is
all over the world, isn't it, young man?"

(No answer)

"Don't you see it all over the place?  Huh?" Pause.  "Don't you?" The
professor leans into the student's face again and whispers, "Is God good?"

(No answer)

"Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?"

The student's voice betrays him and cracks. "Yes, professor.  I do."

The old man shakes his head sadly. "Science says you have five senses you
use to identify and observe the world around you.  Have you seen Jesus?"

"No, sir.  I've never seen Him."

"Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?"

"No, sir.  I have not."

"Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus...in
fact, do you have any sensory perception of your God whatsoever?"

(No answer)

"Answer me, please."

"No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"You're AFRAID... you haven't?"

"No, sir."

"Yet you still believe in him?" >>


"That takes FAITH!"  The professor smiles sagely at the underling.
"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,
science says your God doesn't exist.  What do you say to that, son?  Where
is your God now?"

{The student doesn't answer}

"Sit down, please."  The Christian sits...Defeated.

Another Christian raises his hand. "Professor, may I address the class?"

The professor turns and smiles. "Ah, another Christian in the vanguard!
Come, come, young man. Speak some proper wisdom to the gathering."

The Christian looks around the room.  "Some interesting points you are
making, sir.  Now I've got a question for you. Is there such thing as

"Yes," the professor replies.  "There's heat."

"Is there such a thing as cold?"

"Yes, son, there's cold too."

"No, sir, there isn't."

The professor's grin freezes. The room suddenly goes very cold.

The second Christian continues. "You can have lots of heat, even more heat,
super-heat, mega-heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat but we don't
have anything called 'cold'.  We can hit 458 degrees below zero, which is
no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as
cold, otherwise we would be able to go colder than 458 - You see, sir, cold
is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure
cold.  Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy.  Cold
is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."

Silence. A pin drops somewhere in the classroom.

"Is there such a thing as darkness, professor?"

"That's a dumb question, son. What is night if it isn't darkness?

What are you getting at...?"

"So you say there is such a thing as darkness?"


"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something, it is the absence of
something.  You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing
light but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called
darkness, isn't it?  That's the meaning we use to define the word.  In
reality, Darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness
darker and give me a jar of it. Can you...give me a jar of darker darkness,

Despite himself, the professor smiles at the young effrontery before
him. This will indeed be a good semester. "Would you mind telling us what
your point is, young man?"

"Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start
with and so your conclusion must be in error...."

The professor goes toxic.  "Flawed...?  How dare you...!""

"Sir, may I explain what I mean?"

The class is all ears.  "Explain... oh, explain..." The professor makes an
admirable effort to regain control.  Suddenly he is affability itself.  He
waves his hand to silence the class, for the student to continue.

"You are working on the premise of duality," the Christian explains.  "That
for example there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad
God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we
can measure. Sir, science cannot even explain a thought.

It uses electricity and magnetism but has never seen, much less fully
understood them. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of
the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.  Death is not the
opposite of life, merely the absence of it."  The young man holds up a
newspaper he takes from the desk of a neighbor who has been reading
it. "Here is one of the most disgusting tabloids this country hosts,
professor. Is there such a thing as immorality?"

"Of course there is, now look..."

"Wrong again, sir.  You see, immorality is merely the absence of
morality. Is there such thing as injustice?  No. Injustice is the absence
of justice. Is there such a thing as evil?" The Christian pauses.  "Isn't
evil the absence of good?"

The professor's face has turned an alarming color. He is so angry he is
temporarily speechless.

The Christian continues. "If there is evil in the world, professor, and we
all agree there is, then God, if he exists, must be accomplishing a work
through the agency of evil. What is that work, God is accomplishing?

The Bible tells us it is to see if each one of us will, of our own free
will, choose good over evil."

The professor bridles. "As a philosophical scientist, I don't view this
matter as having anything to do with any choice; as a realist, I absolutely
do not recognize the concept of God or any other theological factor as
being part of the world equation because God is not observable."

"I would have thought that the absence of God's moral code in this world is
probably one of the most observable phenomena going," the Christian
replies. "Newspapers make billions of dollars reporting it every week!
Tell me, professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a

"If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes,
of course I do."

"Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

The professor makes a sucking sound with his teeth and gives his student a
silent, stony stare.

"Professor, since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work
and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you
not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a priest?"

"I'll overlook your impudence in the light of our philosophical
discussion. Now, have you quite finished?" the professor hisses.

"So you don't accept God's moral code to do what is righteous?"

"I believe in what is - that's science!"

"Ahh! SCIENCE!" the student's face splits into a grin. "Sir, you rightly
state that science is the study of observed phenomena.  Science too is a
premise which is flawed..."

"SCIENCE IS FLAWED..?" the professor splutters.

The class is in uproar.

The Christian remains standing until the commotion has subsided.  "To
continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, may I give
you an example of what I mean?"

The professor wisely keeps silent.

The Christian looks around the room.  "Is there anyone in the class who has
ever seen the professor's brain?"

The class breaks out in laughter.

The Christian points towards his elderly, crumbling tutor. "Is there anyone
here who has ever heard the professor's brain... felt the professor's
brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain?"  No one appears to have
done so. The Christian shakes his head sadly.  "It appears no-one here has
had any sensory perception of the professor's brain whatsoever.  Well,
according to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol,
science says the professor has no brain."

The class is in chaos.  The Christian sits... Because that is what a chair
is for.

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From: nathan#NoSpam.visi.com (Nathan Mates)

Special Category: Definitions and terms
		     What The Professor Really Means

                         By J. Timothy Petersik
                 from the Chronicle of Higher Education

You'll be using one of the leading        I used it as a grad student.
textbooks in the field.

If you follow these few simple rules,     If you don't need any sleep, you'll
you'll do fine in the course.             do fine in the course.

The gist of what the author is saying     I don't understand the details
is what's most important.                 either.

Various authorities agree that...         My hunch is that...

The answer to your question is beyond     I don't know.
the scope of this class.

You'll have to see me during my office    I don't know.
hours for a thorough answer to your

In answer to your question, you must      I really don't know.
recognize that there are several
disparate points of view.

Today we are going to discuss a most      Today we are going to discuss my
important topic.                          dissertation.

Unfortunately, we haven't the time to     I disagree with what roughly half
consider all of the people who made       of the people in this field have
contributions to this field.		  said.

We can continue this discussion outside   1.  I'm tired of this - let's quit.
of class.                                 2.  You're winning the arguement -
                                              let's quit

Today we'll let a member of the class     I stayed out to late last night and
lead the discussion.  It will be a good   didn't have time to prepare a
educational experience.			  lecture

Any questions?                            I'm ready to let you go.

The implications of this study are       I don't know what it means either,
clear.                                   but there'll be a question about it
                                         on the test.

The test will be 50-questions            The test will be 60-questions
multiple choice.                         multiple guess, plus three short-
					 answer questions (1000 words or more)
					 and no one will score above 55%

The test scores were generally good.     Some of you managed a C+.

The test scores were a little below      Where was the party last night?
my expectations.

Some of you could have done better.      Everyone flunked.

Before we begin the lecture for          Has anyone opened the book yet?
today, are there any questions about
previous material?

According to my sources...               According to the guy who taught this
                                         class last year...

It's been very rewarding to teach        I hope they find someone else to
this class.                              teach it next year.

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From Kevin Saltkill (kds3521#NoSpam.tntech.edu)
My name is Kevin Saltkill.  I got this off of my (college) advisor's door.  I
think she got it from the University of Kentucky.

My e-mail address is kds3521#NoSpam.tntech.edu. I would appreciate any additions that
can be thought up.  Thanks, and enjoy!

All undergraduate students must take note of new required classes.

Course number   Title                                     Days      Time
MUS147          HOW TO HUM: LECTURE AND LAB               MW        10:00-10:50
HIS024          U.S. HISTORY SINCE ABOUT AN HOUR AGO      TR        12:00-1:15
GEO222          COUNTRIES THAT ARE ORANGE ON MAPS         MWF       2:00-2:50
ENG537          SURVEY IN ENG LIT: SIR FRANCIS BACON      MWF       9:00-11:15
                AND LORD HENRY SAUSAGE
POLS834         U.S. DOMESTIC POLICY: IF FROGS COULD      TR        1:30-2:45
ANT248          AMISH PARTY GAMES                         W         6:00-8:15
FR106           ELEMENTARY FRENCH TOAST                   MW        8:00-8:50
COM193          TOPICS FROM "GREEN ACRES": LIFE AND       T         7:00-9:15
                TIMES OF MR. HANEY
HIS456          THE HISTORY OF SOUP                       TR        9:30-10:45
CHE546          THE SCIENCE OF PLAY-DO                    MWF       10:00-10:50
PHI101          THE RAMBLINGS OF DEAD, DRUNKEN            MWF       9:00-9:50
ARC555          ARCHITECTURE OF THE BRADY BUNCH HOME      WTBS      4:35-5:05
MOO108          THE BOVINE ERA, PART IV: COW HISTORY      R         5:30-7:15
                SINCE 1784
ENG327          SHAKESPEAREAN MEMOS, MENUS, AND GROCERY   TR        11:00-12:15
ANT764          NOMADIC TRIBES OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA      MW        3:00-3:50
POLS497         REPUBLICAN PARTY ETHICS                   M         1:00-1:05
ARC123          DESIGNING MODERN CITIES USING LEGOS       MWF       2:00-2:50
MATH19875       MATHEMATICS SO HARD THAT NO ONE CAN       W         6:00-8:30
                DO IT
A-S546          TOPICS IN MODERN ART: USING A LIVE        TR        3:00-4:15
                AS A PAINT BRUSH
HPR314          BEGINNING YAHTZEE                         MWF       1:00-1:50
ENG893          THE ROMANTIC PROSE OF ALAN CUTLER         MWF       9:00-9:50
PHY276          HYPNOTIZING YOUR PETS                     TR        2:00-3:15
TEL115          MUNSTERS/ADDAMS FAMILY: A COMPARISON      M         7:00-9:15
BIO654          STUDENT CENTER SOUPS                      MWF       10:00-10:50
???267          POTPOURRI                                 TR        12:30-1:45
ENG690          STOOGE CRITICISM: THE SHEMP YEARS         MWF       10:00-10:50
MUS532          THE BAGPIPES GO DISCO                     MWF       3:00-4:15
MATH476         LEARNING POSSIBLE LOTTERY NUMBERS         TR        11:00-12:15
BUS109          NEIL BUSH INVESTMENT SEMINAR              MWF       4:00-4:50
ZGH786          INTRO AM OP ED ACK OOP                    TR        11:00-11:50
HRP192          TAKING DOWN THE VOLLEYBALL NET            MW        12:00-12:50
                (NOTE:prereq:HPR191: PUT UP VBALL NET)
SCH465          UNDERSTANDING THE SCHEDULE BOOK           M         2:00-2:50

If you think of any other classes that should be required, add them at your

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From: Mad Michi <mad.michi#NoSpam.softhome.net>
            ACADEMIC LIKE ME

Jan 3rd, 1995
I have long heard of the lives of the privileged classes, and now I
have prepared myself to experience life as a member.
Tomorrow, I will don the the uniform of the academic and re-enter
society, NOT as I once was, a worker and pawn of the
educated classes, but as a peer of those very people. Tomorrow, I
shall become an academic!

Jan 4th, 1995
Dressed in a pair of green slacks with shortened legs, red cardigan
and egg-yolk-stained tee-shirt; sporting a scraggly beard
and armed only with a pipe, I stepped onto the University Campus.

Immediately upon mumbling some incomprehensible gibberish, I was
greeted on with respect and awe by my fellow academia

Applying for tenure was simple. The questions were very direct:

   They:   Do you know what you're doing?
   Me:     This is Belgium, right?
   They:   You have a masters in English?
   Me:     I have a Red Volvo!
   They:   And you're applying for a position in the
           department of Physics?
   Me:     I think sometimes, therefore I am illogical!

I was appointed immediately and released to an unsuspecting student

Jan 5th 1995
Today was my first as a lecturer. I prepared concientiously by
drinking heavily, watching lots of television and going to bed very
late the preceding night

Turning up at my lecture the prescribed 1 minute late, I spoke of
Yeats and the passion of his poetry.

The first year Physics students were left speechless.

Jan 6th 1995
I did not go to work today, due to my thinking it was Saturday.

Jan 7th 1995
I did not go to work today, due to my thinking it was a Wednesday

Jan 8th 1995
I went to work today and was distressed at the lack of attendance.

Jan 9th 1995
Being conscientious in the maintenance of my diary, I take a well
deserved holiday knowing that in three more days I will be
eligible for a six month sebattical.

Jan 12th 1995
My lecture this morning was a landmark effort. I launched into the
explanation of the right-hand-rule, then, remembering that I was an
academic, subverted myself into discussing of the right-hand-rule of
hitch-hiking, the dangers of hitchhiking, the dangers of hitching in
South America, my Holiday in South America, the woman I met in South
America, the place she worked at, their physics department, then to
finish off, what their physics department said about the right-hand-

I think I was well received

Jan 13th 1995
A minor piece of confusion here in that I brought my Telephone book
instead of my lecture notes.

I improvised the basic electrical safety section of the course with
the aid of two paper clips, a student and a handy power point.

I feel sure the class now appreciates the dangers of electricity.

Attendance dropped by one.

Jan 14th
Being a friday, I decide to excite my first year pupils with an
experiment in wave theory. I walked into the lab, waved, and left.

I'm sure my students appreciated the humourous content

Jan 17th
Having now mastered when weekends occur, I turned up to receive
confirmation of my sebattical, taking it, on full pay, immediately

Jul 17th
Back from sebattical I realise that I did not make arrangements for a
stand-in lecturer.

In an attempt to catch up for the lost time, I set the students some
homework, pages 1-375, read and do all exercises.

Jul 18th
Attendance was exceptionally low today with only one student in class.
When I asked him how his homework was going as his
entire coursework depended on it. He screamed and left.

I marked him absent and informed the grants department that no-one was
attending my courses.

Jul 21st
My students are all back having received the letter informing them
that grants are only paid to attending students.

Scholarship students, with a far harsher attendance policy, are openly

Jul 24th
I am now eligible for three months extra-curricular sebattical, which
I decide to take immediately, warning my students that the
exam will be held the day I return, covering all aspects of the
course, including the last minute addition of the Encyclopedia
Brittanica to the Book List. I expect all students to have a copy.

Oct 24th.
Exam day. Having no preparation time, I use last years exam and
substitute different values for the equation.

I randomly appoint a student from another class to work out the
answers and mark the exams.

Oct 27th
I receive the results of the exam which indicate that 89% of the class
passed the exam. Lauded as an academic genius, I am
awarded 6 months further paid sebbatical to study the effects of
alcohol on the mind. Starting the third day of term next year.

I think I'm on a winner here.

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From: bluebuck#NoSpam.grinningplanet.com (Bluebuck)


- Has a salivary disorder that clears the first three rows of the
lecture hall.

- Applies for a research grant to study young adults' reactions to
receiving bad grades.

- Always wears the same thing: white lab coat, thick black glasses, no

From: "Geordie the Forgery" <geordie4567#NoSpam.btinternet.com>

He / She calls him / herself a proffessor.

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Special Category: Definitions and terms
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, Puns of the Weak
A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep. (W. H. Auden)

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From: "My Links" <matthew_nied.msn#NoSpam.attcanada.net>
A kind of wierd college professor asked his class a question.
"If Philadelphia is 100 miles from New York and Chicago
is 1060 miles from Philadelphia and Los Angles is 2177 miles
from Chicago,.... how old am I?"

One student in the back of the class raised his hand and when
called upon said, "Professor you're 44.."

The Professor said "You're absolutely correct, but tell me, how
did you arrive at the answer so quickly?"

The student said. "You see professor, I have a brother; he's
22, and he's only half nuts . . ."

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From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, Puns of the Weak
"By the time you finish this class, you will be an expert in molecular
biology" Tom professed, of course. (Stan Kegel)

"Please, teacher, may I leave the room?" Tom asked high-handedly. (Paul

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