What a former college instructor really thinks…

Posts tagged “college

A Public Service Announcement for Kids Who Are Leaving for College

Dear Entering Freshmen,

We at the University of Eternally Rising Tuition are looking forward to seeing you in a few short weeks.  Before you arrive on campus, we encourage you to make the following preparations to ensure that you will have a most excellent start to your college career.

1. Body Hair Management: You may have been raised to believe that women should shave their body hair and men should let it grow freely.  At the university, expectations are reversed.  Your highly liberal professors will respect you more (and give you better grades) if you don’t follow the usual expectations for your gender.  So, men: the only hair on your body should be on your head.  And, women: you will be adored if you look like Sasquatch.  Please remember that your college experience is all about the academics, so you really shouldn’t care if you receive funny looks or get beat up in the gym locker room (men) or can’t find a date to save your life (women).  These minor inconveniences will help you relate to your professors and that’s the whole reason you’re coming here.

2.  Read a book:  Cliff’s Notes don’t count.  At some point in your college career, you might not be permitted to coast by without doing the homework.  There’s only a 40% chance of that ever happening, but why take the risk?

3. Convert to Islam: Just like your body hair management, your religion will play a huge role in whether your professors let you succeed in college.  If you become a Muslim, you will instantly be the darling of all sorts of faculty members.  You can convert back to your old religion when you graduate as long as you are able to avoid the occasional militant Islamist who believes that apostates should be killed.  If you choose to hold on to your belief in Christianity or Judaism, may the Lord have mercy on your soul during your six or seven years in college.  Exception: if you adhere to the practice of Wicca, you should be okay.

4. Buy a car and a house: By the time you’re done with college, you’ll be in so much debt that no one will ever give you a loan.

We sincerely hope you will take our advice and arrive on campus ready to impress your professors and prevent the total annihilation of your future financial lives.  You’re taking out too many loans to ignore our every whim and desire.


How to Sleep With Your Professor’s Husband

Dear Students,

Two weeks ago, I wrote a memo on how to sleep with your professor’s wife.  Because there are plenty of female students among you, I am finally getting around to writing the additional set of guidelines I promised.  If you plan on pursuing extracurricular activities with your professor’s husband, please adhere to the following supplemental protocols:

1: He needs to use a condom if you might take another course from his wife.  Sooner or later, the professor is going to see your love child and notice that it looks an awful lot like her man.  This will not help your GPA.  If you are in your final semester at the university, you have nothing to worry about and can leave the condom at home.

2: You can’t bring him back to the dorm with you.  Older men look creepy (and therefore attract attention) in a women’s dorm.   You may object that there is a double standard at play: male students can bring the professor’s wife back to the dorm but the female students shouldn’t bring the professor’s husband.  You need to understand that there is a very important difference… the parents of the male students won’t refuse to pay his room and board if they learn of an older topless woman in the dorm.

3: Make sure he doesn’t bring a video camera, especially if his wife works in the drama department.  This one should explain itself.  If you’re going to be a pervert’s victim, at least have the foresight to not let your escapades become high art.  Porn pays so much better and we want you to make lot of money so you can donate generously to our annual fund.

If you obey our commands and behave responsibly, you will succeed in not ruining your academic life.   You’ll also help keep our fundraising goals intact.   Thank you very much and have a nice day.


The Plagiarist vs. The Play Jurist

In theory, committing plagiarism is supposed to be the surest way to get yourself expelled from college.  (The second surest way would be joining Duke’s lacrosse team…)  But believe it or not, plagiarism often goes unpunished or lightly reprimanded.  Let’s have a look at some of the people who make this situation possible:

The Professor.  If the professor discovers plagiarism, he will have to spend an extraordinary amount of time moving the case through the proper administrative channels.  He knows full well that his time is much better spent on editing the 52nd annual Yearbook for Frog Intestinal Studies.  Kermit’s wrath is far greater than what the professor can expect from the department chair, and if the plagiarists give him good course evaluations as a reward for being lenient, he might receive a small pay raise from the university.

The Department Chair. This person spends his time counting the number of students enrolled in his department’s courses.  He has no motivation to push his professors to crack down on plagiarism because the students would no longer be able to enroll in his department’s courses… and that would cost his department money.  To maintain the appearance of upholding academic standards, the department chair may ask the student to complete the plagiarized assignment “a second time.”

The Judicial Committee. If a case somehow makes its way to the administrative powers-that-be, there are still reasons why a plagiarist might come away unscathed.  The committee members know that tuition dollars pay their salaries and keep their employer afloat, so why hurry to deprive themselves of a source of income?  It is mandated that they punish the student now, perhaps with a reduced course grade and a notation of “plagiarist” on the transcript.  That notation can often be removed after a year or two if the student figures out how not to get reported again.  (The students who get caught often aren’t the brightest, so I wouldn’t hold out too much hope on that one…)  Exception: students who receive scholarships quickly lose out on some payments.

Potential Employers after Graduation.  Yeah… try telling students that they shouldn’t plagiarize because the corporate world looks down on cheating.   Students might believe you if you tell them that businesses look down on getting caught cheating, but professors usually can’t afford to tell students the truth.  And if students would want to work for an ethical business, they probably wouldn’t be considering plagiarism, right?

Classmates.  If you report your classmate for plagiarism, his friends will sneak into your dorm room, strangle you with a tube sock, and burn the place down.    Sounds fun, doesn’t it?


“Oskar Schindler was my Grandfather’s Great Uncle and That Makes Me a Special Student”

Dear Readers,

Please don’t get your hopes up.  Here at Necrotic Hijinks, we do not stoop so low as to joke about genocide.  When American college students become the victims, we will reconsider our policy.  (Legal disclaimer: we do not condone murder of any kind.)  Thank you.

Signed,

The Management

———-

Dear Readers,

Here at Necrotic Hijinks, we do not think it is funny that so many students have no idea who Oskar Schindler was, or that Adolf Hitler spoke German, or that the Nazis killed millions of innocent people, or that genocides continue to take place today.  Please excuse the misleading headline for this post; few students would ever claim to be related to Oskar Schindler because few colleges care enough to teach their students anything of importance.  You can’t claim to be related to someone you’ve never heard of.

Signed,

The Management

———-

Dear College-Age Readers,

We at Necrotic Hijinks extend our heartfelt apologies that your professors banished you from class when you informed them that Adolf Hitler spoke German.  According to most professors, Adolf Hitler speaks a funny form of English and lived on a ranch in Crawford, Texas.   That other Hitler guy is an unimportant detail to them.

Signed,

The Management

———-

Dear College-Age Readers,

Even though it is important to have important topics like genocide included in the curriculum, it is not appropriate for you to hold up the nude photographs of Holocaust victims as a reason to offer the course.  Even though the nude photos are what most professors will find interesting about the subject, it would be disgraceful for professors to prance in front of the classroom with the photos saying “Looky!  Looky! Looky!”  And you know they’d do it, don’t you?

Signed,

The Management

———-

Dear Readers,

Here at Necrotic Hijinks, we pride ourselves on historical accuracy.  Contrary to what you had thought, the man’s name was spelled O-S-K-A-R.  While we appreciate that you took your professors’ advice not to use Wikipedia as an authoritative source, please consider making use of legitimate reference materials before going ballistic over someone else’s spelling.  Thank you.

Signed,

The Management

———–

Dear Readers,

Despite what you may be thinking, this post was not designed to be gratuitous humor based on a tragic historical event.  You would be amazed to hear what some college faculty have to say about this period of history and its aftermath.  Many of them only care about dead people if they were killed because of their race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, or sexual orientation… and Jewish (and Christian) genocide victims usually don’t matter unless they were critical of their religious traditions, or of capitalism.

Signed,

Lou Tafisk


Proposed Geography Course: I See London, I See France

Students in the U.S. feel insufficiently motivated to learn about foreign lands and cultures.  Unfortunately, it is not the educator’s job to force students to learn anything or even to tell them to “try it and you may like it.”  The preferred route is to motivate them to be interested in a topic.   Motivation works (occasionally) but you have to come up with something stupendous to hook potential learners.

This proposed course offers a hook that will let students see the most intimate details of foreign lands.  That’s right!  We’re going to be examining people’s underwear.  This may sound like a frivolous topic but I assure you that it is not.  If you visit Amazon.com or any of the international Amazon websites, you will find that people in foreign countries prefer different types of underwear.  Often, this underwear is much more revealing, and this provides an excellent chance to grab students’ attention.

This may also provide encouragement to students who might not otherwise consider studying abroad.  Students will have a chance to see some of the most important sights that foreign countries have to offer.  And let’s be honest: we all know that the inhabitants of many countries show everyone these sights without a second thought.  Our students will be global citizens in no time.

But the administration may object: Don’t we run the risk of having our students stay overseas forever?  Won’t that negatively impact our tuition revenues?  This objection is legitimate, but educators must always remember that our first priority is what’s best for the students.  If we’re concerned about students not wanting to come back, we can always encourage them to bring back souvenirs to share with their friends.  Then, on Diversity Day, they can all parade around campus wearing the culturally significant artifacts they discovered while abroad.  Our entire community will be celebrating diversity in no time!

That parade should be enough reason for the university to approve this course proposal.