and you’re invited! If you follow the rules, that is. Taking Down Words reprints a party invitation sent out by the IU GOP group. Poor kids, they don’s seem to know what college is for.
The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm: "Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Support your answer with a proof." Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s Law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant.
One student, however, wrote the following:
The following are a sampling of REAL answers received on exams given by the California Department of Transportation’s driving school (read Saturday Traffic School for moving violation offenders.)
Q: Do you yield when a blind pedestrian is crossing the road?
A: What for? He can’t see my license plate.
Q: Who has the right of way when four cars approach a four-way stop at the same time?
A: The pick up truck with the gun rack and the bumper sticker saying, "Guns don’t kill people. I do."
Remember the book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus"? Well, here’s a prime example of the differences between Men and Women offered by an English professor at Southern Methodist University:
SMU, Creative Writing
In-class Assignment for Wednesday:
"Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."
The beguiling ideas about science quoted here were gleaned from essays, exams, and class room discussions. Most were from 5th and 6th graders. They illustrate Mark Twain’s contention that the ‘most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.’
Question: What is one horsepower?
Answer: One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.
You can listen to thunder after lightening and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don’t hear it you got hit, so never mind.
He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. (Joseph Romm, Washington)
She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again. (Rich Murphy, Fairfax Station)
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t. (Russell Beland, Springfield)
. When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire.
. H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water.
. To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube.
. When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide.
. Nitrogen is not found in Connecticut because it is not found in a free state.
A list of parental excuses supposedly sent to teachers. In these samples, names were replaced with either Fred or Mary to protect innocent and guilty alike.
My son is under the doctor’s care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.
Please excuse Mary for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.
Please excuse Fred for being. It was his father’s fault.
A first grade teacher collected old, well known proverbs. She gave each kid in her class the first half of a proverb, and had them come up with the rest.
As You Shall Make Your Bed So Shall You… Mess It Up.
Better Be Safe Than… Punch A 5th Grader.
One of thefringe benefits of being an English or History teacher is receiving the occasional jewel of a student blooper in an essay. I have pasted together the following "history" of the world from certifiably genuine student bloopers collected by teachers throughout the United States, from eight grade through college level. Read carefully, and you will learn a lot.
The inhabitants of Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cul- tivated by irritation. The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The Pramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain.
The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked "Am I my brother’s son?" God asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Issac, stole his brother’s birthmark. Jacob was a partiarch who brought up his twelve sons to be partiarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob’s sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.
Pharaoh forced the Hebrew slaves to make bread without straw. Moses led them to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fougth with the Philatelists, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 500 wives and 500 porcupines.
Without the Greeks, we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks invented three kinds of columns – Corinthian, Doric and Ironic. They also had myths. A myth is a female moth. One myth says that the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intolerable. Achilles appears in "The Illiad", by Homer. Homer also wrote the "Oddity", in which Penelope was the last hardship that Ulysses endured on his journey. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.
Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock.
In the Olympic Games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled the biscuits, and threw the java. The reward to the victor was a coral wreath. The government of Athen was democratic because the people took the law into their own hands. There were no wars in Greece, as the mountains were so high that they couldn’t climb over to see what their neighbors were doing. When they fought the Parisians, the Greeks were outnumbered because the Persians had more men.
Eventually, the Ramons conquered the Geeks. History call people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long. At Roman banquets, the guests wore garlic in their hair. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March killed him because they thought he was going to be made king. Nero was a cruel tyrany who would torture his poor subjects by playing the fiddle to them.
Then came the Middle Ages. King Alfred conquered the Dames, King Arthur lived in the Age of Shivery, King Harlod mustarded his troops before the Battle of Hastings, Joan of Arc was cannonized by George Bernard Shaw, and the victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. Finally, the Magna Carta provided that no free man should be hanged twice for the same offense.
In midevil times most of the people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the time was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verse and also wrote liter- ature. Another tale tells of William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son’s head.
The Renaissance was an age in which more individuals felt the value of their human being. Martin Luther was nailed to the church door at Wittenberg for selling papal indulgences. He died a horrible death, being excommunicated by a bull. It was the painter Donatello’s interest in the female nude that made him the father of the Renaissance. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented the Bible. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes. Anot
The government of England was a limited mockery. Henry VIII found walking difficult because he had an abbess on his knee. Queen Elizabeth was the "Vir- gin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When Elizabeth exposed herself be- fore her troops, they all shouted "hurrah." Then her navy went out and defeated the Spanish Armadillo.
One of the causes of the Revolutionary Wars was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their pacels through the post with- out stamps. During the War, Red Coats and Paul Revere was throwing balls over stone walls. The dogs were barking and the peacocks crowing. Finally, the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.
Delegates from the original thirteen states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had gone to Boston carrying all his clothes in his pocket and a loaf of bread under each arm. He invented elec- tricity by rubbing cats backwards and declared "a horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
George Washington married Matha Curtis and in due time became the Father of Our Country. Them the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the Constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.
Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltare invented electricity and also wrote a book called "Candy". Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the Autumn, when the apples are flaling off the trees.
Bach was the most famous composer in the world, and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.
France was in a very serious state. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened. The Marseillaise was the theme song of the French Revolu- tion, and it catapulted into Napoleon. During the Napoleonic Wars, the crowned heads of Europe were trembling in their shoes. Then the Spanish gorrilas came down from the hills and nipped at Napoleon’s flanks. Napoleon became ill with bladder problems and was very tense and unrestrained. He wanted an heir to inheret his power, but since Josephin
The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. He reclining years and finally the end of her life were exemplatory of a great personality. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.
The nineteenth century was a time of many great inventions and thoughts. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick Raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Samuel Morse invented a code for telepathy. Louis Pastuer discovered a cure for rabbis. Charles Darwin was a naturailst who wrote the "Organ of the Species". Madman Curie discovered radium. And Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.
The First World War, cause by the assignation of the Arch-Duck by a surf, ushered in a new error in the anals of human history.