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Thread: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of Class

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  1. #1
    HamiltonBrowningFan
    Guest

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


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

    1.Wear a hood with one eyehole. Periodically make strange gurgling noises.

    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 crop.

    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 questions.

    15.Start the lecture by dancing and lip-syncing to James Brown's "Sex Machine."

    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 intervals.

    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 lecture.

    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 hygiene.

    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 tie.

    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 pumped? ARE YOU PUMPED? I CAN'T HEEEEEEAR YOU!"

  2. #2
    Nadya Lyubova
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    :lol: Thanks!
    I've had this professor in my 2 linguistics classes who used to open the semester saying "In this class we will use my book on bla-bla-bla, and students wishing to read the book in Japanese can as well buy the Japanese version of the book." I love those guys who finish each sentence with "....as you can read in my book XY on page so-and-so." This one professor actually opened his first class saying "You're very lucky to be in this class, because I'm an international luminary in this field". It was true - he was, but still...........modesty where are you.....:lol:

  3. #3
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    In graduate school I had a topology professor in a special topics course in knot theory who walked into the classroom on the first day and proceded to turn his pants inside out without ever taking them completely off his body.

    I still don't know how he did that trick, although I did learn the famous theorem that it illustrates.

    The strangest thing that I sometimes do in class is to appear dressed as Sherlock Holmes, complete with Inverness coat, deerstalker hat, magnifying glass and pipe -- the better to solve some sort of mathematical mystery.

    BTW, Nadya, I did my post-doctoral work in Germany, at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Bonn.

    Mathman

  4. #4
    DORISPULASKI
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    Mathman, Hope your knot professor had interesting and colorful underwear on too. That sounds like a great and memorable class exercise.:rollin:

    My freshman chemistry professor had what appeared to be a helium balloon tied to the end of the demonstration bench. He gave his lecture and at the end gave a short discussion of safety in the chem lab. Then he lit a cigarette lighter and set the balloon string alight. There was a huge explosion and you could feel the entire lecture hall rock, as in a small earthquake. He had filled the balloon with hydrogen on purpose. Talk about starting the course with a BANG!

    A rather dull but well intentioned math professor named Izzo started a 3rd semester calc course with a joke of sorts. He insisted that we cross our Z's and 7's and 0's to distinguish them from 2's, 1's and O's. He illustrated the problems that not doing this could cause from his own experience. After his first calculus quiz, his teacher handed out all the corrected quizes, but Izzo did not receive his and wondered what the problem was. Then the professor said, "And will the comedian who signed his quiz 1220 please come and pick it up at my desk."

    A German professor on viewing a class with students so tightly packed into it that the edges of the desks touched, remarked on returning the first quiz, "If this were in Germany, all the papers would be alike because you are sitting so close all would be cheating. It amazes me that none of the 30 of you were."

    The worst example of a class waker upper though was a lab instructor who thought it was amusing to sing the periodic table to melodies from Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado.

    dpp

  5. #5
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    :rollin: :rollin: :rollin: Did he have a little list?

  6. #6
    Nadya Lyubova
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    Hey, Mathman - I study in Bonn (at the University of Bonn) Did you like it? I'm a bit bored - i heard it was more fun when it was still the capital.....8o

  7. #7
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    I don't know about fun, but I was totally charmed by the city of Bonn. This was in the early seventies. The mixture of the old University town with the new government complexes, all set in what was essentially a rural village, I think was really unique. I lived on the outskirts of town (then), and I could look out the window in one direction and see the horses and cows in the farmers' fields, and the new government buildings in the other.

    Is Fredrich Hirzebruch still chairman of the Mathematics Department there? I think so, unless he is recently retired. He was the reason that I came to study in Bonn. I wrote my PhD thesis on "The Riemann-Roch-Hirzebruch Theorem," so it was really cool to have the chance to study with the man himself.

    Talk about nerve-racking. My second day there I had to give a lecture on my work (a tiny little contribution to Hirzebruch's marvellous work of the 1950s and 60s), and of course Hirzebruch himself was in the audience.

    I am reminded of what some young skater once said, I think it was Bebe Liang, at her first National Championship. They asked her if she was nervous to skate at such a big event before such a huge audience. She said, no, she was nervous about skating with Michelle Kwan watching.

    Mathman

  8. #8
    Nadya Lyubova
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    I did some internet research and found out he was the founder of Max-Planck Institute (maybe it has changed the name??). The site said he retired in 1995....
    I have a hard time imagining horses and cows in Bonn 8o :lol: It doesn't look rural now (in fact whenever I'm on a trip with fellow students from Bonn and they see sheep or anything on the meadows they get excited as if they saw a herd of Martians :lol: )

  9. #9
    DORISPULASKI
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    Mathman, Yes he did have a little list!, and so did I-the list of instructors not to take a lab section from the following semester. He also recommended pipetting acids by mouth and wasn't as clear about the poisonous and explosive properties of benzene and ether as he should be.

    In his case, I was more interested in having the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime.

    dpp

  10. #10
    rgirl181
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    Fun Things Professors Do on the First Day of Class: Come on to the babes:smokin:

    My late musicologist friend was a very small man and was thus able to hide inside the grand piano on the first day of class, waiting until the class got sufficiently unnerved about no professor before he made his "entrance."

    One of my physics professors was especially good at making ironic remarks along the lines of how desperately privileged we must be feeling to learn the details of angular momentum and that he hoped our dedication to and fascination with same would not prevent us from partying with various mind altering substances over the weekend.

    He also loved showing the film of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge rippling itself to pieces because of the combination of a slight wind, bad design, and the effects of harmonics. At one point on the film, a guy is running for his life trying to get off the bridge before it collapses. Both the collapsing bridge and the sight of the man running would have this professor laughing hysterically. He would also laugh himself silly when he would do demonstrations to illustrate a physics concept and invariably they would never work.

    I've got stories of what one of my writing teachers used to say to say to students, but I can't say them on this board:lol:

    But the turning the pants inside out without taking them off is the best. What was the trick of it? Can you explain the knot theorum it demonstrated in laymen's terms? If only I'd known how to do that in my young partay days
    Rgirl

  11. #11
    Show 42
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    Those were great. I remember sitting in a Philosophy class my sophomore year of college when the teacher walked in late, went to the chalkboard and wrote across it "Laryngitis, go away". He walked out, didn't look back, and we didn't see (or hear) from him for about a week.........42

  12. #12
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    My great uncle was the chief civil engineer who designed and constructed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

    The government official who was in chanrge of arranging insurance for the project, instead pocketed the money, figuring, what could ever happen to such a fine state-of-the-art bridge. He'd have gotten away with it if the bridge hadn't up and whipped itself to death.

    The original Tacoma Narrows were two geeky brothers who hung out with cool John. They were the Straights of Juan de Fuca.

    MM

  13. #13
    rgirl181
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>My great uncle was the chief civil engineer who designed and constructed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.[/quote] Wow, talk about synchronicity. Well your great uncle provided a particular physics professor with many happy hours watching the film of his bridge whip itself apart. Plus it ended up as a scene in one of my short stories. Tiny freakin' world. Congrats, Mathman
    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The original Tacoma Narrows were two geeky brothers who hung out with cool John. They were the Straights of Juan de Fuca.[/quote] YUKKK yuk yuk yuk yuk!
    Rgirl MBPBEDB

  14. #14
    DORISPULASKI
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    Heck, that Tacoma Narrows bridge flick is in the top 10 geek flicks of all time. I used to have it on a tape reel at the back of the lab and the mech. eng. and civ. eng. students would keep running it over and over again waiting for class to start, studying the guy walking on the bridge, plus the dog. I didn't have to play it; they played it themselves!

    dpp

  15. #15
    rgirl181
    Guest

    Re: 50 Fun Things For Professors to Do on the First Day of C


    Very true, Doris. Everyone I've ever known who has taken physics or some kind of mechanical engineering course has seen it. I wonder why somebody hasn't yet used it in a feature film as part of a classroom scene? And to think, we have a direct genetic descendant of the man responsible for the bridge in our very midst. It's like having Sir David Lean's great nephew at GS, although I think more people have probably seen "The Collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge" than have seen "Lawrence of Arabia." Too bad for Mathman that his great uncle didn't sue for the rights to the film, charge for showing it, and leave the residuals to Mathman. Otherwise we'd be calling him Moneyman:lol:
    Rgirl MBPBSMIEDB

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