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Posts Tagged ‘students’


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In honor of exam week here at BJU beginning this Saturday, following close on the heels of students' course evaluations, I'm posting about a technique that has long been practiced by students — "alibi-ology" — the science of giving alibis. Students come up with some of the most amazing alibis to explain their performance. Some of the things below might also occur on students' course evaluations. You teachers out there may recognize some of these.

What students say when exams roll around...

When they are given an objective test:
"It doesn't let you express yourself."

When they are given an essay test:
"It's so vague. You don't know what's expected."

When they are given many minor tests:
"Why not have a few big ones? This keeps you on edge all the time."

When they are given only a few major tests:
"Too much depends on each one."
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How to Fail a Test with Dignity, take 2

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The week before final exams last semester, I did a blog post called "How to Fail a Test with Dignity," about some hilarious answers students have written on tests. One of my readers sent me an e-mail with more test questions and answers. I'm a little suspicious as to the authenticity of these for several reasons — none of the questions have a number in front of them, the font looks about the same on all the "tests," and the handwriting in several appears to be the same. Maybe the originator had a list of test questions and the answers given, and then tried to re-create them. Whatever, they are funny and I pass them on to you, my dear readers.

In one of the answers in the previous post, a students drew an elephant and said the object in the test question would not continue to move because an elephant was in the way. Another student tried to use that same dumb answer, but with even less success — the teacher noticed a missing (de)tail:

picture of corrected test answer

WARNING: As you continue to read this post, be sure you are somewhere where you can laugh out loud, in case some of these strike you really funny. These read almost like a series of one-liners.
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How to Fail a Test with Dignity

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Did you enjoy tests as a student? Most of us have written a totally stupid answer that made us wonder what in the world we were thinking during the test. But have you ever written a funny answer because you didn't know the right answer and wanted to cheer up the teacher? Of course I prefer correct answers, but I have to admit that the occasional hilarious answer is a welcome treat when I'm drowning in paper grading.

In honor of our final exams next week, today's post features funny things some students have written on tests, mostly on purpose, I think....

Here are some creative answers on science tests:

picture of funny science test answer

picture of funny science test answer

picture of funny science test answer

picture of funny science test answer

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What They Don’t Know….

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One of the interesting facets of having completed 36 years of teaching is the observable differences between today's students and those that I taught at the beginning of my career. There's no difference, of course, in IQ — my current students are every bit as bright as those I taught "back in the last millennium," as I love to say when referring to my younger years. One thing I do notice, though, is that what today's students know and don't know is vastly different from what my former students knew and didn't know.

I try to stay current on some aspects of today's pop culture so that I know what my students and others are talking about. I'm not always successful in that endeavor, though — there's just so much to keep up with and so little time! It's quite a balancing act trying to keep up on (dreary) current events and to dabble in several of the many avenues of social networking as well as trying to do as much reading as possible on French Literature from the Middle Ages in preparation for my course lectures. Talk about having one's feet planted in two different worlds!

During one of our many interesting lunch room discussions last school year, a colleague mentioned something he had read online. One professor in a community college contends that he has found only one thing with which his students, who vary greatly in age and background, all seem to be familiar. Here's that portion of the article:

One of the things I try to do on the first night of English 102 is relate the literary techniques we will study to novels that the students have already read. I try to find books familiar to everyone. This has so far proven impossible. My students don't read much, as a rule, and though I think of them monolithically, they don't really share a culture. To Kill a Mockingbird? Nope. (And I thought everyone had read that!) Animal Farm? No. If they have read it, they don't remember it. The Outsiders? The Chocolate War? No and no. Charlotte's Web? You'd think so, but no. So then I expand the exercise to general works of narrative art, meaning movies, but that doesn't work much better. Oddly, there are no movies that they all have seen—well, except for one. They've all seen The Wizard of Oz.

The preceding quotation is from an article in The Atlantic online called "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower" by Professor X (really)

I'm not sure that we could justify applying his findings to all college students in America, but I've made enough allusions to things in the Wizard of Oz in my classes to know that most of my students always seem to catch them. When we learn the French -re verbs, I enjoy presenting one that's not in our book — fondre. I demonstrate its meaning by writhing, sinking down towards the floor, and saying "Je fonds" in a high-pitched voice. Most of my students catch on right away that I'm saying "I'm melting" and imitating the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. I guess that that would lend some credence to Professor X's statement.
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Define Friendship

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I've been thinking a lot lately about friends and friendship. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this past summer was the 40th reunion of my high school graduation class. Due to the timing of some things going on in life, I was not able to attend. I've been able to "reconnect" with some of my classmates on Facebook and writing on each other's wall. (That's FB lingo for saying things to each other that many others can see.) And it's been great to see their pictures and hear about their lives — even IM'ing several of them. (Pretty good for a bunch "geezers," huh?! 😀

Actually the whole Facebook thing has also got me thinking about friendship. Earlier this month, my number of friends on FB passed the 1,000 mark! I tell people that I am probably the world's worst FB friend — I simply don't have time to "keep up" with that many people! Many/most of my FB friends are actually former students, going all the way back to my first year of teaching in the 1973-74 school year. Some, I think may just be people I have passed on the sidewalk on campus, but I recognized them from their picture, so I accepted their friend request.

In my MLF101 French classes we have a lesson on friendship that describes friendship in France and asks the students to compare and contrast that with friendship where they are from. Having students from all over the USA and all over the world in my classes leads to interesting insights and discussions. The textbook maintains the contention of the French that American friendships are shallow and superficial. At first my students react to that and strenuously disagree. But as the discussion goes on, they start to see what the French are talking about and usually agree that maybe their stereotype of us is justified.

Here are some sayings I've accumulated over the years about friends and friendship.


Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.

If you can buy a person's friendship, it is not worth it.

True friends have hearts that beat as one.

You can bank on any friendship where interest is paid.

Don't worry about knowing people; just make yourself worth knowing.

No one has so big a house that he does not need a good neighbor.

If you were another person, would you like to be a friend of yours?

Friends are those who speak to you after others don't.

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail and not his tongue.

Pick your friends, but not to pieces.

A friend is one who puts his finger on a fault without rubbing it in.

The way to have friends is to be willing to lose some arguments.

If a friend makes a mistake, don't rub it in ... rub it out.

A friend is someone who adds up all your traits but brings up only the good ones.

picture of friendship

A friend is one who helps you bridge the gaps between loneliness and fellowship, frustration and confidence, despair and hope, setbacks and success.

Make friends before you need them.

A good friend is one who neither looks down on you nor keeps up with you.

Friendship is a responsibility, not an opportunity.

Friendship is the cement that holds the world together.

You cannot see eye to eye with the person you look down upon.

People are judged by the company they keep and the company they keep away from.

Deal with others' faults as gently as if they were your own.

Be friendly with the folks you know — if it weren't for them you would be a total stranger.

If you cannot think of any nice things to say about your friends, then you have the wrong friends.

To be without a friend is a serious form of poverty.

The best mirror is an old friend.

The best possession one may have is a true friend.

Friendship is the art of overlooking the shortcomings of others.

Make friendship a habit and you will always have friends.

The more arguments you win, the fewer friends you will have.

A friend is someone who knows all our faults but still loves us.

You will never have a friend if you must have one without faults.

Real friends are those who, when you feel you've made a fool of yourself, don't feel you've done a permanent job.

The real proof of friendship is to have the same ailment your friend is describing and not mention it.

Doing nothing for your friends results in having no friends to do for.

Friends knock before they enter, not after they leave.

picture of interlocking hands

Being square creates a circle of friends.

It is just as difficult to get along in this world without a friend as it is to get along without food to eat.

A friend is a person who can step on your toes without messing your shine.

Anyone can give advice, but a real friend will lend a helping hand.

The quickest way to wipe out a friend is to sponge off him.

You can make more friends by being interested in them than trying to have them be interested in you.

A real friend is a person who, when you've made a fool of yourself, lets you forget it.

A friend is a person who listens attentively while you say nothing.

You can buy friendship with friendship, but never with dollars.

The most miserable person on earth is the one who has money and no friends.

A friend is someone who thinks you're a good egg even though you're slightly cracked.

True friends are like diamonds, precious but rare; false friends are like autumn leaves, found everywhere.


Are there any of those sayings that you strongly agree or disagree with? Do you have any secrets on friendship to share? I look forward to your comments on friends and friendship.


"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 ESV

=^..^= =^..^=

Your secrets are safe with me and all my Facebook friends.

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