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Fifty fun things for professors to do on the first day of class

2006-07-08 00:59

  1. 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.

  2. Point the overhead projector at the class. Demand each student's name, rank, and serial number.

  3. Tell students that you'll fail them if they cheat on exams or “fake the funk”。

  4. Announce that you need to deliver two lectures that day, and deliver them in rapid-fire auctioneer style.

  5. 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”。

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

  7. Sneeze on students in the front row and wipe your nose on your tie.

  8. 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.

  9. After turning on the overhead projector, clutch your chest and scream “MY PACEMAKER!”

  10. Wear a pointed Kaiser helmet and a monocle and carry a riding crop.

  11. Gradually speak softer and softer and then suddenly point to a student and scream “YOU! WHAT DID I JUST SAY?”

  12. 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.

  13. 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”。

  14. 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?”

  15. 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?”

  16. 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.

  17. Wear a “virtual reality” helmet and strange gloves. When someone asks a question, turn in their direction and make throttling motions with your hands.

  18. Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in Turkish. Ignore all questions.

  19. Ask students to call you “Tinkerbell” or “Surfin' Bird”。

  20. Pass out dental floss to students and devote the lecture to oral hygiene.

  21. 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.

  22. Play “Kumbaya” on the banjo.

  23. 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.

  24. Ask occassional questions, but mutter “as if you gibbering simps would know” and move on before anyone can answer.

  25. Mention in passing that you're wearing rubber underwear.

  26. Show a video on medieval torture implements to your calculus class. Giggle throughout it.

  27. Announce “you'll need this”, and write the suicide prevention hotline number on the board.

  28. 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.

  29. Have one of your graduate students sprinkle flower petals ahead of you as you pace back and forth.

  30. Turn off the lights, play a tape of crickets chirping, and begin singing spirituals.

  31. Jog into class, rip the textbook in half, and scream, “Are you pumped? ARE YOU PUMPED? I CAN'T HEEEEEEAR YOU!”

  32. 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.

  33. Ask students to list their favorite showtunes on a signup sheet. Criticize their choices and make notes in your grade book.

  34. Have a grad student in a black beret pluck at a bass while you lecture.

  35. Sprint from the room in a panic if you hear sirens outside.

  36. Warn students that they should bring a sack lunch to exams.

  37. Refer frequently to students who died while taking your class.

  38. 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”。

  39. Begin class by smashing the neck off a bottle of vodka, and announce that the lecture's over when the bottle's done.

  40. Growl constantly and address students as “matey”。

  41. Devote your math lecture to free verse about your favorite numbers and ask students to “sit back and groove”。

  42. Announce that last year's students have almost finished their class projects.

  43. Inform your English class that they need to know Fortran and code all their essays. Deliver a lecture on output format statements.

  44. Wear a feather boa and ask students to call you “Snuggles”。

  45. 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.

  46. Address students as “worm”。

  47. Stop in mid-lecture, frown for a moment, and then ask the class whether your butt looks fat.

  48. Claim to be a chicken. Squat, cluck, and produce eggs at irregular intervals.

  49. Give an opening monologue. Take two minute “commercial breaks” every ten minutes.

  50. Of course, the most fun thing to do on the first day of class is to enjoy yourself, sleep in, and let the students wonder if they found the right room!

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