College Professors Share The Funniest Thing A Student Has Done In Their Class.
Every professor wishes they had a class full of geniuses, but that's just not going to happen. Here's some proof.
Many thanks to the Redditors who responded. You can check out more answers from the source at the end of this article.
1. Not me but a colleague. 2 students came to see him during office hrs with a complaint: "Your exams discriminate against students who can't think." He swears that's a direct quote. I think they must've meant to say something like, "...can't think under pressure," but that's not how it came out.
Out of morbid curiosity he asked them what their major was. Answer: "We're both pre-med." Yeah, you might wanna rethink that plan, kids....
2. Biology professor here. I had a student give a presentation on genetics. Only, it wasn't so much genetics, but a compilation of neo-Nazi websites saying that Hitler was right for purifying the gene pool. Had to shut that down real quick.
3. I overheard two students have the following conversation:
Student 1: Isn't it awesome we get to live right by the ocean?!
Student 2: That's not an ocean.
1: But it has a beach. If it's not the ocean, what is it?
2: I don't know.
I work in Chicago.
This was at a satellite campus downtown in the loop for graduate/professional programs, which means the students were probably at least 23 or 24 years old. Lake Michigan is indeed very large and feels like the ocean, but these young ladies had cell phones and could've easily googled it to get their answer.
4. College course. Students are asked to estimate the date in which Attila took over Europe (it wasn't a history class, the goal was showing that people's estimates are influenced by those of the people around them).
Except that the first girl said "6000". When the professor said "6000? 6000 what?" she replied "AD".
5. TA here, my favorite was a student who came up to the professor after class and asked if he could take the quiz a day late because it was on arm day and his arms would be too tired to write.
6. Word for word copying of an assignment. Even down to the other guy's student number, spelling mistakes, and format.
7. Not me, but my aunt has taught college and high school-level history courses.
She once assigned a paper on something to do with the role of rhetoric in the Roman Empire. I don't remember the exact wording of her assignment, but it was something to this effect. A student, completely and entirely missing the point of the assignment, and possibly of the English language in general, spun an elaborate paper of the fictional life and military and political career of a Roman soldier, named Rhetoric.
My aunt still has the paper somewhere. It's a hoot.
8. I was at a final, one time, and the professor was counting the students.
He then said "I printed off exactly enough tests, but there appears to be one more student than test. So, if you're here, and have never seen my face, please leave."
SOMEONE GOT UP AND LEFT
We are all very confused what that dude was thinking.
9. Here's a story from one of my husband's colleagues: After an exam, a student told the professor, "I didn't know the answers to the essay questions, so I made up my own essay questions and answered them."
The professor replied, "That's the stupidest thing I ever heard, and when I go to lunch, I'm going to tell all my friends."
10. I was a TA in a college psychology class and one of the papers asked "How would you explain emotions to an alien from another planet who didn't have any?" Some kid's answer was how he'd explain emotions to a Chinese person.
11. TA for a glassblowing class my university has. So my school is very STEM focused, like 70% engineering majors, so there isn't a lot of artistic talent among us but some people are really bad.
So I had one guy who was struggling and no matter what I did he just wasn't getting it, his pieces where generally very small, sloppy, asymmetrical, etc.
So for his final he hands in this beautiful vase, cool colors, symmetric, nice size and weight. Well the professor was looking it over and giving her compliments except one problem.
She had made it a few days before and it went missing from the shelf where we put pieces while we wait for people to pick them up. So the guy tries to turn in a piece made by the actual professor.
12. Oh, let me count the ways.
I had a student miss his mid-term exam because, and I quote "I got fired from my band and I was too bummed out to come to school."
I had another adult student (35) who pitched a fit during a meeting of students and teachers to figure out times for private lessons because he claimed we were disorganized. I got him calmed down enough to resume the scheduling, and then he went off again, ending with "If this had been the Marines someone would have been shot by now!"
Then there was the student who thought he was too cool for school and used to wear mirrored sunglasses all the time, as in in class, etc. One Monday he didn't show up to class, and it turned out that over the weekend he'd been at a party where there was alcohol and it got raided by the cops. Since he was underage he tried to run for it, but since he was wearing his shades and it was at night he ran face first into a fence instead.
13. I'm not a professor, but one of my professors told us this funny story:
He was teaching one of the basic level Literature classes, a class that only exists for students to fulfill the core curriculum requirements. So of course, the class is full of students who don't care about interpreting literature. There was a group of students in the back, all friends, all Frat Bro types, business majors. After the final exam, one of those guys emailed the professor and said,
"Why did I get a D on the final? I copied off my friend next to me and you gave him a C. That's bull crap!"
My professor was shocked, because our school has a no-tolerance rule, anyone found guilty of plagiarism gets expelled. He decided to ignore the email because he was so indifferent to that student.
14. We were having a lecture for a course about cultural awareness. The lecturer asks 'Any Questions?'
One guy raises his hand and asks 'Is the Murray River brown because Aborigines bathe in it?'
15. I teach English at a private Christian college. While discussing "The Weight of Glory" by CS Lewis, we broach the topic of Abraham's bosom as shown in the story of the rich man and Lazarus. I say to the class, "Being mature, what is a bosom?"
From the back of the classroom, I hear a voice. "A butt?"
Now, I try not to mock my students for any reason, but I couldn't help but laugh. After I collect myself, I say, "No It's not a butt. After Lazarus died, he did not go to Abraham's butt."
After class, he told me that the passage in question made a lot more sense to him now.
16. Not a professor, but a graduate TA here. We gave an exam question where the students had to explain the difference between wild boars and domesticated pigs and how those traits reflect current theories of domestication. More than one student referred to the boars' tusks as horns, but one particular student wrote the whole answer about how pigs lost their antlers due to domestication. Pig antlers!
As a note, I double checked and he was a native English speaker too, so this was not an issue of translation.
17. When we have you turn papers into an online anti-cheating software, don't buy the paper from a previous student on those note-sharing sites. I promise you it's in the database.
18. I was a college lab t.a. for many years and we used to actually keep a running log of all the stupid stuff students would do. My favorite to this day:
Student: T..A. my thermometer isn't working can you please take a look.
Me: walk over and look at the set-up. Try not to burst out laughing.
"That's a pipette, student, not a thermometer."
He literally forgot what a thermometer looks like.
19. Not a professor but was a grad student marking assignments.
Noticed some printed papers that were included as part of an assignment had a strange discoloration at the top. These were graphs generated by code you were to write, but since there was sample code available everyone's papers looked pretty much the same if the individual didn't feel like sprucing up their code and most didn't really care about it.
Anyways, so I see a couple of these discolored papers and then eventually discover the source of the discoloration.
One student had written their name at the top of their paper then whited it out before allowing his buddies to photocopy it before submitting it. You could get away with a lot, but that didn't end well for them.
20. Not so much stupid as much as it was hilarious. My wife and I (both professors) were crossing the quad after a meeting. A very frantic girl runs across campus, yelling into the phone, "...just delete the really naked ones."
It's my go-to ridiculous student story and I never even knew her name.
21. I was in an American Foreign Policy class, and on the first day of class the professor asks, "What is the capital of Canada?". After a couple of incorrect guesses at Toronto and Montreal, one girl blurts out "Albuquerque?"
The professor looks at her and says "Albuquerque? As in Albuquerque, New Mexico?" He got a good kick out of it, and on every test the rest of the semester, there was a multiple choice question asking for the capital of Canada, with Albuquerque as one of the choices.
22. I was a graduate TA for an architectural history class last semester, and this one lovely student who got a 2/100 on his final exam (yes you read that correctly) informed me or the professor rather that "This class was way too hard, and you expect way too much of us. I obviously failed this class so screw you and see you next semester." This was his written answer to the last essay question in a class that he is required to take as an architecture major with the only professor that teaches it.
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When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.