Schoolhouse schlock

September 3, 2018


Bored of education

August 27, 2018


Young girls creeped out by older scientists constantly trying to lure them into STEM

August 14, 2018

From The Onion.

SEATTLE, WA—With responses ranging from “squirming in discomfort” to “completely discouraged from studying science and engineering,” a nationwide poll group of high school-age girls revealed Tuesday that the nation’s young women are being utterly creeped out by scientists twice their age constantly attempting to lure them into the study of science, technology, engineering, and math.

 

“They’re always hanging around our classrooms and sending us targeted messages online—they sometimes even offer us money if we’re into their sort of thing. It’s so desperate,” said 13-year-old Tessa Levin, recounting the several times she and her friends had been approached by the type of much older chemical engineers or web developers who frequent science fairs with the hopes of involving girls in non-profit mentorship programs or computer programming sleepaway camps. 

“They always try to treat us like we’re special, but the truth is, they’ll go after pretty much any girl under 18 who can draw a simple parallel circuit diagram. They’re clearly trying to groom girls for their weird lifestyle from a young age. At first it was kind of funny, but the more we learn, the more it just seems gross.” 

The poll also revealed that some scientists also seem to have a thing for young black and Latino boys.


Bar jokes for non-English majors

July 10, 2018

Ever since I published Bar jokes for English majors and More bar jokes for English majors, I’ve been thinking that, in the interest of inclusiveness, I ought to run a collection of bar jokes for people who, for whatever reason, majored in something other than English. Here’s what I came up with:

❧HISTORY: Julius Caesar walks into a bar and asks for a martinus. “You mean a martini?” says the bartender. Caesar replies, “If I wanted a double, I would have asked for a double.”

❧PSYCHOLOGY: Pavlov walks into a bar. Just as he sits down, his phone rings, and Pavlov says, “Oh crap! I forgot to feed the dogs.”

❧MATH: An infinite number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first orders a beer. The second orders half a beer. The third orders a quarter of a beer. Before the fourth can speak, the bartender puts two beers on the bar and says, “You guys need to know your limits.”

❧PHILOSOPHY: René Descartes walks into a bar and has a drink. When the bartender asks if he’ll have another, Descartes says “I think not,” and disappears.

❧MUSIC: C, E-flat, and G walk into a bar. The bartender says, “We don’t serve minors.” So E-flat leaves, and C and G have an open fifth between them. After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished and G is out flat.

❧PHYSICS: Schrödinger’s cat walks into a bar…and doesn’t.

❧CHEMISTRY: Two scientists walk into a bar. The first one says “I’ll have a glass of H2O.” The second one says, “I’ll have a glass of water.” The first scientist fumes silently, angry that his assassination plot has failed.

❧FILM STUDIES: Into a bar Yoda walked.

❧PRE-MED: A cardiologist walks into Dick’s Bar and orders an almond daiquiri. Dick is out of almonds, so he substitutes hickory nuts. The cardiologist tastes the drink and asks, “Is this an almond daiquiri, Dick?” and Dick replies, “No, it’s a hickory daiquiri, Doc.”

❧EVERY STUDENT WORKING ON A TERM PAPER: Jimmy Wales walks into a bar [citation needed].

NOTE: Readers are welcome to add their own bar jokes in the comments section, provided that they a) relate to an academic discipline; b) are in good taste and suitable for a PG-rated site; and c) are are short, sweet, and to the point (nothing long and rambling, please). Any jokes that do not meet these criteria will be deleted by the dean and the student responsible will receive a failing grade for the term.


Lots of luck, kids — you’re going to need it

June 11, 2018

For someone who’s as old as I am, I have attended remarkably few graduation ceremonies, and so have suffered through very few commencement addresses. Assuming what I’ve heard about them is true, if they could be packaged, they would put Ambien out of business. This one is an exception — a work of art, suitable for framing:  

What do we mean when we say that this is a “commencement”? Is it truly a new beginning, or merely a paradoxical designation for the end of your education? The answer will depend primarily on how much debt you have accumulated. Seeing as this fine institution gouges the working and middle classes to the same extent as other, even better, fine institutions, I will wager that your best years are behind you.

So where does that leave your mortarboarded selves, other than staring blankly into the void like a gaggle of stupefied monks trapped in a Stanley Kubrick movie? As a great superintendent of higher education once declaimed, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.” I disagree. If such were the case, where would that leave CNN? Or Buzzfeed? Or at least five Cabinet appointees?

What is Truth? When that question was famously asked, Socrates was already dead, and so we knew that Truth was something you only thought you knew, like which Kardashian to follow on Instagram, but was in reality too elusive to grasp, otherwise you’d be like Socrates, which is to say dead. And so continuing education was born.

Allow me to tell a story so inappropriate it can only end in a subpoena. Oh forget it. What can I say that won’t result in a riot or another iteration of that crazy Hitler video where he’s suddenly screaming about piñatas and cultural appropriation? What has happened to our great universities, and even our crappy ones? Where did the spirit of debate, free inquiry, and open exchange of ideas flee to? Flanders? And what ever happened to Flanders? How do you lose a whole damn country? Moreover, could Lincoln and Douglas have held their historic debates in this censorious climate, or would they, too, have been deplatformed, forced to do that stupid Joe Rogan podcast and drop F-bombs every five minutes?

When I think of the great minds who have contributed to the best in American education, I never think of John Dewey, who mumbled, “We always live at the time we live and not at some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared—” OH SHUT UP. What a pompous ass. May his decimal system be tossed onto the trash heap of history alongside cyclamates, late-night comedy, and penmanship. [continue reading here]


Bored of education

March 8, 2018


More bar jokes for English majors

March 6, 2018

When I published Bar jokes for English majors, I had a sneaking suspicion that my faithful readers — and perhaps even a few faithless ones — would chime in with additions of their own, and they did not disappoint. They inspired me to write a few more as well. So here we go with round two:

❧An adverb walks into a bar purposefully, demands a bottle of whiskey urgently, consumes it single-handedly, and passes out immediately.

❧A homonym woks into a barre.

❧A woman walks into a bar and asks for a double entendre. The bartender gives it to her.

❧A flirtatious semicolon walks into a bar and winks at a colon who’s making eyes at her.

❧His, hers, theirs, mine, yours, and ours walk into a bar and quickly take possession.

❧Alliteration arrives at an authentic Alabama alehouse and asks for applejack.

❧A contraction walks into a bar even though it isn’t thirsty, doesn’t feel like drinking, and can’t explain why someone who’s not in the mood to drink wouldn’t avoid bars.

❧A spoonerism balks into a war and has a muddy blary.

❧An anagram walks into a bar owned by an anemic iceman from the cinema.

❧Redundancy walks into a bar that serves alcoholic beverages and asks for scotch on the rocks over ice cubes.

❧After work, before going home, a preposition walks into a bar beside the parking lot behind the office, and drinks with reckless abandon throughout the evening, ending up under the table.

❧An incomplete sentence into a bar

❧A thesaurus walks/ambles/saunters/wanders/strides/traipses into a bar.

❧Onomatopoeia whizzes into a bar, barks out an order, guzzles a drink, then zips out with a whoosh.

❧A misplaced apostrophe walk’s into a bar and drink’s a few beer’s.

❧Subject and verb walk into a bar, but the bartender kicks them out because they don’t agree.

❧An interjection walks into a bar—ouch!

❧A heteronym walks into a bar, even though it’s close to time for the place to close. 

❧Bob, Eve, Hannah, Otto, Ada, Nan, Mom, and Dad walk into The Palindrome Saloon. 

❧Alphabet. Barroom. Cocktails. Drinking. Euphoric. Fried. Giddy. Hammered. Inebriated. Juiced. Kippered. Loaded. Muddled. Narcotized. Obliviated. Pickled. Quaffy. Ravaged. Schnockered. Tanked. Unsteady. Vulcanized. Wasted. 

❧William Shakespeare walks into a pub
   In search of refreshment and levity;
He asks the bar maid for some spiked lemonade,
   Having heard it increases longevity;
Then he says to the lass, “Use a very short glass,
   For the soul of wit is brevity.”


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