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Count 'till Fifty

The teacher walked into the classroom to find words like "cunt" and "cock" scrawled all over the blackboard. "Children," she said, addressing the classroom, "you are much too young to use vile language like that. Now we're all going to close our eyes and count up to fifty. Then, while our eyes are closed, I want the little boy or girl who wrote those words on the board to tiptoe up and erase them." At the signal, the teacher and the children all closed their eyes. Then the teacher counted out loud, very slowly. When she reached fifty, she said, "All right. Everybody open their eyes." All eyes went to the blackboard. None of the words were erased. But below them was the message: "Fuck you, teacher! The Phantom strikes again!"

The Unofficial Manual for Graduate Teaching Assistants

The Unofficial Manual for Graduate Teaching Assistants

Teaching Introductory Computer Science Courses for Non-majors:

LATE HOMEWORK - When a student turns in his/her project two weeks late and asks for full credit, accept the late work and tell them that it will be awarded full credit. However, do inform them that you will not have time to grade it until after you complete your Ph.D.

DISRUPTIVE STUDENTS -

  1. If students will not stop talking when the class period begins, announce that there will be a quiz the following day on today's lecture. Then leave.
  2. If your students are prone to reading the school paper in class, try taking out a full page ad in the paper informing them that they are going to flunk your class.

LECTURES -

  1. In the event that you are unprepared for a lecture, be sure to use the class time to stress to the class the importance of keeping up with the readings. In fact, spend most of the class time stressing this.
  2. When the time comes to lecture on a subject you know nothing about, the art of controlled digression is invaluable. Here, you try to incite unrelated questions from the class which you answer at length. Then at the end of class scold them for digressing and tell them they'll just have to get the material from the book.

GRADING -

  1. Always use a fire engine red felt-tip marker with a 1/2 inch tip to grade papers. Position your comments strategically so that they spell "DUMB" when seen from a distance.
  2. You may grade assignments however you like. Here is a guide to quick and easy grading: 20 % Name 20 % Penmanship 50 % Homework is stapled together 10 % The work itself Warning: Be prepared for a 60% class average.

GRADING ERRORS - If student A approaches you complaining that an answer on their exam was marked incorrect but was marked correct on student B's exam, promptly mark student B's answer incorrect as well. This will redirect the heat from you onto student A.

EXTRA CREDIT -

  1. If students request extra credit to make up for the homework they didn't turn in, be sure to make the opportunity available to them. Some good extra credit problems are: Solve the dining philosopher's problem, using semaphores. Write a C compiler for the Commodore 64. Translate Moby Dick into ASCII-8 code with a leftmost odd parity bit. Design a replacement for the 80486 chip. Build a File Allocation Table (FAT) out of balsa wood.
  2. You may also wish to tell the student that they can do extra credit work while you decide whether to accept it. When the student turns in the work, decide against it.

CHEATING -

  1. When it is obvious to you that several people have copied each other's homework, grade one person's work on a separate sheet of paper, then photocopy your comments onto everyone else's homework.
  2. Should you have very skilled cheaters in your class, try giving incorrect information during your lectures. This should result in incorrect answers on exams. Examples that have proven effective include:
  • The three components of a computer system are Larry, Moe and Curly.
  • The only possible digits in the binary system are 0, 1, and 2.
  • The three components of the CPU are the ALU, REGISTERS and cheap bathroom lighting fixtures.
  • The microphone is an output device.
  • "Booting" the computer involves waving a large magnet over your hard drive for 60 seconds.
  • MS-DOS is the operating system for the CRAY Y-MP.
  • When preparing to purchase a new computer system running Windows, you should make sure it has at least 128,000 bytes of main memory.
  • Protocols include saluting your computer and calling the mouse "sir".
  • CPU stands for Ceramic Public Urinal.
  • Structured Programming says that you can write any computer program using only three basic control structures: Sequence, Selection and Guessing.

LAB - You are expected to spend at least 4 hours each week in the lab to assist with student's questions. Students have been known to come up with some real beauties:

  • "Why should I save it? I wasn't done yet."
  • "My disk erased itself!"
  • " Hurry up, I need help. This was due last week."
  • "Directory? What's that?"
  • "What do I need my textbook for? I'm using a computer." 

Here are the solutions to the most common problems:

  • P: "The screen is blank - I can't see what I'm doing" S: Turn on the monitor
  • P: "How do I get into Windows?" S: Stare at it long enough and it will start to look like candy.
  • P: "I can't get this computer to do anything." S: Have them move to a computer that has a keyboard.
  • P: "The stupid printer printed the wrong file." S: Reprimand the printer.
  • P: "WordPerfect didn't do what I told it to do." S: Tell them they have to earn its respect first.

Tardy Attention

A college business professor could not help but notice that one of his students was late to class for the third time that week. Before class ended he went around the room asking students some questions about the day's lecture. Of course, he made sure to pick on his tardy pupil. "And who was it that developed the theories behind communism?" the professor asked. "I don't know," the student said. "Perhaps if you came to class on time, Mr. Reebs, you would know," said the professor. "That's not true," the student replied. "I never pay attention anyway!"

Putting Shoes On

Did you hear about the teacher who was helping one of her kindergarten students put his boots on? He asked for help and she could see why. With her pulling and him pushing, the boots still didn't want to go on. When the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost whimpered when the little boy said, "Teacher, they're on the wrong feet." She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn't any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on - this time on the right feet. He then announced, "These aren't my boots." She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, "Why didn't you say so?" like she wanted to do. Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off. He then said, "They're my brother's boots. My Mom made me wear them." She didn't know if she should laugh or cry. She than mustered up the grace to wrestle the boots onto his feet again. She said, "Now, where are your mittens?" He said, "I stuffed them in the toes of my boots..."

Little Johnny Alphabet

The teacher was telling her 4th grade class about today's lesson. "I'll say a letter of the alphabet and you give me a word that starts with that letter. Let's begin. A" All the children raise their hands, but little Johnny was almost coming out of his seat trying to get picked. The teacher knew Johnny had a filthy mouth and thought to herself that if she picked Johnny, he would give her a word like 'ass' or 'asshole'. She picked Wendy, and Wendy said "apple". "Very good", said the teacher, "now B". Johnny was jumping out of his seat again, but the teacher picked Bobby. Bobby said "ball". This went on and on with Johnny trying to get picked for each letter and the teacher knowing there was a dirty word for it. Then she got to "R". Nobody but Johnny had their hands up. The teacher thought and thought and couldn't think of a bad word that started with "R". So she picked Johnny; Johnny stands up and says: "R...Rat...a big, fat, f**kin' Rat!"