50 fun things for professors to do on the first day of
- Wear a hood with one eye hole. Periodically make strange
- 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.
- After turning on the overhead projector, clutch your
chest and scream "MY PACEMAKER!"
- wear a pointed Kaiser helmet and a monocle and carry
a riding crop.
- Gradually speak softer and softer and then suddenly
point to a student and scream "YOU! WHAT DID I JUST
- 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."
- 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?"
- Pick out random students, ask them questions, and time
their responses with a stop watch. Record their times
in you grade book while muttering "tsk, tsk."
- Ask students to call you "Tinkerbell" or "Surfin'
- Stop in mid-lecture, frown for a moment, and then ask
the class whether your butt looks fat.
- Play "Kumbaya" on the banjo.
- Show a video on medieval torture implements to your
calculus class. Giggle throughout it.
- Announce "you'll need this," and write the
suicide prevention hotline number on the board.
- Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in Turkish.
Ignore all questions.
- Start the lecture by dancing and lip-synching to James
Brown's "Sex Machine."
- Ask occasional questions, but mutter "as if you
gibbering simps would know" and move on before anyone
- 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.
- Have one of your graduate students sprinkle flower petals
ahead of you as you pace back and forth.
- Address students as "worm."
- 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.
- Turn off the lights, play a tape of crickets chirping,
and begin singing spirituals.
- Ask for a volunteer for a demonstration. Ask them to
fill out a waiver as you put on a lead apron and light
- Point the overhead projector at the class. Demand each
student's name, rank, and serial number.
- Begin class by smashing the neck off a bottle of vodka,
and announce that the lecture's over when the bottle's
- 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.
- 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.
- Wear a "virtual reality" helmet and strange
gloves. When someone asks a question, turn in their direction
and make throttling motions with your hands.
- Mention in passing that you're wearing rubber underwear.
- Growl constantly and address students as "matey."
- Devote your math lecture to free verse about your favorite
numbers and ask students to "sit back and groove."
- Announce that last year's students have almost finished
their class projects.
- Inform your English class that they need to know Fortran
and code all their essays. Deliver a lecture on output
- 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?"
- Wear a feather boa and ask students to call you "Snuggles."
- 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.
- Claim to be a chicken. Squat, cluck, and produce eggs
at irregular intervals.
- 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.
- Have a grad student in a black beret pluck at the bass
while you lecture.
- Sprint from the room in a panic if you hear sirens outside.
- Give an opening monologue. Take two minute "commercial
breaks" every ten minutes.
- Tell students that you'll fail them if they cheat on
exams or "fake the funk."
- Announce that you need to deliver two lectures that
day, and deliver them in rapid-fire auctioneer style.
- Pass out dental floss to students floss to students
and devote the lecture to oral hygiene.
- Announce that the entire 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica
will be required reading for you class. Assign a report
on Volume 1, Aardvark through Armenia, for next class.
- Ask students to list their favorite show tunes on a
sign-up sheet. Criticize their choices and make notes
in you grade book.
- Sneeze on students in the front row and wipe your nose
on your tie.
- Warn students that they should being a snack lunch to
- Refer frequently to students who died while taking your
- 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
- Jog into class, rip the textbook in half, and scream,
"Are you pumped? ARE YOU PUMPED? I CAN'T HEEEEEAR
If you're going to go down, go down with style. Failing your
final exam can actually be an amusing experience, depending
on what you make of it. Here are some suggestions:
- Bring a pillow. Fall asleep (or pretend to) until the
last 15 minutes. Wake up, say "oh geez, better get
cracking" and do some gibberish work. Turn it in
a few minutes early.
- Get a copy of the exam, run out screaming "Andre,
Andre, I've got the secret documents!!"
- If it is a math/science exam, answer in essay form.
If it is long answer/essay form, answer with numbers and
symbols. Be creative. Use the integral symbol.
- Make paper airplanes out of the exam. Aim them at the
instructor's left nostril.
- Talk the entire way through the exam. Read questions
aloud, debate your answers with yourself out loud. If
asked to stop, yell out, "I'm SOOO sure you can hear
me thinking." Then start talking about what a jerk
the instructor is.
- Bring cheerleaders.
- Walk in, get the exam, sit down. About five minutes
into it, loudly say to the instructor, "I don't understand
ANY of this. I've been to every lecture all semester long!
What's the deal? And who the hell are you? Where's the
- Bring a Game Boy (or Game Gear, etc...). Play with the
volume at max level.
- On the answer sheet (book, whatever) find a new, interesting
way to refuse to answer every question. For example: I
refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it
conflicts with my religious beliefs. Be creative.
- Bring pets.
- Run into the exam room looking about frantically. Breathe
a sigh of relief. Go to the instructor, say "They've
found me, I have to leave the country" and run off.
- Fifteen minutes into the exam, stand up, rip up all
the papers into very small pieces, throw them into the
air and yell out "Merry Christmas." If you're
really daring, ask for another copy of the exam. Say you
lost the first one. Repeat this process every fifteen
- Do the exam with crayons, paint, or fluorescent markers.
- Come into the exam wearing a pair of birkenstocks, and
- Come down with a BAD case of Tourette's Syndrome during
the exam. Be as vulgar as possible.
- Do the entire exam in another language. If you don't
know one, make one up! For math/science exams, try using
- Bring things to throw at the instructor when s/he's
not looking. Blame it on the person nearest to you.
- As soon as the instructor hands you the exam, eat it.
- Walk into the exam with an entourage. Claim you are
going to be taping your next video during the exam. Try
to get the instructor to let them stay, be persuasive.
Tell the instructor to expect a percentage of the profits
if they are allowed to stay.
- Every five minutes, stand up, collect all your things,
move to another seat, continue with the exam.
- Turn in the exam approximately 30 minutes into it. As
you walk out, start commenting on how easy it was.
- Do the entire exam as if it was multiple choice and
true/false. If it is a multiple choice exam, spell out
interesting things (DCCAB, BABE, etc..).
- Bring a black marker. Return the exam with all questions
and answers completely blacked out.
- Get the exam. Twenty minutes into it, throw your papers
down violently, scream out "Screw this!" and
walk out triumphantly.
- Arrange a protest before the exam starts (i.e. Threaten
the instructor that whether or not everyone's done, they
are all leaving after one hour to go drink).
- Show up completely drunk. (Completely drunk means at
some point during the exam, you start to hold your mouth
and make "I'm about to bring something up" sounds.).
- Every now and then, clap twice rapidly. If the instructor
asks why, tell him/her in a very derogatory tone, "the
light bulb that goes on above my head when I get an idea
is hooked up to a clapper. DUH!"
- Comment on how sexy the instructor is looking that day.
- Come to the exam wearing a black cloak. After about
30 minutes, put on a white mask and start yelling "I'm
here, the phantom of the opera" until they drag you
- Go to an exam for a class you have no clue about, where
you know the class is very small, and the instructor would
recognize you if you belonged. Claim that you have been
to every lecture. Fight for your right to take the exam.
- Upon receiving the exam, look it over, while laughing
loudly, say "you don't really expect me to waste
my time on this drivel? Days of our Lives is on!!!"
- Bring a water pistol with you. Nuff said.
- From the moment the exam begins, hum the theme to Jeopardy.
Ignore the instructor's requests for you to stop. When
they finally get you to leave one way or another, begin
whistling the theme to the Bridge on the River Kwai.
- Start a brawl in the middle of the exam.
- If the exam is math/science related, make up the longest
proofs you could possibly think of. Get pi and imaginary
numbers into most equations.
- Come in wearing a full knight's outfit, complete with
sword and shield.
- Bring a friend to give you a back massage the entire
way through the exam. Insist this person is needed, because
you have bad circulation.
- Bring cheat sheets FROM ANOTHER CLASS (make sure this
is obvious... like history notes for a calculus exam...
otherwise you're not just failing, you're getting kicked
out, too) and staple them to the exam with the comment
"Please use the attached notes for references as
you see fit."
- When you walk in, complain about the heat. Strip.
- After you get the exam, call the instructor over, point
to any question, ask for the answer. Try to work it out
- One word: Wrestlemania.
- Bring balloons, blow them up, start throwing them around
like they do before concerts start.
- Try to get people in the room to do the wave.
- Play Frisbee with a friend at the other side of the
- Bring some large, cumbersome, ugly idol. Put it right
next to you. Pray to it often. Consider a small sacrifice.
- Get deliveries of candy, flowers, balloons, telegrams,
etc... sent to you every few minutes throughout the exam.
- During the exam, take apart everything around you. Desks,
chairs, anything you can reach.
- Complete the exam with everything you write being backwards
at a 90 degree angle.
- Bring a musical instrument with you, play various tunes.
If you are asked to stop, say "it helps me think."
Bring a copy of the Student Handbook with you, challenging
the instructor to find the section on musical instruments
during finals. Don't forget to use the phrase "Told
- Answer the exam with the "Top Ten Reasons Why My