At Penn State University there were four sophomores taking chemistry and all of them had an 'A' so far. These four friends were so confident in their grades that the weekend before finals they decided to visit some outside friends and have a big party. They had a great time, but after all the hearty partying they slept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to Penn State until early Monday morning.
Rather than take the final as scheduled, they decided that after the final was given they would explain to their professor why they missed it. They said that they had visited friends, but on the way back they had a flat tire. As a result, they missed the final. The professor agreed they could make up the final the next day. The guys were excited and relieved. They studied that night for the exam.
The next day the Professor placed them in separate rooms and gave them a test booklet. They quickly answered the first problem worth 5 points. Cool, they thought! Each one in separate rooms, thinking this was going to be easy, then they turned the page. On the second page was written. . .
For 95 points: Which tire?
There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple or pine in
pineapple. And while no one knows what is in a hotdog, you can pretty sure it isn't canine.
English muffins were not invented in England nor French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that
quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't
groce, and hammers don't ham?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't plural of booth,
goose, 2 geese. So one moose, two meese? Is cheese the plural of choose? One
mouse, 2 mice. One louse, 2 lice. One house, 2 hice?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does humanitarian eat?
Why do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by truck or car
and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a
wise guy are opposites?
How can the weather be hot as heck one day and cold as heck another? If a
house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on. You get in and out of a car, yet you get
on and off a bus. When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay,
I end it?
English is a silly language ... it doesn't know if it is coming or going!!!
War never determines who's right. War only determines who's left.
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of
him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar
and proceeded to fill it with rocks (rocks about 2" in diameter). He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open
areas between the rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The students laughed.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up all the other space.
"Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this is your life.
The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health,
your children - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your
car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff." "If you put the sand into
the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your
children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a
dinner party and fix the disposal." "Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your
priorities. The rest is just sand."
But then... A student took the jar, which the other students and the
professor agreed was full, and proceeded to pour in a glass of beer. Of course, the beer filled the remaining spaces within the jar making the jar
The moral of this tale is that no matter how full your life is, there is always room for BEER.
This pretty much says it all.
LINDA had returned to college after the youngest of her two
children finished high school. Curious, I called to see how her transition from kitchen to
classroom was going. "Remember that computer class I enrolled in?" she asked.
"Well, I now know the difference between hardware, software and Tupperware!"
Student: Sir, I have a complaint. I don't believe I deserve a
zero on this exam.
Professor: Neither do I, but it's the lowest grade I can
A PROFESSOR was conducting a class in decision making. In his
first drill, he picked a student from Georgia. "Now son," he said, "I want you to tell me the decision you'd
make in this situation. You're driving a fully-loaded truck down a mountain road at seventy miles an hour. Just as you
get close to an oncoming truck, two cars pull out from behind him to pass. You hit the brakes and your brakes go out. On
your right side is a five-hundred foot cliff; on your left side in a one-thousand
foot precipice. Now, son, you have three seconds. What would you do?"
"Well," the boy drawled, "I reckon I'd wake up Leroy." "Leroy!" the professor exclaimed. "Who's Leroy?"
"Leroy's my relief driver, sir. You see, he's from a small country town and I'd want to wake him up 'cause he
ain't never seen an accident like this before."
$chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and
$tudying very hard. With all
my $tuff, I $imply can`t think of anything I need, $o if you would like, you can
ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you.
Dear Son, I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep
even an hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble
task, and you can never study eNOugh.
A woman walks into the bedroom and says, "Johnny, it is time to get up and get
ready for school." Then she walks out. 15 minutes later the woman goes back into the
bedroom. "Johnny, this is your last warning! You have to get up NOW!" 10 minutes
later the woman returns to the bedroom where Johnny has pulled the blankets over his head.
"Johnny, I have just about had it. If you don't hurry you will be late for school.
Now get up or you will be in big trouble." 5 minutes later the woman is back in the
bedroom. "Now Johnny, this is it. You must get up RIGHT NOW!" Johnny stirs under
the blankets and whines, "But none of the kids like me. Actually, none of the
teachers like me either. I don't want to go." "But Johnny," the woman
exclaims, "you have to go - you're the principal!"
THE teacher in charge of lost property at a New Zealand school began a report after a
sports day with: "When you have five hundred boys and five hundred girls mixing
together and taking their clothes on and off, someone is bound to lose something."
MY HUSBAND'S colleagues were aware of our daughter's efforts to gain admission to
veterinary school. They also knew of his financial concerns should her goal be realized.
Immediately after receiving her letter of acceptance from the University of Pennsylvania
School of Veterinary Medicine, Amy called her father at the office. He was away from his
desk, but he returned to find this message: "Bob call your daughter. Forget
IN MY English as a second language class, I was explaining the difference between a
watch and a clock. I told the students that when it was a large time piece on a wall and
not attached to your body it was called a clock. When it was worn on your body, it was
called a watch. A few days later we had a power failure, and our classroom clocks had not
been reset. I asked Luis, who was wearing a wristwatch, for the time. Luis looked at his
wrist, and then confidently announced, "It is exactly ten o'watch." How can you
ever convince foreign students that English isn't a strange language?
WHILE teaching special education in our village school, I thought that knowing the
names of the people pictured on all the Canadian paper currency would add interest to our
study of money. Unable to find the information in our library, I called the Bank of
Canada. The woman on the other end of the line said, "Just a minute, please,"
then put the receiver down. She forgot, however, to put me on hold, so I was able to hear
her voice ring loudly through the office, "Okay, guys, Trivial Pursuit time!"
DURING a Spanish class, the teacher was explaining the relative length of the pause
indicated by a semicolon. "It is more or less the time it takes for a person to get
off a bus," she said. To make sure that we had understood, the teacher asked one of
the students to go to the front of the class and read a text. When he came to the first
semicolon, the student stopped for what seemed to the teacher to be an excessive length of
time. "Why don't you continue?" she asked. "Because a little old woman is
getting down from the bus."
SOME years ago I worked in the employee relations department at the University of
British Columbia, Vancouver. At that time the federal government was funding its Local
Initiatives Program, and one day a young man phoned about an opening we had. After I had
explained the job, my caller asked, "Is it UIC?" "No," I replied,
"it's got nothing to do with the Unemployment Insurance Commission; this is
Local Initiatives Program." "But is it UIC?" he persisted. "No, it's
not," I said again. "It's LIP." "Yes, I see, but is it
demanded. "Look," I said, beginning to feel impatient, "it has nothing to
do with that. It's LIP." "I know it's LIP," he said wearily, "but is
it you I come to see?"
IAS A teacher of English as a second language, I asked my
students to write a composition about fire. One student wrote: "The fireman went into
the building and came out pregnant." When I asked him to explain, he opened his
dictionary and pointed to the word pregnant, which was defined as "carrying a
IF SOME retailers give away appliances to attract customers,
perhaps unemployed scholars should do the same thing. To test the proposition, a
psychology professor who usually studies ants placed the following ad in Science magazine:
"Animal Behaviorist, Ph.D. Experience in communication, social insects. Seeks
university position. Will offer GE toaster oven to department granting interview,
Zenith portable color TV if hired." A month of waiting brought only one
response, from a university research director. The letter said in its entirety:
"Dear Sir or Madam, What are the dimensions of the toaster oven?"
SURPRISED to see a number of students suddenly leave the room
only half way through an exam, the professor followed them into the corridor. He
discovered the students completing the balance of the questions while leaning against the
walls. When he asked for an explanation, one student pointed to the third question, which
read: "Describe Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. You may supply a drawing
but please leave room to answer."
OUR son came home from college for the weekend and I asked
him, "How are things going?" He said, "Good." I said,
"How's the food?" He said, "Good." I said, "And the
dormitory?" He said, "Good." I said, "They've always had a
strong football team. How do you think they'll do this year?" He said,
"Good." I said, "How are your studies going this term?" He
said, "Good." I said, "Have you decided on your major yet?"
He said, "Yes." I said, "What is it?" He said,
A BRIGHT young man earned his Ph.D. in income tax law.
He's an expert on Schedule D, Page 2, Part IV, Line 27.
DURING a water-safety course in Sydney, Australia, a swimming
instructor received this note from a worried mother: "Melanie will not be going to
the pool until she learns to swim."
FOR years I had tried to persuade my sons to read books on
topics other than sports. So when my youngest son came home one day with a science
class research assignment on diseases, my first thought was, Well, this is one report that
will be different. My joy was short-lived. When he handed me the paper to
check, at the top of the page I read: "The Causes and Treatment of Athlete's
FOR Drug Awareness Day, the school asked each child to bring
a white T-shirt so an anti-drug slogan could be ironed on. After a frantic search, I
found my daughter's only clean shirt, which already had something on the front. The
back was blank, however, and I sent her off with it. When she came home that
afternoon, she proudly displayed the shirt. The front of it proclaimed: FAMILIES ARE
FOREVER. On the back was: BE SMART, DON'T START!
WHEN I assumed the role of house-husband I often attended
functions that have traditionally been the realm of women. My most traumatic encounter
came at my first Home and School meeting. I knew I was in trouble when I entered the room
and was greeted with the exclamation, "It's a man!" The tone of the voice
implied a long sought missing ingredient had been found. The second voice I heard however,
confirmed my fears - "We had a man once last year. He never came back."
WHEN I was a teenage boy growing up in a small village in
Ontario, I told my father one day I was quitting school. He paused for a moment and
said, "Son, I can't physically stop you, but when I came to this country at the turn
of the century, I had to do back-breaking work building the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.
Those iron rails were heavy and the hours were long. One day the boss said,
'Can anyone here measure?' Immediately I raised my hand. From then on I never
lifted another rail - just measured the gauge of the track and got more pay. That's
what education can do for you." That little parable had a profound effect on
me, and it mattered not at all that only after I finished college did I learn that my
father was probably the only one in his crew who spoke English.
MOTHERS are always on the alert for teaching opportunities.
Struggling down a staircase one day on crutches - with a highly conspicuous broken foot -
I met a mother and her young son coming up the other side. The mother politely averted her
eyes, but the boy couldn't help widening his to take in the full effect. Then, hardly able
to wait until she thought I was out of earshot, the mother whispered triumphantly to her
son, "See what happened to that girl when she tried to roller-skate on top of her toy
AT A gathering of college administrators, I noticed the usual
high ratio of men to women. After doing a quick head count, I remarked to the
conservatively dressed woman sitting next to me. "How do you like these odds?
Five women and sixty-four men!" "They're better than you think,
dear," she whispered back. "I'm a nun."
WHILE home on a break from medical school, my daughter was so
busy she seldom sat down to eat a balanced meal. Using all the authority I could
muster, I lectured her on the importance of good nutrition, ending my tirade with,
"The medical schools should teach our future doctors the importance of a good
diet." Hugging me, my daughter responded, "They don't need to teach us
that. After all, we do have mothers!"
MY FATHER, who barely graduated from secondary school, always
considered education a valuable tool. When my sister wrote home from college to say
her roommate was quitting school because she felt college was a rat race, my father wrote
back: "Tell your roommate that life is the rat race. College can teach you
which rat to bet on."
MY HUSBAND is a university professor who encourages our six
children to use the dictionary and encyclopedia when they need information. One
evening our youngest, an eight-year-old, rushed into the house, took out one of the
encyclopedia volumes, and started reading. I asked him what he was looking up.
"I'm playing with Margo next door and I'm King Henry V and she's my wife and
I'm wondering what to call her."
I WAS out of town and my wife, a school teacher, had to
contend with a balky furnace. Fortunately, a 24-hour repairman arrived that evening
and worked until the early-morning hours. The next day my tired wife was late for
school. She hastily scrawled an explanation for the vice principal and rushed to her
class. Five minutes later the vice principal burst into her classroom, laughing, and
asked if she would like to reword her note. My wife had written: "Husband out
of town. No heat. Up all night with repairman. Totally exhausted!"
A CHILDREN'S swim class, with a teenaged girl in charge, was
in progress in a pool at the University of British Columbia. A young mother,
ecstatic over her daughter's prowess in the water, said to a man beside her, "See the
little girl in the pink suit: That's my daughter. This is her first class!"
"See your daughter's teacher:" replied the man. "That's my
daughter. It's her first class too."
MY SON moved to a neighboring province to begin his freshman
year in forestry. After a while, to encourage him to write regularly, I sent him
several self-addressed envelopes of the loan company I work for. Within a week I had
a reply. On the inside of the flap of the envelopes I sent was a form offering extra
cash to people who already had loans. The form was completed with a request for $50.
I RETURNED for a reunion at a school where I had been
principal 30 years before. Among those who introduced themselves were two brothers
who had been in the primary grades when I left, but who now towered above me. One
brother remarked, "Mr. Alexander, you haven't changed one bit in all these
years." "Oh, yes he has," the other brother said. "He used
to be eight feet tall."
I WAS attending a community education course on effective
parenting. Ways of dealing with children's behaviour were discussed. At the
last class, the instructor asked a very frazzled-looking mother of two, "Have any of
these methods helped you handle your kids better?" "No," the woman
responded. "But they have worked wonders on my husband!"
ONCE there were three college men. The first graduated summa
cum laude, the second magna cum laude, and the third barely made it. After the
ceremonies, the trio went to Paris for a fling and were involved in a serious crime.
They were sentenced to death by guillotine. When the fateful day came, the
executioner led out the first graduate. "Want a blindfold?" he asked.
"No," came the reply. "Do you want to be face down or
up?" "Face up." So they strapped him in, and the executioner
pressed the button. Nothing happened! "Miraculous," said the
executioner. "When the guillotine fails to work, you go free." The
second graduate was brought in, and the same thing happened. He, too, was freed.
Then it was the third fellow's turn. "Blindfold?" asked the
executioner. "No." "Face down or face up?"
"Face up." And, as he was being strapped into position, he looked up and
said, "You know, I think I see what's wrong."
OUR local school board had been paring expenses to the bone -
right down to note pads, chalk and paper. During this period, the following note was
spotted on a high-school teacher's desk: "Dave, reminder to cover Derry's reading
class, Room 250." The note was written on a banana.
WHILE traveling in the state of Gujarat, India, I decided to
visit the father of an old school friend who lived in a small village. He ran an old
fashioned peanut oil extracting mill called a "ghanchee." On my arrival I
found him napping beside his ghanchee while the bull was powering the wheel, which crushed
the peanuts. I woke him up and after a short chat asked, "How will you know if
the bull stops while you are napping?" He smiled and pointed to the bells
around the bull's neck and said, "If those bells stopped I would wake up and get the
bull moving again." "But," I persisted, "how will you know if
the bull just stands still shaking his head to ring the bells?" His old eyes
widened as he exclaimed, "Son, he is a bull, not a college graduate."
AS I was doing errands, I came upon a group of teenage boys
engaged in animated conversation. One tall boy looked at me closely. "I
remember you," he said. "You were my kindergarten teacher. Hey,
guys, meet my kindergarten teacher!" Suddenly he looked puzzled. Leaning
toward me, he said, "You know, you're not as tall as you used to be."
MANY people today are critical of modern education for
failing to teach the fundamentals. I hadn't realized just how far this had gone
until one day when I stopped at the entrance to Banff National Park to get a new park
permit. The charming young lady in the booth, noting that the old sticker on my
windshield bore the letter S (meaning that the permit had been issued without fee to a
senior citizen), asked brightly, "And are you still a senior citizen, sir? "