50 fun things
for professors to do on the first day of
1.Wear a hood with one eye hole. Periodically
make strange gurgling noises.
2.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.
3.After turning on the overhead projector,
clutch your chest and scream "MY PACEMAKER!"
4.wear a pointed Kaiser helmet and a monocle and
carry a riding crop.
5.Gradually speak softer and softer and then
suddenly point to a student and scream "YOU!
WHAT DID I JUST SAY?"
6.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."
7.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,
8.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."
9.Ask students to call you "Tinkerbell" or "Surfin'
10.Stop in mid-lecture, frown for a moment, and
then ask the class whether your butt looks fat.
11.Play "Kumbaya" on the banjo.
12.Show a video on medieval torture implements
to your calculus class. Giggle throughout it.
13.Announce "you'll need this," and write the
suicide prevention hotline number on the board.
14.Wear mirrored sunglasses and speak only in
Turkish. Ignore all questions.
15.Start the lecture by dancing and lip-synching
to James Brown's "Sex Machine."
16.Ask occasional questions, but mutter "as if
you gibbering simps would know" and move on
before anyone can answer.
17.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.
18.Have one of your graduate students sprinkle
flower petals ahead of you as you pace back and
19.Address students as "worm."
20.Announce to students that their entire grades
will be based on a single-question oral final
exam. Imply that this could happen at any
21.Turn off the lights, play a tape of crickets
chirping, and begin singing spirituals.
22.Ask for a volunteer for a demonstration. Ask
them to fill out a waiver as you put on a lead
apron and light a blowtorch.
23.Point the overhead projector at the class.
Demand each student's name, rank, and serial
24.Begin class by smashing the neck off a bottle
of vodka, and announce that the lecture's over
when the bottle's done.
25.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.
26.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.
27.Wear a "virtual reality" helmet and strange
gloves. When someone asks a question, turn in
their direction and make throttling motions with
28.Mention in passing that you're wearing rubber
29.Growl constantly and address students as "matey."
30.Devote your math lecture to free verse about
your favorite numbers and ask students to "sit
back and groove."
31.Announce that last year's students have
almost finished their class projects.
32.Inform your English class that they need to
know Fortran and code all their essays. Deliver
a lecture on output format statements.
33.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?"
34.Wear a feather boa and ask students to call
35.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.
36.Claim to be a chicken. Squat, cluck, and
produce eggs at irregular intervals.
37.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.
38.Have a grad student in a black beret pluck at
the bass while you lecture.
39.Sprint from the room in a panic if you hear
40.Give an opening monologue. Take two minute
"commercial breaks" every ten minutes.
41.Tell students that you'll fail them if they
cheat on exams or "fake the funk."
42.Announce that you need to deliver two
lectures that day, and deliver them in
rapid-fire auctioneer style.
43.Pass out dental floss to students floss to
students and devote the lecture to oral hygiene.
44.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.
45.Ask students to list their favorite show
tunes on a sign-up sheet. Criticize their
choices and make notes in you grade book.
46.Sneeze on students in the front row and wipe
your nose on your tie.
47.Warn students that they should being a snack
lunch to exams.
48.Refer frequently to students who died while
taking your class.
49.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 field."
50.Jog into class, rip the textbook in half, and
scream, "Are you pumped? ARE YOU PUMPED? I CAN'T