5 Nov 2006

I hope everyone had a great Halloween! Please enjoy the following list before getting to the meat-and-potatoes of my e-mail:
50 Fun Things for Professors to Do on the First Day of Class:
1. Wear a hood with one eyehole. 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, Mr. Smartypants?”
8. Pick out random students, ask them questions, and time their responses with a stop watch. Record their times in your grade book while muttering “tsk, tsk”.
9. Ask students to call you “Tinkerbell” or “Surfin’ Bird”.
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-syncing 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 forth.
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 moment.
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 number.
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 your hands.
28. Mention in passing that you’re wearing rubber underwear.
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 you “Snuggles”.
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 a bass while you lecture.
39. Sprint from the room in a panic if you hear sirens outside.
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 and devote the lecture to oral hygiene.
44. Announce that the entire 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica will be required reading for your class. Assign a report on Volume 1, Aardvark through Armenia, for next class.
45. Ask students to list their favorite showtunes on a signup sheet. Criticize their choices and make notes in your grade book.
46. Sneeze on students in the front row and wipe your nose on your tie.
47. Warn students that they should bring a sack 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 HEEEEEEAR YOU!”
—–
Wow, am I in trouble. There is now a Wal-Mart Super Center not two blocks from my apartment. Also of note, the Famous Barr that opened earlier this year has already been replaced–by a Macy’s. In Columbia, MO. Of all places.

I will not, however, be as likely to shop there.

I should have more than 90 hours on my transcript now, even before I submit my military training, so I will be turning in a packet for OCS shortly. I was going to schedule my ACT re-take (isn’t that just stupid?)this month, but the test in Ft Leonard Wood is the day after my three-day drill. I’ll wait until December, thanks.
—–
Conversation at work (with a co-worker who is ex-Army infantry and likes to rib me about being a former Marine):
Him (to another person, as he sees me passing by): And some people just don’t get it. Like these Marines here (gives me a big grin).
Me: You’re right. I just don’t get it. I will never understand the rampant homosexuality in the U. S. Army. I mean, not only should you NOT be behaving that way in the military, but you’re all ugly as sin, anyway.
Him: *gasp* *sputter*
—–
Well, it’s not a school, but it’s a start: I’ve got a friend (ex-Army intelligence and former kenjutsu instructor) who’s going to work out with me in Cosmo Park today. We’ll see if I can’t hook him as my first paying student… Or at least free advertising!:)

So, I’ve never been big on calisthenics, but there’s an exercise program called “Combat Conditioning” that a lot of martial artists–well, mostly combat athletes–swear by. It was created by a guy named Matt Furey, who studied Shuai Chiao (Chinese stand-up wrestling) in Taiwan. The main problem was, he published his material in a shoddily-produced, overpriced book. Well, a student of Furey’s named John Peterson has published a book, Pushing Yourself to Power, containing the main contents of Furey’s work, plus a lot of other information on other methods of non-equipment using workouts. I’ll let you know if it’s worthwhile…

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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