Teacher: "A fool can ask more questions than a wise man can answer."
Student: "No wonder so many of us flunk our exams."—The Lookout
The college students were asked to comment on the course they had just completed. One student said, "It seems to be a well-rounded course. Everything not given in class during the semester was included in the final examination."—Texas Outlook
Last spring I told my students that Easter occurred the first full moon after the vernal equinox.
Subsequently, I asked them on a test to give me the information. One answer I received: "Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the infernal equinox."—Carol Haney, N.E.A. Journal
John Dewey once said of intelligence-testing, "It reminds me of the way they used to weigh hogs in Texas. They would get a long plank, put it over a crossbar, and somehow tie the hog on one end of the plank. They'd search all around till they found a stone that would balance the weight of the hog, and they'd put that on the other end of the plank. Then they'd guess the weight of the stone."—Anne Snyder in "Letters to the Editor," The Saturday Evening Post
One of my eighth graders listed these as state, federal and local taxes: gas tax, income tax and thumb tax.—Ethel Kaiser Greenlawn, New York NEA Journal
Answers by junior high school pupils:
Caucus—the part of an animal left for the buzzards.
Excise—how big she was before she took "slim" pills.
Butte—the new girl next door.
Gorge—brother of the new girl next door.
Glacier—ice cubes which put Texas in second place.
Levee—one leg of a pair of levis.
Pocket Veto—deodorant for the traveling man.—M. Dale Baughman
On a questionnaire asking: "What is the principal contribution of the automobile age?" The following answer was given by a college student: "It has practically stopped horse stealing."
A hamlet is an English dish consisting of ham and eggs cooked together. Fiction are books which are fixed to the shelves and cannot be removed. The Red Sea and the Mediterranean are connected by the Sewage Canal. The chief occupation of the inhabitants of Perth is dying.—Laugh Book
Definitions from examination papers in Hoban Heights, Pennsylvania: A blizzard is the inside of a fowl; a goblet is a male turkey; paraffin is the next order of angels above the seraphim.—NEA Journal
Educators insist that the "crazy" answers that high-school students sometimes give to examination questions are not an indication of deliberate facetiousness—but it seems hard to believe. At any rate, here are a few comments from test papers:
Many Southern parents employed tooters for their children.
The hound rushed wildly over the moor, emitting shelps with every leap.
The man tried in vain, and was successful.
Shakespeare expressed in his play through the characters that something you gain through dishonesty you loose easily, as MacBeth lost his head in the end.
Salt Lake City is a place where the Morons settled.
Typhoid fever can be prevented by fascination.
The teacher must be dressed simple. She should wear a commanding look on her countenance.
MacBeth is a typical husband, courageous and strong when away from home.
He sees everything at once, and writes them down in that order.
Gabriel Oak, with all his horse sense, is really a stable character.
Question—Name three Greek educators and tell what each one taught.
Answer—Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Socrates taught Plato, and Plato taught Aristotle.—Sunshine Magazine
Senior: "They caught poor Wilbur cheating and they're kicking him out of school." Junior: "Cheating? What was he doing?"
Senior: "Counting his ribs on a biology exam."
Professor: "Were you copying Smith's answers?"
Student: "No sir, I was only looking to see if he had mine right."
Prof: "The examination papers are now in the hands of the printer. You have three days in which to review the term's work. Are there any questions?"
Voice from the rear: " Who's the printer?"
"This examination," said the experienced professor, "will be conducted on the honor system. Please sit three seats apart and in alternate rows.—The Balance Sheet
A seventh-grade history class, which had just finished studying colonial life, was having an examination. The first question read: "Discuss city life in colonial times."
One boy wrote: "There were not many cities, and what there were, were out in the country."
A law school professor was telling his class what to expect of the final examination. "It will be twenty-five pages long, and it will take at least four hours to answer the questions," he said. Then, as the class groaned, he added consolingly, "Don't worry. All of you will be in the same boat."
At this a student spoke up. "Yeah," he said, "the Titanic!"