113 College Professors Reveal The Weirdest And Dumbest Things Their Students Have Done

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We might idolize our university and college professors as authority figures who put the pursuit of knowledge and education above everything else. However, they’re as human as you or I. From time to time, these Ravenclaws take a break from unearthing the secrets of the Universe and show their gossip-loving Muggle sides in public. Or rather—online. Because the way that some students act makes it hard not to share.

Redditor Redmambo_no6 asked the professors of Reddit to share their stories about the students they encountered that made them shake their heads and wonder how they ever graduated. And, wow, some of these have made our eyebrows shoot into our hairlines. We’d say they’re unbelievable, but we’ve met students like this ourselves. Heck, we’ve been in some of these situations.

We’d love to hear which of these posts you liked the most. Be sure to slap the ‘upvote’ button and leave us a comment so we know! Now, let’s charge head forth into the weird land of (un)education.

#1I had a girl come in with a research paper bibliography that listed “my mom” as a source several times.
When I pressed, she told me her mom looked up everything and sent it to her and she just…put it in the paper. She told me she had always done it that way.

Image credits: SalemScout

#2A friend who taught in the politics department received a paper about ‘gorilla’ warfare in South America. It was so poorly written she couldn’t tell if it was a typo, or if they genuinely thought Colombia had been overrun by a Planet of the Apes style revolution.

This was in the UK and English was the student’s first language.

Image credits: ZoeAWashburne

#3I once got an exam essay that mentioned how much Mandela hated the Jews. After scratching my head for a bit and wondering if I’d missed some obvious signs of his anti-Semitism I realized she meant Mengele. As in Josef Mengele, the Nazi “Angel of Death.” Hard to think of a worse person she could’ve confused him for.

Image credits: WhiskyTangoNovember

The redditor’s thread got 6.5k upvotes and over 3k comments. This goes to show just how many university and college professors there really are browsing Reddit and other similar sights. This might just change how you view your own professors in the future: after all, you might be fans of the same online communities!

The anonymity that Reddit provides means that the professors can share their stories pretty much without any chance of others finding out who they are. It also lets these educators vent about their students without exposing their identities either. It’s a win-win for everyone, including online users who get to grab some popcorn and absorb all of these entertaining tales.

#4There have been disturbingly high numbers of students on a performance based music degree who can’t read music. Not musicologists or conceptual composers who could in theory get away with it. No, these were people turning up expecting to study western classical performance.

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#5My wife has had multiple students who are fundamentally technologically illiterate. Numerous students have had no idea how to use Word or Excel–including one who used their email as a word processor (the University provides students with Office). There have also been students who struggle with installing programs on computers. What’s disconcerting is it’s becoming an increasingly common issue–as an older millennial, the idea that kids are becoming less technologically proficient is so bizarre.

Image credits: IAmNotYourBoss

#6My old History of Modern Art prof loves to tell the story about an exam essay featuring the topic of “the male gays” instead of “the male gaze”.

Image credits: Lolbrey

I’ve been a student and I’ve seen my fair share of coursemates and professors. Some educators were (and still are) so magnificent that I miss their lectures like Harry Potter misses Quidditch. They’re the people who still make me consider doing my PhD sometime in the future. Meanwhile, others were petty, bureaucratic, and concerned only about following the curriculum instead of being beacons of knowledge.

However, just like there’s a range of professors, from great to gruesome, there’s a spectrum for students, too. On one side we have young adults who are diligent, ambitious, and see education as a gateway to bettering themselves into veritable giants of intelligence. On the other side, we’ll find the slobs, the endless party-goes, and the cheaters who want the diploma without the hard work. It’s the eternal debate between doing things the right way vs. doing them the easy way.

#7Teaching an English subject on academic writing, including the structure and importance of paragraphs, and a student then handed in a first essay that looked more like poetry – one sentence per line.

When queried, she insisted “they don’t have paragraphs where I come from”.

Turns out she was British…

Image credits: Schezzi

#8I worked with students in a class that was supposed to prepare them for real life. Things like making resumes, finance, etc. Part of the class was job interviews. One of the stress questions often asked in interviews is, “What’s your biggest weakness?” I always told the students to have something prepared for that because the only wrong answer is, “I don’t have any weaknesses.”

So I’m doing mock interviews and I get to this guy and throw out that question. Without missing a beat, he says, “I steal sometimes.”

I now tell my students that there are two wrong answers.

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#9In the final year of high school I had to intervene during a pratical exam when a student attempted to heat a plastic petri dish of water using the blue flame of a bunsen burner.

Image credits: Fawkrin_the_Skulkrin

Being a bad student is as easy as gobbling down a greasy kebab or slice of pizza after a fun night out. Stepping up, taking charge, and being a good student is much, much harder, however. It’s less about getting good grades and more about who you are as a person and your attitude towards hardship.

#10Once had identical twin sisters who turned in identical essays. Both were directly plagiarized from a Google search and received identical zeroes.

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#11I had a student who had failed the previous year, due to missing too many labs to pass and not handing in assignments. I had rewritten the curriculum. I noticed that this student hadn’t been handing certain things in and had been skipping lectures, so I decided to chat with them. They thought their marks for that semester were cumulative with their previous year’s, so they just had to make up enough marks to get a passing grade. This is a post-grad program. They had a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics.

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#12I had a student put in their presentation, ‘Women’s suffrage has destroyed the American family structure,’ and ‘feminism has turned women away from their naturally obedient nature.’

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You’ve got a paper due in a month. What do you do? Do you put it off until literally the last moment, working through the night and pounding energy drink after energy drink, only to turn the paper in ten minutes before the deadline? Or do you get started right away, getting to grips with the issues, tackling the problems, and handing it in early so it doesn’t weigh on your mind? It’s everyday choices that draw the line between a good and bad student.

#13I taught English as a Second Language at a community college for a decade. My colleagues and I were pretty tough on the academics, but it paid off when our students started regular classes. Often I ran into my former students around campus & asked them how things were going. I lost count of the number of times they expressed disbelief at how badly their native-speaking American classmates were at writing sentences, doing math, and giving presentations in front of a group.

Image credits: SnooPickles3213

#14In undergrad I was taking an American history course. Our professor was from Maryland and was probably in her early forties. This kid asked her if she was one of the pearl harbor survivors. He couldn’t grasp the fact that she was very much not alive at that time and that Pearl Harbor was not a harbor in Maryland.

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#15As a college freshman I took Advanced English with a student who didn’t know how to write a research paper or even possibly read (I don’t know). When I realized she didn’t know how to research, I gave her my sources and showed her how to navigate them. The next class when we were supposed to edit each other’s rough drafts. I handed her my paper to edit, she gave it back to me after 10 seconds without reading it and said it was good. She then handed me her “paper” and it was just a list of random dates.

Image credits: JustEnoughDarkToSee

Excelling in your studies requires discipline and having structure in your life. If you wake up whenever you want and only study sporadically, in between parties and meeting up with your friends, you’ll be relying on luck rather than skill.

#16I used to TA for undergrad organic chem lab courses. Had a… challenging student once who was not great at reading directions or thinking critically. We were setting up an experiment that required GENTLE heating of a volatile solvent. I explicitly told the class, multiple times, “only turn your hot plates up to 2 when heating, these things get very hot.” Maybe 30 minutes later I’m making my rounds through the lab and I pass said guy’s fume hood and notice his reaction is smoking. I look closer and see that all of the liquid in his flask is gone and its just a charred, black smoking mess (which is still heating). I ask, “Student! What’s going on with your reaction??? What’s the temperature set at?!” The guy goes, “oh, I wasn’t sure how hot to heat it, so I just turned the plate all the way up to 10. Is my reaction going to be ok?” No, no man, it’s not going to be ok… he literally boiled the thing dry

Image credits: jpiethescienceguy

#17One student wrote a paper about the causes of the Salem Witch Trials. She sided with the accusers because she’d ‘seen some stuff,’ clearly not understanding the assignment.

Image credits: tamelycliches

#18I once spent an hour explaining to college junior that an even number is divisible by 2.

Image credits: KingofSheepX

The more orderly and less chaotic your schedule, the easier it will be to focus on your studies. Naturally, that means avoiding distractions like having Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter open while you’re supposed to be doing research. Multitasking isn’t as efficient as focusing on one thing at a time because you’ll have your flow broken. (Pssst, this works for everything, not just devouring books and articles for your studies.)

#19For a couple years I taught first-year college students in an ENGINEERING program, the majority of whom didn’t know how to do unit conversions. Not even, like, inches-to-centimeters. To repeat … college … ENGINEERING …

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#20I worked at my university writing center and saw a lot of really terrible writing. SO MANY poorly written essays. I really don’t know how you can graduate from high school without at least being able to perform simple tasks like “Point to your thesis statement.”

The whole point of a writing center was to teach students to correct their own work, but there was a direct correlation between how awful a paper was and how likely the student was to throw it at you and say “I’m going to go have lunch. Will you have it fixed in an hour?” then try to leave.

The tutors all got really good at an authoritative, “Stop right there! Sit down. Now let’s talk about how YOU are going to improve YOUR paper.”

The most frustrating papers were the science majors. I could never tell if the paper was terrible or I just wasn’t following the details of their experiment on chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons or whatever.

The absolute worst was the ENGLISH MASTERS DEGREE STUDENT who came in several times with absolute gibberish. To be fair, English was his second language but… are you absolutely sure you do not want to consider a career change, my good sir?

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#21I was teaching a first-year religion class, and we were talking about the story of Adam and Eve. I told my class that a colleague of mine joked Adam had a C-section because he wasn’t conscious when God took his rib and made Eve. The class had a giggle, but one student raised their hand and seriously asked why everyone was laughing, because men have the ability to regrow their ribs once in their life, thanks to this original moment.

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Meanwhile, being a good professor has more to do with how you communicate with people rather than how disciplined and orderly your life is. Even the most brilliant specialist, a true Einstein in their chosen field, will be derided by their students if they’re full of themselves, dismissive of others’ views, and poke fun at their ‘colleagues-in-learning.’

#22I used to TA physics. I had a student who had gone to a decent private high school tell me the value of pi was 2.28. I can kind of understand the .28, because that’s 2pi, but I don’t know where the 2 came from.

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#23I had a student who told me, being 100% serious, that he wouldn’t be presenting on his assigned day because he ‘didn’t do the assignment and he’d go the next day.’

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#24I used to work at an English help lab at my university. I had no problem helping the English as a Second Language students because they had a tough challenge working outside their primary language.

What killed me is how some of these native English-speaking kids got out of high school still writing incomplete sentences, run-ons, tense disagreements, and having basic vocabulary and grammar errors. I went to an engineering school, so yes…some of these guys probably were good at math and bad at English, but you still need to be able to communicate.

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‘Inside Higher Ed’ suggests that educators should look at students as real people and complex individuals instead of a grey and problematic mass that’s full of the new generation’s issues. There’s a lot to be said in favor of treating people as, well, people in all areas of life. Crafting genuine connections with others will always, always trump a purely mechanical approach where every student is seen as interchangeable and a ‘temporary nuisance.’

When a professor sees their students as partners in learning (however cheesy that might sound!), learning becomes a collaboration, an unending brainstorm of ideas, a feedback loop where everyone’s a learner and a teacher at the same time.

#25First story: masters student didn’t know how to convert from seconds to minutes. Second story: no one from a class of 4 phd students in an engineering field knew how to add two 2D vectors.

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#26I had a student include numerous emojis in a term paper.

A different student came to my office a week after the final, and asked me why she had failed the course. She hadn’t turned in a single assignment, or written the final.

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#27Student handed in a 1-page essay of complete gibberish. Like, utter stream-of-consciousness of a gerbil on LSD kind of garbage.

After receiving an F on this assignment, this muffin had the audacity to come to my office hour and demand that I explain this grade to them. After I walked them through their river of word-garbage, they tried to tell me that I just didn’t understand their writing because I am not an English native speaker.

First time I almost kicked somebody out of my office.

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However friendly a professor might be, they still have to have authority in the classroom. So if their students are taking advantage of their good nature or trying to pretend they’ve read a text when they clearly haven’t, the educator has to risk being blunt and call them out on this. Politely but firmly. Bluntly but with a knowing smile.

#28One of my students (outside of class) explained that she and her whole family truly believes that microwaves mutate the DNA of your food (they don’t) and mutated DNA is dangerous to eat (it wouldn’t be).

I couldn’t help myself for calling her out. It was such a strange thing that it didn’t even occur to me to be sensitive. I just said she clearly needed to take my biology class again.

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#29Professor at a middle of nowhere medium sized state school with a 80-ish% acceptance rate. Had a graduate student who couldn’t code for the life of him but was a software engineer at an undisclosed incredibly large aviation company. He couldn’t accept that other students who didn’t have jobs were better than him and that the people grading him “didn’t have jobs”. Sent death threats because we failed him on an assignment where his code didn’t run.

He complained to the higher ups and got a C.

Image credits: KingofSheepX

#30My friend’s student teacher (early 20s, about to graduate college) is working in a lower elementary classroom… and spells words wrong all the time. Everyone can have a brain fart now and then, but this is a few words, every day. Here she is, teaching the kids… and there are misspelled words on the board. Every day.

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Which of these stories did you enjoy the most, dear Pandas? Are any of you professors? If so, we’d love to hear any similar stories if you’ve got any. Meanwhile, if any of you are students, let us know about the strangest and most ridiculous things your coursemates and your professors have done.

#31I was a graduate instructor for a scientific writing class, where students were trained in how to consume and report on research in the form of a literature review. One student kept quiet the whole semester and declined help when I reached out to him periodically throughout.

His term paper came in with the rest, but it was…uh…markedly different. He had written 20 pages on why science was a tool of the devil, complete with quotes from the Bible, and didn’t even format the paper the way I had been teaching students all semester. Included in the paper was a snippet of an interview he conducted with his pastor.

I gave a failing grade on the paper and recommended to him that he change majors to religious studies or something.#32We were doing peer editing in English 102. I got an essay on why suicide being illegal was stupid. I still remember the opening line 15 years later:

“There are plenty of ret**ded of laws.”

I stared at that sentence wondering what to do and realizing how low my school’s standards of admission were#33None could write legibly by hand. Few could spell. Next to none did the reading. At least half regularly skipped class and/or assignments.
Mummy and Daddy’s influence was clearly strong on admissions…#34A week after a midterm, a student came up to my friend and said she took longer on the midterm than expected, didn’t have enough money in the meter to cover the additional time, and got a parking ticket as a result. She asked my friend who in the department should she submit the ticket to for reimbursement#35My graduate school classmate wrote “America is a country that has been around for thousands of years.” It was a group paper on social policy.#36I taught a new remedial algebra class for students who had a non-traditional pre-college experience or who hadn’t taken enough math in high school to take even basic college level math.
An early section on exponents really tripped up one student. When a professor saw his grade, he instructed me to meet with the student to try to help get him on course. Upon reviewing his exam, I realized he had problems with negative numbers. I quickly sketched up a lesson about how exponents worked with negative numbers, but I was floored when his first question was “What are negative numbers?”
I spent an hour and a half working with him to no effect. I’m not even sure he even believed there was such a thing as a negative number.#37I’m a French professor, and a few weeks in to a 200-level French class (taught entirely in French) a student tells me that he’s struggling because never took French before. Zero understanding of what we’d been doing for weeks!#38I had a football player in class, and he could barely write on the sentence-level. I think he had just never been expected to learn how to write since he was an athlete. When he failed his first paper, he came to me and asked how to improve. We agreed that he’d come to my office hours, and we would work through the process of writing a research paper together. Y’all, this kid worked so hard. Every week he’d show up, and we’d talk about how to write an intro paragraph or how to build evidence in the body of a paper, etc. He wasn’t going to get an A in my class or anything, but he was definitely on track for a C- (with a little extra recognition for how hard he worked all semester).

When he turned in his final paper, he had SIGNIFICANTLY improved over his previous paper. I pulled him aside and asked him about his process this time around. With absolutely no guile, he told me that he told his brother what he wanted to say, and his brother wrote it down for him.

I was bound by the Honors Council and a sense of duty to my other students to do what I saw as the ethical thing, which was to fail him, but I do think about him sometimes and that was 20 years ago. He tripped at the very last step.#39From an essay on World War II Germany: “And then crystal snatch happened.”

The student who labeled Canada incorrectly on a map.

And so on and so forth.#40I had a student who didn’t know what the stapler was or how to use it. I accepted his assignment as separate pages. Unsurprisingly, his writing was similarly disjointed.#41One of my student-athletes literally could not recite the months of the year in order.#42I was teaching a class about college campuses in the 1960s and 70s centering on protests and activism during that time. The final paper asked the students to take an example from that time period and compare it to a more recent instance of activism on campus.

One student chose to write about instances of Martin Luther King, Jr. visiting college campuses to speak on issues of equality. That’s when the student said that he had won the Nobel Prize in Sports and I just had to stop. I reread that paragraph about 10 times before I confirmed with myself that this student did indeed write what I thought they did. The rest of the paper was equally well researched and, needless to say, they did not get a good grade.

On the plus side, Martin Luther King, Jr., sports superstar, has become a running joke among my friends who were around at the time.#43As a professor, I’ve enjoyed seeing how people write things they’ve never seen written before. Like “brass tacks” or “full proof”.#44During an open note exam, had a student ask me what lecture slide they could find the answer.#45I had to teach one student how to use numlock on a keyboard and then I had to explain to another who was trying to look up “Utah” that it isn’t spelled “Yutah”. Had another sit on top of a box with about half a million dollar’s worth of equipment in it today without checking to see if it was a box full of expensive stuff. Teaching college is wild.#46My dad taught junior college biology and A&P, and at times zoology and botany, for 25 years. He has soooooo many stories, from multiple people showing up with roadkill for him to identify, asking advice on growing weed and shrooms, and thinking he was a medical doctor. The one that sticks out to me was a poor girl who lingered after class to ask “if pregnancy tests can ever be wrong, because I took a bunch this morning”. He explained about human growth hormone and told her false negatives are possible, but not false positives. He said her face just kept falling as it slowly dawned on her. She told him, “three were negative”. He asked if any were positive and she said yeah… he asked how many and she said, “Twelve… so… you’re saying… it’s not possible that I’m NOT pregnant?” He was like, “Sorry honey, unfortunately yes, that’s what I’m saying. You need to go see a doctor”. She came back a couple semesters later and let my dad meet her very adorable baby.#47I would teach a class starting at 11:30 am every Thursday. I gave students up until the beginning of class to submit each week’s assignment. I had a student ask me if I can move the deadline to the night before because they found it too stressful to finish the assignment in the morning. I told them that the 11:30 am deadline doesn’t mean they can’t go ahead and submit it a day earlier. Never thought I’d have to explain that to an undergrad.#48Woman was enrolled in a sophmore level class of mine. The class was twice a week, 3 hours each class. She didn’t show for the first 7 classes. She shows up for class 8 wearing an extremely revealing outfit and asked me if we could go discuss her “catching up” in the student commons area. I had a very bad feeling about this (I am male). I agreed, but I met her in the commons with another student in-tow. She didn’t say much. I called the Dean’s office the next day to discuss the student’s situation. The office advised that she dropped out of the course twice already and asked special permission to take the class with me (my class was remote, about an hour away from campus). She needed to pass my class or she’d be dropped from the University. She did not show for class 9 (or any other class).#49Someone printed a 3 page resume for an assignment in our “job readiness” class. Complete with a mugshot.

Rule #1 in the assignment was bold underlined “1 page front only”#50I was a math tutor at the University’s tutoring center and a mom scheduled an appointment to have a talk with our supervisor exploring things we could do to help her kid pass his classes.

The kid just sat there with emo hair covering his eyes looking totally disinterested.#51One student wrote in a discussion board about Lord of the Flies, ‘I like how they saved all the flies. That was my favorite part.’ If you’ve read the book, you can guess the look on my face.#52I used to cover for some of my profs in their intro classes. I thought it was ridiculous, but one of the profs decided she wanted to test her students on the states.

Yes, a map of the states that they just have to fill in the name of the state. The students knew a month in advance and she said they did a lesson on it.

I had to proctor and grade the test 3 times. The international students passed with flying colors just as consistently as the American students epically failed. She kept making them retake it until they, at the very least, made something more than an F.#53I was a TA for a social stats class (about 200-300 students in the class). I corrected homework and exams, mostly.
There was this guy, I’ll call him Jake… Jake just couldn’t write legibly, nor write coherently.
Torn off paper (because he can’t use an eraser)
Grey paper (because he used a pencil and rubbed his fingers and arms over his copy over and over)
but all was written in overlapping lines, a big spaghetti.
If the numbers for the example were 1234, he pulled his own numbers from his own head. It didn’t seem like dyscalculia, because it all seemed to come out of nowhere. There wasn’t a single moment where you’d find a “common” thread. If it was 1234, he might well input 189734119.#54A college freshman worked a problem until she got to 12/4 and then got stuck because “I don’t have a calculator.” She was an Education major.#55Two girls were swapping thoughts on the exam and a asks b who she wrote about. B says ‘I wrote about Lenin’. A says ‘really? I don’t remember him mentioned in the lectures a lot’. B says ‘oh I know but I know a lot about him. My mum is a huge fan of his music.’

She had written about John Lennon. Not Vladimir Lenin, who’s name was clearly printed on the exam paper.

This is the same girl who, while we’re being taught about the Holocaust and shown pictures of dead inmates, said ‘what diet do you think he was on? I want my ribs to show like that’.

We were in a teaching degree, btw.#56Had a med student that didn’t know if sodium was an ion. When I said “yes”, I watched her write in her notebook “sodium is an ion”.#57I was once supervising an inductive logic exam including a question asking for an explanation of why a formalisation was “ambiguous”. Student raises his hand and asks “what’s ‘ambeejus’?”#58I am a computer engineering tutor at a research university. I get a lot of students asking to cheat, but the craziest one to me was how some student managed to get into a sophomore level computer architecture course and quite literally did not know what “multiplication” even meant.#59I’ve had students think that including the logo of the search engine they used counted as citing a source. That’s when they even bother to cite a source. I’ve had to lower my standards from “APA format required” to “Please don’t copy/paste wikipedia and pretend it is your paper, at least tell me what website you used, and please don’t use a color scheme that causes seizures. Thanks”#60Had a student steal a paper from the internet, discussing the predicted outcome of a US Supreme Court case that was decided 20 years prior. The student tried to claim that it was a current case.#61I’m a physics professor. Basically everyone in my algebra-based physics classes. The worst part is that they’re mostly science majors! English majors in my GenEd astronomy course is one thing. I’m not expecting miracles. But some of these people want to go to medical school, and they can’t even solve a quadratic equation!#62I used to be a sculpture prof. The number of students that didn’t know how to use a broom or tape measure before taking my class was frightening.#63When discussing the Civil War, a student asked whether the South or the north won…#64I TA physics labs and classes at a technical college. Part of that is having them graph things. More than one student has called it the Why axis#65I teach design related stuff at a private university. There was an older guy, with a poor background. I had them to make Facebook posts. I expected well designed posts, for commercial pages. He sent me screenshots of pictures of himself that he had posted in his personal Facebook page.#66The amount of students in calculus classes do not know how to add fractions, multiple algebraic expressions (using the distributive law), do not know how to calculate percent increase/decrease has always astounded me. I always think about the fact that they have to sign a federal loan before learn how to calculate interest.#67One student never did any homework in high school, not even once. He doesn’t know anything about history and could not tell where Russia is if you asked him. But he is extremely smart and took some exams at the end of the semester to improve his grades. He learned 1 year of math in 1 week and always passed. It’s very disturbing to see how lazy he was and how he still got what he wanted.#68Kid used the word “strategery” a couple times in a serious discussion and I honestly have no idea if she meant it as a reference to the snl joke, someone fed it to her as a joke on her, or she truly meant it non-ironically, and the fact I wasn’t totally certain is what worried me.#69Had a horticultural major believe that milk and eggs came from the back of the grocery store. Specifically that “milk was just water with things mixed in”…. She went to an ag. college…..#70I used to adjunct in the summers while working on my Phd. I taught organic chemistry and a few other low level science classes.

I had a junior in my class that thought that Celcius and Fahrenheit were the same thing, but that Celcius was just the European translation of the word Fahrenheit.#71I teach college economics. Students had to pick a developing country for their topic. Every term, I have students pick Africa or South America. I am very specific in the instructions that it has to be a country. They never understand.#72I hate to stereotype, but pretty much all male student athletes make me think this. Oddly, the majority of the female student athletes I’ve taught have been hard workers. If they don’t do well on an assignment, they email me to discuss their grades and what they could do to improve.
The male student athletes…I often struggle to understand how they made it out of middle school. Their verbal fluency is far beyond grade level, their writing is abysmal, they put no effort into class, they’re lazy…it’s frustrating because they have way too much institutional support.#73Our courses use “Moodle” as our course organization thingy, and the EBook we use for the online section of the course I teach is through another website. So you need to buy the access code, go to their website and do assignments there.

To ease with the access of the site, I recorded a video of myself navigating Moodle, mock purchasing the ebook code, going to the website, registering the code, and navigating the ebook showing all aspects of the site to the students. I then posted that video so it’s quite literally the first thing you see in the Moodle page.

Fast forward a couple semesters to this one. The midterm opens up in February 15 and closes 30 days later. I get an email from a student to the effect of, “Hey so I’ve been waiting for you to upload materials to Moodle only to find out it’s in an ebook? I’m confused and don’t know how to get access to it.”

Like… There’s legit no way to make up half of the material before the end of midterm access. I just… Sigh#74I worked with engineering graduate students as a non academic support staff. I instructed one student to put a tray of crucibles into the furnace at 550C. I thought he understood that he should place the individual crucibles into the furnace one at a time, but he inserted the entire PLASTIC TRAY that into a 550C furnace. It started to melt before he had it half way in, and he STILL continued to proceed. Within seconds it was a smoking disaster.#75The sheer lack of critical thinking skills and the inability to follow any sort of directions.#76I have taught numerous students who are unable to read for meaning. They can read the words on a page out loud to you, but ask them to explain what they just read, they will repeat the words on the page. Our country’s education system is very broken.#77In grad school we had to do weekly presentations on individual scientific studies within the focus of our thesis and this one girl was completely bombing on a study about biomechanics. The professor gently tried to guide her to a different conclusion and she began to argue with him. That’s when the professor asked her to read out loud the authors of the study and, of course, he was the lead author. She unknowingly chose to butcher a study that her own professor authored…#78One time we had an indigenous guest speaker give a lecture about misrepresentation of First Nations culture in media at my art university. During the Q&A a student MEANT to ask the question “how do you feel about cultural appropriation of imagery from your culture by corporations?” Instead she asked “how do you feel when like H&M sells like… underwear and stuff that has like feathers on it” I have never cringed so hard in my life. The guest speaker had no idea what she was even asking him.#79I was a teaching aide for a Space Systems class. Final project, the students had to apply everything and do system Engineering for a small satellite mission. One student just turned in a hand drawn picture of a cartoon looking satellite orbiting the Earth. This was a senior / Grad level course.#80As a TA while I was working on my teaching degree, we had a student that was missing her lab workbook in Chem II on the 2nd day. She said it wasn’t lost, just that she no longer had it.

When pressed on the subject, it turns out she refunded it for cash (after buying it on stipend) so she could get new hair extensions.#81I had a student place an object on a digital balance in a biology class. The digital number popped up and she asked if the number was the weight or the length of the object.#82Had a student on a presentation in grad school who suggested to just google the topic and submit the first result. We all said no (obviously), but he just kept bringing it up. He had no comprehension of why this was wrong.#83Student evaluation comment direct quote “the professor included material on the test that was not directly from the lecture slides. In order to get an A someone would have to do research in the textbook and attend he optional review sessions which not everyone has time to do. Why are we paying professors if we have to teach ourselves the material in the first place?”#84I had to do a peer review. We were supposed to write 5 pages of a persuasive argument.

Well, the girlI got, she just wrote a story of 9/11. No argument. Just a story about what happened.

I felt soo bad writing on the paper,b”Rewrite entire paper to make an argument, not a statement”#85My dad taught college when he was younger, he had one student that was in his physics class that couldn’t understand a problem for some reason. He kept trying to make it easier and easier, and eventually asked: “what’s 1/2 + 1/3?” To which the student replied “1/5”.#86I have a job instructing at a community college: writing skills are incredibly bad; time management and ability to follow instructions are horrible…..but the worse was were a pair of females twins that turned in identical papers, one clearly copied from the other, on the assigned topic of Epistemology by cutting an pasting a Wikipedia article on Episiotomy. I gave them a zero for the content, and ignored the cheating and the plagiarism. They DEMANDED I review it with them, I did and wouldn’t change the grade, so they appealed the grades to the Academic Dean, who invited them to leave the college.#87Had to explain what the moon was … for a history class because someone asked what happened to Pluto and I just…. it was a dark rabbit hole.#88I took a course where a girl admitted she didn’t know how to use apostrophes. Like “cat’s, they’re, Emma’s” and so we spent a week on it and I never wanted a refund on an experience so bad.#89A student came in and complained that he had taken an entire course and passed and the college wouldn’t give him the credit. On further explanation, he had taken the same course twice. Same course name, same course description, same textbook, different teacher. He didn’t figure it out until the dispute about the credit came up after he was finished.#90I was a tutor at out writing center. Do you know how many college students come in writing their essays in the five paragraph format they teach is in middleschool? I’ve seen people come in with paragraphs that were literally PAGES long.#91Was an assistant to a professor. Every few weeks we would have in class writing assignments that were on paper. Every time there was always a paper that was written in something completely unprofessional.

This kid wrote in thick Crayola washable markers. It would take up two lines because it was so thick. Usually he wrote in black but a few times he used purple or blue. I have no idea how this kid made it out of high school.#92I have had large handfuls of students come to our tutoring lab on campus who do not understand basic addition and subtraction while being in Calculus or above. I use math so frequently in my life for so many little things…how do you end up so deep in your college career without algebra?#93Some girl in my grad school program quoted Wikipedia in a paper. We then had to listen to 15 minute speech about why you can’t do that.#94The inability to write is the biggest.
About half my students will go on to become paralegals, and the other half will try and go to law school.
I’m continuously shocked by the amount of terrible writers. I’m not talking about people that haven’t learned proper legal citation, or the associated bullshit that attaches to writing. I’m talking about people who give me arguments like “the statements of the defendant should be suppressed because the Supreme Court says so.” Or people that can’t write complete sentences. Or the people that use no punctuation.#95I once assigned my students to draft up a brief project proposal, just a paragraph or two, and email it to me.

Most students did fine, writing a few sentences in the body of the email. A few attached a word document with a paragraph in it…okay, I guess, I’ll deal.

But one student took a screenshot of their paragraph in Word, and emailed me the screenshot as an attachment. Just text, no diagram or anything. Yes, they could have just copied the text and pasted it.#96I taught a course on the geology of national parks and one time a student submitted a paper on a park which was copied and pasted from the geography section of its wikipedia page (including the hyperlinked sources and all)#97Not to such an extent but every email I get from a student shows how awkward they are at sending emails. Some overly formal and on the other hand some don’t even bother addressing me.#98I taught at a Community College for a while. I was absolutely flabbergasted at how many students couldn’t write a complete sentence. Subject. Verb. Punctuation.#99I was just grad student TA for a psych 100 level class. But holy hell. The average paper I graded was absolute rubbish! Like, so many of the students had what I can only describe as a nodding relationship with the written English language.#100I’m technical staff at a university that has a building named ‘French Family Science Center’ (after Melinda French Gates). It is a good half-a-mile from any language building. There is always some poor student looking for their French class there at the start of each semester.#101A student said that you can’t use pressure bandages on head, because it would compress the brain. Also that you shouldnt use them because head doesn’t bleed much. He said that on an oral exam. In 3rd year of medschool.#102I’ve had students type completely incoherent essays. It looked like something was run through a translation website about 5 different times. Every time I show some of these examples to people, you can visibly see the shock on their face increase as they flip each page, trying to figure out what is written.#103I had a student call in to miss class (the day he was to make a presentation) claiming an “emergency funeral” he had to attend at the other end of town. His classmates called him on speakerphone and got him to admit to making up that story.#104A student called me at 3AM on a Saturday to tell me that he submitted an assignment for me to grade. Yeah dude, I’ll get right on that.#105I teach physics labs. One student came to every lab but never submitted a single assignment. I contacted them a few times throughout the semester to let them know I hadn’t received anything from them. Then, the last week of classes, they emailed me saying “Hi, I’m worried that I’m going to fail this lab. Is there anything I can do to pass?” I just replied and said “At this point all of your labs are past two weeks late, so you’d get 0s on all of them even if you turned them in.”#106I had a student who was thoroughly incompetent (couldn’t figure out how to use Excel, etc.). At the end she excitedly said she found a job opportunity, and could I write a reference letter? Curious, I looked up the job. It was very clearly a scam.#107I don’t have any specific stories, but I’ve found the answer to the question a dozen times over: their high school teachers held their hand the whole way. They even get packets at the end of the year they can complete to pass a class if they failed to do a single thing all semester. They come to college and expect the same treatment.#108Even pre-covid every assignment was online. I tell the students that the online system tracks when they logged in and what activity they do when they are logged in. Every few semesters I get someone that goes to the department chair or somebody complaining that they missed an assignment because of the online system. I then go pull a report that shows that they either a) did not login at the time they said, or b) did not take the action they said.#109I also had two students cheat on an ethics exam. One student said that though she had been earning an A-, a question was ambiguous and she had to know the answer, so she Googled it during the exam. The other student denied cheating though I had proof. He continued to deny it until I reminded him that he was logged on to the University WiFi, and thus we could track his browsing, private or no.

My department chair and dean wanted me to let both instances go because it would be too much paperwork. Instead I failed the students from the exam and would not let them drop the class, ensuring they would have to retake it with a colleague the following year.#110I’ve seen Calculus students who didn’t know how work with fractions.

I’ve had College Algebra students who couldn’t multiply single digit numbers.

Tutored a girl in College Algebra who didn’t know what a square root was.#111I have students who don’t know how to take notes, study for tests, or present their work. I’m surprised a lot of them made it to college, let alone being upperclassmen.#112This young woman was sitting right in the middle of a History of the Middle Ages Course. They are writing down possible investigation topics for a monograph and she raises her hand and says: “Does it have to be about the Middle Ages?” “Well Ma’am, since the class is called Medieval History, I’d prefer you to write something about something that happened within the Middle Ages”.#113MBA program. Student were asked to write a short paper on environmental scanning in their strategy class.

A students paper was sent to me for review because the plagiarism software flagged it as a direct match to something on the internet.

The student had flagrantly copy and pasted a bunch of shit about hurricanes. I read the paper and saw that he was talking about how hurricanes can “are bad for business.”

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  • March 11, 2021
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