Since it is time to go back to school, we need some insight into what is going on.
The Philosophy Exam (said to be a true story)
A college student in a philosophy class was taking his first examination.
On the paper there was a single line which simply said: “Is this a question?” – Discuss.
After a short time he wrote: “If that is a question, then this is an answer.”
The student received an “A” on the exam.
The difference between freshman and seniors
Freshman: Is never in bed past noon.
Senior: Is never out of bed before noon.
Freshman: Reads the syllabus to find out what classes he can cut.
Senior: Reads the syllabus to find out what classes he needs to attend.
Freshman: Brings a can of soda into a lecture hall.
Senior: Brings a jumbo hoagie and six-pack of Mountain Dew into a recitation class.
Freshman: Calls the professor “Teacher.”
Senior: Calls the professor “Bob.”
Freshman: Would walk ten miles to get to class.
Senior: Drives to class if it’s more than three blocks away.
Freshman: Memorizes the course material to get a good grade.
Senior: Memorizes the professor’s habits to get a good grade.
Freshman: Knows a book-full of useless trivia about the university.
Senior: Knows where the next class is. Usually.
Freshman: Shows up at a morning exam clean, perky, and fed.
Senior: Shows up at a morning exam in sweats with a cap on and a box of pop tarts in hand.
Freshman: Has to ask where the computer labs are.
Senior: Has own personal workstation.
Freshman: Lines up for an hour to buy his textbooks in the first week.
Senior: Starts to think about buying textbooks in October… maybe.
Freshman: Looks forward to first classes of the year.
Senior: Looks forward to first beer garden of the year.
Freshman: Is proud of his A+ on Calculus I midterm
Senior: Is proud of not quite failing his Complex Analysis midterm
Freshman: Calls his girlfriend back home every other night
Senior: Calls Domino’s every other night
Freshman: Is appalled at the class size and callousness of professors
Senior: Is appalled that the campus ‘Subway’ burned down over the summer
Freshman: Conscientiously completes all homework, including optional questions
Senior: Homework? I knew I forgot to do something last night
Freshman: Goes on grocery-shopping trip with Mom before moving onto campus
Senior: Has a beer with Mom before moving into group house
Freshman: Is excited about the world of possibilities that awaits him, the unlimited vista of educational opportunities, the chance to expand one’s horizons and really make a contribution to society
Senior: Is excited about new dryers in laundry room
Freshman: Takes meticulous four-color notes in class
Senior: Occasionally stays awake for all of class
Since one of our grandchildren starts his educational process this week (he starts kindergarten), the following are useful
A little girl had just finished her first week of school. “I’m wasting my time,” she said to her mother.
“I can’t read, I can’t write – and they won’t let me talk!”
On the way home from the first day of school, the father asked his son, “What did you do at school today?”
The little boy shrugged his shoulders and said, “Nothing”.
Hoping to draw his son into conversation, the father persisted and said, “Well, did you learn about any numbers, study certain letters, or maybe a particular color?”
The perplexed child looked at his father and said, “Daddy, didn’t you go to school when you were a little boy?”
How to take an exam:
A statistics major was completely exhausted the day of his final exam. It was a true/false test, so he decided to flip a coin for the answers. The professor watched the student the entire two hours as he was flipping the coin…writing the answer…flipping the coin…writing the answer. At the end of the two hours, everyone else had left the final except for the one student. The professor walks up to his desk and interrupts the student, saying: “Listen, I can see that you did not study for this test. You didn’t even open the exam. If you are just flipping a coin for your answer, what is taking you so long?”
The student replies bitterly, as he is still flipping the coin: “Shhh! I am checking my answers!”
The FINAL EXAM
Ultimate Final Exam
Instructions: Read each question thoroughly. Answer all questions. Time limit – four hours. Begin immediately.
- Describe the history of the Papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrate specifically but not exclusively, on the social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America and Africa. Be brief, concise and specific.
- Compose an epic poem based on the events of your own life in which you see and footnote allusions from T.S. Eliot, Keats, Chaucer, Dante, Norse mythology and the Marx brothers. Critique your poem with a full discussion of its metrics.
- Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate it and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.
- Explain the Mona Lisa’s smile. Relate all interpretations associated with it.
- Assuming the Judeo-Christian moral structure, take the stand for Adam and Eve, and the eating of the forbidden fruit. Explain your position fully to a Chassidic Rabbi, and answer his arguments. An Anglican bishop will moderate this debate.
- Using accepted methodology prove all four of the following: the universe is infinite; truth is beauty; there is not a little person who turns off the light in the refrigerator when you close the door, and that you are the person taking this exam. Now disprove all of the above. Be specific; show all work.
- Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.
- Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.
- You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your own appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have fifteen minutes.
- Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if this form of life had developed five hundred years earlier, with special attention to the probable effects on the English Parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.
- Employing principles from the major schools of psychoanalytic thought, successfully subject yourself to analysis. Make appropriate personality changes, bill yourself and fill out all medical insurance forms. Now do the same to the person seated to your immediate left. Also, based on your degree of knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following Alexander of Aphrodisias, Rameses II, Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi. Support your evaluations with quotations from each man’s work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.
- Estimate the sociological problems that might accompany the end of the world. Construct and experiment to test your theory.
- Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of you plan in the following areas Cubism, the Donatist controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline a method from all points of view. Point out deficiencies in your argument as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.
- Computer Science
- Define computer. Define Science. How do they relate? Why? Create a generalized algorithm to optimize all computer decisions. Assuming an 1130 CPU supporting 50 terminals, each terminal to activate your algorithm, design the communications to interface and all the necessary control programs.
- Management Science
- Define Management. Define Science. How do they relate? Why? Create a generalized algorithm to optimize all managerial decisions. Assuming an 1130 CPU supporting 50 terminals, each terminal to activate your algorithm; design the communications interface and all necessary control programs.
- Public Speaking
- 2,500 riot-crazed students are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.
- Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.
- Modern Physics
- Disprove Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Construct an experiment to prove your position.
- The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel is appropriate. Prove your assertions, and be prepared to cost- and motion- justify your decision.
- Agricultural Science
- Outline the steps involved in breeding your own super high yield, all weather hybrid strain of wheat. Describe its chemical and physical properties and estimate its impact on world food supplies. Construct a model for dealing with world-wide surpluses. Write your Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
- Three minute time test. Read everything before doing anything. Put your name in the upper right hand corner of this page. Circle the word name in sentence three. Sign your name under the title of this paper, after the title write yes, yes, yes. Put an X in the lower left hand corner of this paper. Draw a triangle around the X you just put down. On the back of this paper multiply 703×668. Loudly call out your name when you get to this point. If you think you have followed directions carefully to this point call out “I have.” Punch three small holes in the top of this paper. If you are the first person to get this far, call out “I am the first person to this point, I am leading in following directions.” On the reverse side of this paper add 8950 and 9850. Put a circle around your answer and put a square around the circle. Now that you have finished reading carefully, do only sentence two.
- Political Science
- There is a red telephone on the desk behind you. Start World War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects, if any.
- In Part 2 of Shakespeare’s “Henry VI”, Jack Cade, the leader of the Populist revolt, proposes that the first order of business following a successful coup d’e’tat could be to “kill all the lawyers”. In light of the present populist mood in the United States, assess the utility and any potential impact of such a policy today.
- Foreign Affairs
- It has recently been suggested (especially after Black Monday) that only a foreign war can restore America’s lost national consensus. Propose the ideal opponent(s) for the US in such a war, and how the conflict might be engineered so that US would seem not to be the aggressor in the situation. Discuss the pros and cons.
- Give today’s date, in metric.
- Transform lead into gold. You will find a tripod and three logs under your seat. Show all work including Feynman diagrams and quantum functions for all steps. You have fifteen minutes.
- General Knowledge
- Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.
- Extra Credit
- Define the Universe. Give two examples.
For students, have a good year. For teachers, may this be the year the future Nobel Prize winner or winners pass through your class. For all, may this be a safe year and may you learn not what is in the books but what the next book contains.