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Tips for university teaching
December 12, 2007 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Teaching a university course for the first time: any tips or suggestions?

A friend of mine is preparing to teach his first university course, calculus for non-math majors. He has given single lectures and many seminars before on other more advanced topics, but this is the first time he will be carrying a whole course, on calculus, and with an audience of this size. He's a quiet guy, works really hard, takes this commitment very seriously, wants to continue in academia, and obviously wants to do a good job! Any tips, suggestions, warnings, recommendations, revelations, wake-up calls, etc. would be very much appreciated! Thanks.
posted by onoclea to Education (33 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is it a seminar-style course, or a big lecture?
posted by toomuchkatherine at 12:27 PM on December 12, 2007


He needs to plan out every single word of his lectures in advance. Winging it is not acceptable to any degree. We can smell fear.
posted by tylermoody at 12:30 PM on December 12, 2007


I teach English at a large university.

Wake up call: Understanding the material is not the same as teaching it. This is a mistake that a lot of people make.

Teaching takes work. You have to be able to do the work. I recommend surveying his students at various points in the semester to ask them how it's going. What's working? What isn't working? It will help him shape his lectures and get to his students in the best ways.

It's also important that he really be available during his office hours, and that he makes it a point to let his students know when they are and that they should come. Calculus will not be easy for non-math majors, at least it wouldn't be for me.

And I can not disagree with tylermoody enough. Do not plan every word of the lecture. It will only throw him off if something goes wrong. This doesn't mean to not plan each lecture, and doesn't mean you'll be winging it. I think that a great way to plan a lecture is in 10 minute segments. It will also help him make sure you're going to fill up the time. Once he's a bit more comfortable, I think that it works really well to plan lectures in a "Must Do" "Want to Do" "Could Do" format. You have to get through your "Must Do" column, try to get through as much of your "Want to Do" column as possible, and your "Could Do" column will help out in the event that something doesn't take as long as you think it will.

Wish him luck!

(please ignore the going back and forth between 'him' and 'her.' It's finals week and I'm being too lazy to fix it.)
posted by plaingurl at 12:37 PM on December 12, 2007


On his syllabus, he should be really clear about his expectations for students. He should also be clear about the consequences for not meeting those expectations. Finally, he should be clear about his grading criteria. This is good for the students, especially those who don't know a lot about how college works, and it's a way of covering his ass. If he says on the syllabus that students will be graded down a full grade each day for late assignments, then he doesn't have to worry about students whining to the department chair when he grades them down.
posted by craichead at 12:38 PM on December 12, 2007


Don't tell the students it's your first time teaching.
posted by grouse at 12:44 PM on December 12, 2007


toomuchkatherine, he'll probably have around 75-100 students, so more like a big lecture than seminar-style.
posted by onoclea at 12:48 PM on December 12, 2007


"I think that a great way to plan a lecture is in 10 minute segments."

I agree! I've never given a lecture as such, but have led discussion classes, anad this approach really helped me.
posted by toomuchkatherine at 12:49 PM on December 12, 2007


I have never taught a course myself but I have taken a ton and TA'd a couple and have strong feelings on education. I've seen some instructors be very effective and some be downright useless. Here are some of the common features of effective instructors:

First, classroom conduct:
- Talk loudly and clearly. Use a microphone if the room is cavernous. Make sure board notes are written largely and clearly. Always ask at the beginning if you are audible and visible to everyone.
- Start and finish on time, every time. Make it a precedent and the kids will stop showing up five minutes late. Stick to your guns on this.
- Likewise, don't tolerate abuse from students who disrupt the class. Maintain order and the students will respect you for it. Don't worry about being 'the bad guy' - many students prefer an orderly classroom and want the prof to keep order, and due to social pressures are unwilling to confront troublemakers on their own. This is your role.

On teaching styles:
- For math courses, I strongly believe written board notes work best. This may be controversial, but I find in many cases if they're not writing it down they're not paying attention, which is a problem in math courses which build on previous concepts. Having notes available allows students to turn off their brains and learn it later. Also if you use slides it is very easy to go too fast. If you still want to provide notes to the students, at least work through some examples in the class (that are not previously written down) to engage their brains during the lecture.
- For the same reason (building on previous concepts) it is helpful to have some kind of periodic homework check or quiz that actually counts toward the mark - this is the only way you can guarantee most students will do it. You can make the actual percentage of the mark very low, so that those who are swamped with other projects can choose to prioritize. Thus the mark is an incentive to catch up, not a punishment for falling behind.
- Most students are uncomfortable admitting they are lost. Often asking for a hand count - 'how many of you are confused' - is more likely to elicit useful feedback.

On rapport:
- Many profs talk about respecting their students but it is obvious from their attitude that they think their students are lazy. This may be true but it leads to an antagonistic relationship. It also may be the case that they have 6 other courses and don't have time to do homework every week, you really don't know.
- The best profs have high expectations but also clearly believe the students are capable of achieving them. Students tend to rise to the occasion when pushed.

On deadlines:
- Seconding suggestions about the syllabus above. Make a grading plan available and stick to it. However remember the undergrad "rule of threes": you have to tell undergrads something three times before they remember it. So remind them of due dates and penalties just to be clear. Yes they are adults and should figure it out on their own, but a few reminders don't hurt anyone.
- Sob stories about depression and death in the family can be referred to student services, who will deal with the issue and recommend how best to proceed.

That's all I have for now. Good luck.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:51 PM on December 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


The one thing I've done that's consistently gained praise from the students (in math/computer science classes) is to do lots and lots of examples. Almost all of my lecture time is spent going over various example problems, which are often pretty close (well, I think they're close -- the students don't necessarily!) to problems they will see on homework or exams. It's a lot easier for most people to pick up general concepts from examples than the other way around. I also don't spend time explicitly trying to sell them on how interesting or useful the material is. If I do my job, they'll pass the class now and decide that the material is interesting or useful five years later.
posted by transona5 at 1:04 PM on December 12, 2007


If there's a K-12 Education department at the school he should check and see if there are any resources of use there.

In college I could always tell when a professor had also taught some high school. Universities just don't give a crap whether a professor has any teaching skill so they haven't the slightest care for pedagogical training or other professional development in that regard.

And actually, come to think of it, any actual curriculum materials that apply to high school calculus would probably be more appropriate for non-math majors at the college level.
posted by XMLicious at 1:13 PM on December 12, 2007


Try to get as much done as possible in the first 15-20 minutes of the class period. That's when people will be paying the most attention.

I had an instructor who had a bell ring at the beginning and end of class, and started and stopped talking right on time. It was one of the few classes I've had where almost everyone showed up early.

If you want to avoid arguments over whether an 89.5 is an A or a B, use precise intervals on your syllabus.
posted by grouse at 1:16 PM on December 12, 2007


I have taught classes ranging from large required intro lectures to small graduate seminars on statistical methods and game theory, with moderate amounts of high-school algebra and the occasional differential. OTOH, I do not win teaching awards.

Assuming that this means he's teaching a required math course to students who mostly don't want to take any math courses, ever:

First, good luck. Required intro courses like this are a real bear. On the one hand, the spread of student abilities is very wide, in part because some of the worst performers haven't been failed out yet -- this is his job, in part. On the other hand, there are nontrivial numbers of students who probably have no goal other than to pass, and will not spend time on the course beyond what they think will earn them, say, a C- and move on. If he is teaching at a generic Big State U of some sort, he should probably expect to fail a nontrivial number of students.

Second, don't take anything personally. He will look up and see people reading the newspaper or doing a crossword, or doodling and plainly not paying attention, and so on. This isn't necessarily any reflection on him or his teaching, and probably is more a reflection of it being a required class that many students don't care very much about. Likewise, he can expect some degree of hostility from students who don't want to take the course, and that some other students will treat him and his course basically as an obstacle to be overcome with minimum effort. This is because that's what it is, for them.

Third, I would not recommend asking students what's working and what isn't. My experience is that while this is valuable in nontechnical subject-matter-oriented classes, it's just not very useful in classes with math or other technical topics since the students themselves don't know enough to tell you what's working. Ask other profs, ones who do win teaching awards, what they do for intro calc.

Fourth, examples. Work through examples motivated as well as they can be. Work through more examples than you expect to; spending a third or more of the class just working through examples might well not be out of line. It's fine for examples to be silly if that might help make things memorable. The examples should be as different from each other as is possible.

Fifth, if he has time for it, he should go back over (some) problems that were in their problem sets in class. Some, because students had (or usually have) trouble with them. Others, because they illustrate some useful point or technique.

Sixth, do not give too many assignments if he has to grade them.

And on a related matter, the course never comes first. His own research and thesis-writing come first whenever there is a conflict. If the university didn't want this to happen, they would have put a tenured prof in that classroom.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:20 PM on December 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Don't tolerate unrelated conversations or cell phone ringing. Not at all. I had a couple of huge classes this term and there was a huge difference between the classes where the professor would kick people out for talking and the professor who just ignored all the noise in terms of me being able to learn from the lectures.
It's nice but not essential to put a calender online showing due dates, tests and office hours.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 1:53 PM on December 12, 2007


Have a protocol in place for contesting grades. The prof that got it best said something like this:
If you don't like your grade, don't come tell me about it. I ask that you submit a well-reasoned type-written request for a re-grade. Be sure to specifically explain why your assignment/paper/test etc. deserves to be read again and where exactly you deserve more credit.
I'm told this has just about removed all the emotion-based grade contests as well as many where the change wouldn't have an effect on the class grade. Its saved him a lot of time and hassle.
posted by andythebean at 2:11 PM on December 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


Good advice above. I'll just add this: act like an adult, treat the students as adults and expect them to act as adults. It's too draining for you (the teacher) to police the students, to stand over them and try and force them to learn. Nor should you have to - it's not school, they're all there of their free will. By treating students as adults, you make your expectations and their responsibilities clear. If someone fails those expectations of behaviour, you can calmly and clearly enforce the consequences.

(Caveat: unfortunately my experience is that university students in required courses or in low level courses can be remarkably immature. It can be draining and demoralising and doing your job properly can take an enormous amount of effort: one of the reasons university teaching is so poor.)
posted by outlier at 2:30 PM on December 12, 2007


Seconding andythebean. When a student says "I just want to discuss my mark" or "I'd like to talk about the essay with you," 99.999% of the time those are euphemisms for "I am unhappy with my grade, and I see it as your burden of proof to make it perfectly clear to my, in lucid and unquestionable detail, why I did not get a perfect score. If you cannot do this, my response of 'I thought I did a good job,' 'I really studied hard,' 'My friend said the same thing and got a higher mark than I did,' or 'I wrote down exactly what you said in lecture' will necessitate that I get an A. When I meet with you, I will remain petulant and a little threatening--if I am female I will be crying real tears--until your resolve is so worn down that you raise my grade just to get the hell rid of me."

Students WILL exploit you if you let them. DO NOT LET THEM.

I never EVER "discuss" marks ex post facto aside from going over the exams in class. NEVER. I tell students who are on the verge of tears to leave until they are composed. I let students know that I am their PROFESSOR, not their COACH or their high school guidance counsellor.

I have classes with more than 400 students in a lecture. I have to do these things.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:24 PM on December 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


If you do decided to have notes, make them available before the lecture. And don't included verbatim what you will be saying/writing - that will only encourage students not to come. A simple outline of the topics to be covered that class (like a more detailed syllabus) can help a lot.
posted by fermezporte at 3:43 PM on December 12, 2007


- Decide how much time you can spend on the course each day and stick to this rule, otherwise it's a bottomless time sink. You say he takes it very seriously -- be sure he retains perspective. Don't think "if only I worked even harder, they would finally get it"; in most cases the only thing that would make them learn more is if they did more practice outside of class, and there's nothing you can do about that.

- Whatever you're doing, you're probably going too fast for some people. If you say "everybody got that?" and you get unresponsive silence, it means "nope, and we don't even know how to say so". Ask them if they want another example, and be ready to do another.

- You will probably be amazed by their low ability level. Remember that they really don't know this stuff and may even be very uncomfortable with high school level math -- not to mention college level work and behavior expectations. Be as explicit as possible about your expectations. Be encouraging about math (you CAN learn it, it just takes practice), be firm with people who are disruptive in lecture (one warning, then ask them to leave the room).

- Do plan your lecture carefully, though don't read verbatim from a script. Prepare your examples and at least one extra example for each major concept. Prepare more than you can cover in a day, and then be ready to go at 3/4 the speed you would have expected.

- Consider having them do group work - go over a problem with a partner or in a group of 3, for 5 minutes or so. Or do other things to break up your lecture and let them talk about the problems -- if they're talking they will be thinking. Otherwise, you can't be sure. You can do a problem in steps, and let them confer with their group/partner briefly, then call on people to tell you what step is next. This works best if you can learn the names of at least 1/2 the class.

- If you have TAs, make more homeworks due and consider having regular short in-class quizzes in addition to a midterm and final. Otherwise, guard your time very jealously by minimizing assignments. Students will learn less, but you need to do this or you will go crazy.

-Include in syllabus: penalties for late work (or say explicitly that you will not accept late work without a note from the dean - that's what I do and it's very effective); no cellphones or other disruptions tolerated; copy the relevant part of your university's academic integrity policy into the syllabus. Include your office hours and contact info; the TAs' office hours and contact info; and the location and website of the campus math tutoring center. Include dates of major exams.

- Ask your department for any materials they can give you from previous iterations of the course, and use as much of this as you can.

- Making up exams takes more time than you think. And give yourself at least 2 hours at the end to format, proofread, and 2 hours to xerox and collate etc, if you'll be doing this stuff yourself. You will be amazed at how much time that penny-ante stuff eats up.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:18 PM on December 12, 2007


Don't get behind in grading at the beginning of the semester, only to have to cram at the end of the semester when grades are due. You'd think I'd have learned by now, but no, here I sit reading when I have 15 final projects to grade.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:34 PM on December 12, 2007


I have taught a math-heavy subject several times to non-majors. One big problem I have had to deal with frequently is cheating. Some students consider handing in identical homework sets the result of having "worked together". I consider it cheating. If your friend does too, he should make sure students understand his collaboration policy. Some students will still not get it. In the past, I have dealt with this by giving each student half of the points that they collectively earned for the homework set. I also told them that if all of the remaining homeworks looked as though they had been worked through with some independent thought, they would get those points back. The students really came through, and I was happy to give them all of the points back.
posted by pizzazz at 6:14 PM on December 12, 2007


Good advice above. My additions:

An important general principle: If you're a hardass up front, you can always ease off at the end of the semester, but the reverse doesn't work at all. I was told this many times, but still ended up learning the principle the hard way.

Know that you are the boss in the classroom. Never forget it.

If a student approaches you with an emotional appeal (for a grade change, or excused absence from class, or whatever), tell the student that you will consider the matter and respond by email. This gives you a chance to weigh the matter and stops you from giving knee-jerk positive (or knee-jerk negative) responses. It also stops you from announcing a decision in front of other students, which can lead to undesirable consequences. This technique becomes less necessary in later semesters when you have more experience and a better-formed sense of what's a reasonable request and what's a bullshit excuse.

I agree that you shouldn't "take it personally" if students read the newspaper, etc., during class, but I'm not sure you should tolerate it, if the newspaper-reading is flagrant enough to undermine the general seriousness and respectfulness of the classroom atmosphere. Consider inquiring pointedly whether the newspaper tells the offending student what the value of X in this equation is.
posted by Orinda at 6:29 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I agree that maintaining control of the classroom is important for the sake of ensuring that the students who need to concentrate can concentrate. But I think that trying to force students to pay attention and force them to come to class would be misspent effort, particularly when it's his first year teaching and his presentation might not be that compelling or enlightening. Better to spend the effort making the class interesting enough to pay attention in and attend. Make sure you've actually got your skills together and can seriously educate them before cracking the whip and shoving their faces in it.

Regarding students arguing over grades, something that seemed to help that both when I was a student myself and during a stint teaching math was very clearly articulating and demonstrating ways that students could get partial credit on a problem. For example - if a student knows they've miscalculated something, doesn't know where they've gone wrong, but can explain how they know they've gone wrong and where they'd have proceeded otherwise, partial credit feels fairer and appropriately acknowledges understanding of the topic. And when they want partial credit but didn't follow your guidelines it's easier to say why they won't be getting it.
posted by XMLicious at 7:15 PM on December 12, 2007


When a student says "I just want to discuss my mark" or "I'd like to talk about the essay with you,"

God bless math-centric courses, where things can be just plain wrong.

That said, here is the world's greatest grading scheme for math. Each question (or subquestion) is worth 4 points:

4: The answer is right.
3: The answer is wrong, but only from a computation error (or in some other piddly way).
2: The answer is wrong for some other reason, but not crazy.
1: The answer is *grossly* wrong (ie confusing differentiation and integration) or the question was not worked through to an answer, the latter being the most common
0: The question was not attempted.

This scheme makes grading relatively quick and more objective, so that you won't have to put up with excessive bullshit from students angry about getting a b.

You will probably be amazed by their low ability level

And their lack of interest. This isn't a slam on them. It's a reminder to someone who really is interested in a subject and who presumably has a certain skill with it that most people are not like you.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:21 PM on December 12, 2007


I agree that you shouldn't "take it personally" if students read the newspaper, etc., during class, but I'm not sure you should tolerate it, if the newspaper-reading is flagrant enough to undermine the general seriousness and respectfulness of the classroom atmosphere.

I agree, except that I think the relevant criterion isn't what pisses you off as a professor, it's what starts to get in the way for the other students -- rather a higher bar for many professors, I think.

But I was thinking of those people who have a folded-up newspaper on their notebook and are doing the crossword instead of paying close attention. Not to people actually leafing through a full-size newspaper.

But whether you try to stomp on it or not, you still shouldn't let it eat at you. It's not about you.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:28 PM on December 12, 2007


Cellphone control:

I find that public shame works well in classes under 150. Point and laugh, making sure to make the call recipient the object of attention for the entire class. You can get some really good embarrassed blushes from people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:31 PM on December 12, 2007


Me: I agree that you shouldn't "take it personally" if students read the newspaper, etc., during class, but I'm not sure you should tolerate it, if the newspaper-reading is flagrant enough to undermine the general seriousness and respectfulness of the classroom atmosphere.

ROU_Xenophobe: I agree, except that I think the relevant criterion isn't what pisses you off as a professor, it's what starts to get in the way for the other students -- rather a higher bar for many professors, I think.

Yeah . . . that's what I was trying to say, and maybe not getting it out quite right. I agree that in a big lecture, it's counterproductive to go after every quiet crossword-doer. To take another stab at it: if you notice behavior that you sense is undermining other students' ability to concentrate and get what they came for in class, you should do something about it, because as PercussivePaul points out, other students will rarely intervene, and the problem probably won't go away on its own.
posted by Orinda at 8:38 PM on December 12, 2007


I've been teaching freshman/sophomore level math classes for 6 years now, and I can vouch for most of the advice given here. Sometimes something that works for one person fails miserably for another, but most of the above is pretty general, with a few exceptions. I'll give a few bits of my own advice and chime in about a few things other people have said.

Pizzazz metioned cheating on homeworks as a common problem. This is one of those situations where what works for one person might not work for another, but these are my thoughts. I've managed to avoid this problem by doing two things. First, I actively encourage them to work together on the homework assignments. Second, when I notice that a student has clearly copied an answer (it's sometimes pretty obvious because even unusual misconceptions and freak transcription errors will get copied identically), I only write half the comments on each of the assignments, writing "see so-and-so's assignment for more comments" on the other. Usually one of the students will then approach me, worried about their grade. Then I tell them that I don't care if they're cheating or not, but if they're copying down each other's work, they should be very careful that they both understand everything. This lets them know that I'm vigilant without that I find hard evidence of misconduct, making it much easier to be brutal against those who cheat on quizzes and tests, which rarely happens to me. Again, this is just what I do, and it may not work for you.

ROU_Xenophobe mentioned public shaming by pointing and laughing. Making fun of your students works fantastically if it fits with the personality of the teacher. When it doesn't, it's a disaster. Your friend will know if this will work for him. If he feels uncomfortable with it, stay away. I feel uncomfortable with it as well. However, the point about making them the center of attention is a good idea regardless. If the person with the phone is frantically trying to shut it off, apologizing, and otherwise making it clear that it was accidental, I just raise an eyebrow and say "I'll just pretend that didn't happen" before moving on. If they don't seem apologetic, then I'll crack a joke (but not at their expense), or I'll stand there and stare at them until they look guilty. Again, that's just what works for me.

My late work and make-up quiz policy is designed to make me work as little as possible. I give everybody two free late homeworks and two free make-up quizzes "for emergencies, without questions asked." On the syllabus and first day, I emphasize that if they use them for laziness, they won't be there for emergencies. This way I don't have to muck around with doctor's notes and such. And there will be emergencies. I've had everything from epileptic seizures to kidnappings, and I've never had to significantly modify my policy. Again, this may or may not work for your friend. If he's a complete pushover, this is probably a bad idea.

Crap, this is way too long already. I'll shut up.
posted by ErWenn at 8:51 PM on December 12, 2007


Grading: if you *must* discuss a grade let students know that if a grade is in question, they can lose points as wll as gain them
Example: Student gets 74%: 75% is an A. They grub for that last point. Let them know that if they bring their exam in, the entire exam and h/w set will be looked over: you can and will deduct marks. They could watch that A- go to a B+ or worse.
posted by lalochezia at 9:03 PM on December 12, 2007


If you're using Power Point make sure that you don't much info on the slides. If you do, students will spend way too much time trying to write down every last word from the slide rather than listening to you speak. If you absolutely must put a lot of info on slides, find a place on the university website where the students can download your Power Point presentation either before or after class.
posted by gfrobe at 4:05 AM on December 13, 2007


If you absolutely must put a lot of info on slides, find a place on the university website where the students can download your Power Point presentation either before or after class.

Keep in mind that if you do this many of your students will stop coming to class altogether. My advice would be to avoid pre-prepared textual slides, and only use slides for graphics.
posted by grouse at 4:35 AM on December 13, 2007


Keep in mind that if you do this many of your students will stop coming to class altogether. My advice would be to avoid pre-prepared textual slides, and only use slides for graphics.

Ugh, don't do this. I use the slides to refer to again for assessments and study and graphic-only slides are annoying because I don't remember what they're referring to. At least write something in the Notes section.

Make the class worth going. I've been in classes where all the lecturer does is read off the slide, or just ramble on about stuff without relating to the students. Talking to a wall. I stopped going to those classes because I was more productive elsewhere. 75-100 is rather small for a lecture (most of my lectures hit 200-300) so it is possible - and necessary - to make personal contact.

Listen to your student if they have problems, and don't be such a stickler to random university policy that you won't even help them out of compassion. Some university rules and regulations can be really tedious and don't help the student at all. One of my good friends suffered sexual assault two semesters ago and suffered in her exams, despite working hard. She was applying for Retrospective Withdrawal and the process is DRAINING. So much paperwork just to get two grades cleared! She was on the brink of suicide because of all the stress. Students are HUMAN too.

And please, PLEASE don't do what one of my lecturers did: send an email to everyone telling people off for being "rude" to the presenter and singling out certain students by describing their detail their activities in the class. I got pointed out in such an email as I came in late and couldn't stay awake. I had just finished a string of conferences the day before and was exhausted as hell, and when I found myself nodding off I figured staying would be rude so I left to get rest. That email just humiliated me.
posted by divabat at 7:48 AM on December 13, 2007


After he writes a lecture he should go through and figure out places where he can ask them things instead of telling them things.
posted by biffa at 3:04 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


ROU_Xenophobe mentioned public shaming by pointing and laughing. Making fun of your students works fantastically if it fits with the personality of the teacher. When it doesn't, it's a disaster. Your friend will know if this will work for him. If he feels uncomfortable with it, stay away. I feel uncomfortable with it as well. However, the point about making them the center of attention is a good idea regardless. If the person with the phone is frantically trying to shut it off, apologizing, and otherwise making it clear that it was accidental, I just raise an eyebrow and say "I'll just pretend that didn't happen" before moving on. If they don't seem apologetic, then I'll crack a joke (but not at their expense), or I'll stand there and stare at them until they look guilty. Again, that's just what works for me.

"Ah, thank you for reminding me, Mr. _____, I almost forgot to mention that I'll be accepting the next homework assignment by phone."

They always love that one.
posted by voltairemodern at 8:09 AM on December 14, 2007


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