Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fool(ed)!


David Lee, associate professor of physics, writes:
“On Wednesday I arrived at my 8 a.m. Quantum Mechanics class (PHY 337) and found the tabletops littered with sleeping students, all in sleeping bags and pajamas as if they had been in the lab studying all night long. I had handed out a take-home exam on Monday and it was due Wednesday morning at the start of class. A couple minutes after class started, one of the students (Neal Buxton) walked in with a paper bag full of breakfast sandwiches, as if he had been sent to get everyone food. Then a couple minutes after that, an alarm clock began to sound from somewhere in the lab . . . It was another student’s alarm clock. Ellen Lyman was sleeping behind the sliding markerboards in the front of the classroom (there is a countertop that these sliding markerboards conceal). She had been threatening to sleep behind those boards all semester long—and the funny thing is that while waiting behind the boards for the prank, she actually did fall asleep.
Finally, at the teaching podium there was a pile of yellow slips that had been signed by my colleague Dale Pleticha. All of them were simultaneously dropping the class, as if this last exam were the final straw. Of course, there was one physics major, who is not taking the class, who had a signed green add-slip.
The students—Thomas Botticello, Neal Buxton, Spencer Carson, Ellen Lyman, Jordan Montgomery, Michael Percuoco and Jonathan Sheeks—had been planning this for weeks apparently. Fellow physics faculty member Dale Pleticha was also involved (as it was his signature on the drop/add slips).
I’m still shaking my head, but also feel so blessed to have students such as these . . .”

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