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This assignment was actually turned in by two English students:

Rebecca and Gary
English 44A
Creative Writing
Prof Miller

In-class Assignment for Wednesday

Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. One of you will then write the first paragraph of a short story. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back and forth. Remember to reread what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.

At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The camomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked camomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So camomile was out of the question.

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel." Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth -- when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspapers to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

Little did she know, but she has less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dim-witted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace Disarmament Treaty through Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop them they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion which vaporized Laurie and 85 million other Americans. The President slammed his fist on the conference table. "We can't allow this! I'm going to veto that treaty! Let's blow'em out of the sky!"

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate adolescent.

Yeah? Well, you're a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.

You total $*&.

Stupid %&#$!.

A grad student, a post-doc, and a professor are walking through a city park and they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke.

The Genie says, "I usually only grant three wishes, so I'll give each of you just one."

"Me first! Me first!" says the grad student. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat with a gorgeous woman!" Poof! He's gone.

"Me next! Me next!" says the post-doc. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with a professional hula dancer on one side and a Mai Tai on the other." Poof! He's gone.

"You're next," the Genie says to the professor.

The professor says, "I want those guys back in the lab after lunch."

                College Seniors vs. Freshmen

Freshmen:  Are never in bed past noon.
Seniors:   Are never out of bed before noon.

Freshmen:  Read the syllabus to find out what classes they can cut.
Seniors:   Read the syllabus to find out what classes they need to attend.

Freshmen:  Brings a can of soda into a lecture hall.
Seniors:   Brings a jumbo hoagie and six-pack of Mtn. Dew into a
           recitation class.

Freshmen:  Calls the professor "Professor."
Seniors:   Calls the professor "Bob."

Freshmen:  Would walk ten miles to get to class.
Seniors:   Drives to class if it's further than three blocks away.

Freshmen:  Memorizes the course material to get a good grade.
Seniors:   Memorizes the professor's habits to get a good grade.

Freshmen:  Shows up at a morning exam clean, perky, and fed.
Seniors:   Shows up at a morning exam in sweats with a cap on and a box
           of pop tarts in hand.

Freshmen:  Have to ask where the computer labs are.
Seniors:   Has 'own' personal workstation.

Freshmen:  Use the campus buses to go everywhere.
Seniors:   Use the campus buses to run block while crossing the street.

Freshmen:  Worry about the last freshman composition essay.
Seniors:   Worry about the last GRE essay.

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 profs
Senior:    Is appalled that the campus 'Subway' burned down over the summer

Freshman:  Conscienciously completes all homework, including optional
Senior:    Offers to 'tutor' conscientious frosh of opposite sex...

Freshman:  Goes on grocery shopping trip with Mom before moving onto campus
Senior:    Has a beer with Mom before moving onto campus

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

TOP 25 DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE 25. In high school, you do homework. In college, you study. 24. No food is allowed in the hall in high school. In college, food must be provided at an event before students will come. 23. In high school, you wear your backpack on one shoulder; in college, on both. 22. In college, the professors can tell you the answer without looking at the teacher's guide. 21. In college, there are no tardy slips. 20. In high school, you have to live with your parents. In college, you have to live with your friends. 19. In college, you don't have to wait in a certain lunch line to be cool. 18. Only nerds e-mailed in high school. (Cool kids hadn't heard of it.) 17. In high school, you're told what classes to take. In college, you get to choose; that is, as long as the classes don't conflict and you have the prerequisites and the classes aren't closed and you've paid your tuition. 16. In high school, if you screw up you can usually sweet-talk your way out of it. In college, you're lucky to ever talk with the professor. 15. In high school, fire drills are planned by the administration; in college, by the drunk frat boys on their way home when the bars close. 14. In college, any test consists of a larger percentage of your grade than your high school final exams ever did. 13. In high school, when the teacher said, "Good morning," you mumbled back. In college, when the professor says, "Good morning," you write it down. 12. In high school, freshman guys hit on senior girls. In college, senior guys hit on freshman girls. 11. In college, weekends start on Thursday. 10. In college, it's much more difficult to figure out the course schedule of the man/woman you have a crush on, in order to figure out where he/she will be walking around campus and at what time to find them there. 9. Once you've obtained the information described in #10, it's much more time-consuming to run between classes to that place where you know he/she will be in order to "just happen to bump into him/her." 8. In college, there's no one to tell you not to eat pizza three meals a day. 7. In college, your dad doesn't pay for dates. 6. In high school, it never took 3 or 4 weeks to get money from Mom and Dad. 5. It is harder to get expelled from College for smoking. 4. In college, sex is legal. 3. In college, when you miss a class (or two or three), you don't need a note from your parents saying you were skip....uh, sick that day. 2. In high school, you can't go out to lunch because it's not allowed. In college, you can't go out to lunch because you can't afford it. 1. In college, you can blow off studying by writing lists like this.
College News Dear Parent(s), Date: ______________ I am too busy to write, but this checklist covers most of the topics of interest to both of us. __ Please send money (Cash)! Amount: ___________ __ Please send food (Cookies)! Dozens: ___________ __ Please send clean clothes! __ Please send My Girlfriend/My Boyfriend/My ____friend (circle one) __ I am in love! __ I am in love with myself. __ I hate men/women. (circle one) __ I am engaged. __ I got married last weekend. __ My roommate worships the ground I walk on. __ My roommate gave me a black eye. __ My roommate committed suicide and left a note saying I was the reason. __ My roommate is afraid of the dark and wants to sleep with me in my bed. __ I don't have a roommate... anymore. __ My Professors are sadistic water walkers. __ My Professors are mental institution escapees. __ My Professors are brain dead nerds. __ I Haven't gone to class yet so I don't know my Professors. __ I wrecked the car. __ I can't use your credit card because I have exceeded the limit. __ You are going to have a grandchild. __ False alarm - you are NOT going to have a grandchild. __ The food is great! __ The food even makes me appreciate your cooking. __ I have lost _____ pounds by not eating here. __ I have had pizzas for the last eleven meals. __ I have gained_____ pounds. __ My roommate is in the hospital with mono. __ My HIV test was: _____ positive _____ negative (check only one) __ I died yesterday! __ I am making all A's. __ I am not being properly challenged. __ I am making grades. __ I will be home after this semester. __ I study all the time. __ I only study waking hours. __ I only study on Sunday afternoon. __ Huh? __ I read my Bible/Torah/Quo'ran/_____ everyday. (circle one) __ I can't read. __ Someone stole my Bible while I was at a bar. __ My white underwear is now _________________ __ I am saving money by not using detergent __ Don't worry, I washed my clothes last semester __ I hang my clothes out the window when it rains __ My room can pass your "white glove" test __ My room is only _____% full __ My room could not be located last Saturday night __ My room was rented by the ROTC for hazardous terrain training __ I've stayed away from parties. __ I don't inhale __ I only go to meet people __ I haven't been to a party since this morning __ Hope you miss me __ Hope you can live without me __ Hope you are not overdoing the celebration of my absence __ I miss you very much. __ I don't miss you at all. __ I miss the bird/cat/dog/snake/______ (circle one) __ Your Daughter, __ Your Son, __ Yours, __________________________________________ Signature (Scribble if Pre-Med or Pre-Law)
The Night Before Finals 'Twas the night before finals, And all through the college, The students were praying For last minute knowledge. Most were quite sleepy, But none touched their beds, While visions of essays danced in their heads. Out in the taverns, A few were still drinking, And hoping that liquor would loosen up their thinking. In my own apartment, I had been pacing, And dreading exams I soon would e facing. My roommate was speechless, His nose in his books, And my comments to him Drew unfriendly looks. I drained all the coffee, And brewed a new pot, No longer caring That my nerves were shot. I stared at my notes, But my thoughts were muddy, My eyes went ablur, I just couldn't study. Some pizza might help," I said with a shiver, But each place I called Refused to deliver. I'd nearly concluded That life was too cruel, With futures depending On grades had in school. When all of a sudden, Our door opened wide, And Patron Saint Put It Off Ambled inside. His spirit was careless, His manner was mellow, A grin crossed his face as He started to bellow: What kind of student Would make such a fuss, To toss back at teachers What they tossed at us?" "On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes! On Last Year's Exams! On Wingit and Slingit, And Last Minute Crams!" His message delivered, He vanished from sight, But we heard him laughing Outside in the night. "Your teachers have pegged you, So just do your best. Happy Finals to All, And to All, a good test."
Found on a freshman's registration card: "Name of parents: Mamma and Papa."
Letter from son at school: Dear Dad, Gue$$ what I need mo$t. That'$ right. $end it $oon. Be$t wi$he$, Jay Reply: Dear Jay, NOthing ever happens here. We kNOw you like school. Write aNOther letter soon. Mom was asking about you at NOon. NOw I have to say good-bye. Dad
"BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO..." (especially when you share the same major.) PSYCHOLOGY: Girl accuses guy of just using her as a substitute for his Mother. SOCIOLOGY: Each claims to have been oppressed in the relationship. RELIGION: Each prays for reconcilliation and/or curses God ARCHAEOLOGY: One tries to bury the past, and accuses the other of trying to dig it up. THEATRE: "OH MY GOD! Life is... ENDED... as we KNOW it!" BIOLOGY: "You just wanted to get in my genes!" PHYSICS: Both resign themselves to the fact that what goes up must come down. JOURNALISM: "Today was the end of an era. Jack, 19, and Jill, 18, called an end to their relationship of 2 weeks..." WOMEN'S STUDIES: "HE did it!" BUSINESS: Both decide that they're spending way too much money together, and that it's simply cheaper to be single. HISTORY: Each party argues the breakup was caused by something the other party did in the past. GEOGRAPHY: Both people decide to simply move far away to avoid each other. ANATOMY: "I never liked your body anyway." ECONOMICS: One party demands more than the other can supply. ENGLISH: Each writes the other a perfect breakup letter, complete with introduction, thesis, body, and conclusion, that doesn't really say anything substantively intelligible. EDUCATION: Both concede that the relationship was a learning experience. COMPUTING: "Man, this bytes -- we just couldn't interface" and/or "His hard drive was more like a floppy." E. ENGINEER.: "It's just so shocking... I'm sure there are positives and negatives, but..." [okay, yes, I know you're groaning ;-)] ARCHITECTURE: "There just wasn't much to build on anyway..." PHILOSOPHY: If 2 people break up in a dorm and there's no one to witness the breakup, are they really single? ZOOLOGY: They were able to mate like banshees, but lacked sophisticated communication skills. PHYS. ED.: They punch each other out in frustration. CHEMISTRY: They turn to hard drugs to relieve the pain. COUNSELING: Each urges the other to "get help!" MUSIC: Each utilizes an operatic lament (or, in Tennessee, a country song) to express his or her sorrow. LAW: They sue each other for breach of a pre-dating agreement. -- written by ADAM LASNIK
The Grad School Rap This here's a message to you Mr. Fool Who decided to go to graduate school Tryin' to get yourself a higher degree Is not all, what it's cracked up to be Listen to me, cause I've collected data Hear me now and believe me lat'r I've studied in the north And I've studied in the south The conclusions I've drawn, Leave no room for doubt! You can come to school but if you're expectin' to stay You better keep up your GPA. There's been many who've been weeded out, That's what the core courses are all about! You gotta be tough, you gotta be strong You gotta be smart or you won't last long. You need Inspiration, Dedication If you want to make it to your graduation. You gotta read books all night and day It's nothing but work, there's no time for play. Conductin' research to its full potential The workload o'er time grows _exponential_ Semesters are passin': spring, summer and fall Instead of makin' progress, you hit a brick wall! Your plan of work is not lookin' too fine Expected year of graduation: 2009. You could be makin' thousands in in-dus-try Instead of livin' close to po-ver-ty. Been in grad school, for far too long And that's the reason for this sad, sad song. Workin' late at night, and I'm feelin' tired A few more cups of coffee and I'll be wired. I got Laplace transforms and Fourier series Books 'n papers just filled with theories. Tryin' to do something that hasn't been done Is like fightin' a battle that can't be won. Well, I pushed myself, higher and higher Till it was the time, to take the qualifiers I walked into the test, it was a scary trip But I had a weapon strapped to my hip. It's the calculator and it's a friend of mine He's got _every_ function: square root to cosine! It's black and white, no shades of gray I ain't the MC, I'm called the TA! Gradin' papers, its an endless chore The longer I grade, the lower the scores. They line up at my door during office hours I feel like a man with such great powers. They crawl up to me in their distress And ask me to help 'em, pass their test. It seems like I'm in such demand, cause they just don't seem, to understand: How to integrate and to transform, how to calculate the mean and the norm. Well, they come to my office to express their grief But the problem is they're lazy, beyond belief. Two weeks in the semester, and they're three weeks behind The situation just, blows my mind. I say, you're clueless man, there is no doubt You don't even know what I'm talkin' about. It's obvious that, you won't pass But it's not too late, to drop the class. There's a lot of pain, and sufferin' at hand But when we get out, we're talkin' 60 grand Wearing gold chains, and drivin' a Mercedes We'll be a big hit, with all the ladies >From India to Hong Kong, in every town and street Thousands will sing praises, and fall at our feet It's not always sunshine, sometimes it's rain But at the end of a rainbow, there's somethin' to gain So my brother when they ask you, why you're here Just tell 'em this, and do not fear Disposable income is very cool And that's the reason we go to Grad School!
Bag Lady Academia ------------------------------- -------------------------------- * Hang out in libraries * Hang out in libraries * Lots of fresh air * Never see the sun * Garbage cans * Vending machines * Sleep anywhere * Sleep anywhere (see: libraries) * Talk incoherently * Talk incoherently * Collect interesting pieces of * Collect interesting pieces of paper paper * Engage in impassioned debates * Engage in impassioned debates with space aliens in their with people who have never native dialects left MIT * Wear all my favorite clothes * Never a fashion slave at once! * Invent the present * Plagiarize * Shopping carts * Filing cabinets * Shelters * Conferences * Magic things: pigeon feathers, * Ritual objects: signed pieces a piece of string of paper, brass rats * Research: are pebbles edible? * Research: can machines converse?

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