(Math) Exercise, Dividers Of Theoden

| Learning | April 4, 2013

(We’re taking a calculus final. The TA is a well-known Lord of the Rings fan, and we’ve had running LotR jokes all semester.)

TA: “Okay, guys, everyone look at me. We’ve been over the rules, but just in case: no notes, pencil your answers in on the scantron sheet, and graphing calculators only – no more ‘can I just used my cell phone’ nonsense.”

Student: “[TA’s name], my calculator batteries just died! What should I do?”

TA: “Here, I’ve got a big box of spares.”

Student: *struggling* “I can’t get this packaging open…”

Student 2: “Here, I’ve got a pocket knife.”

TA: “And I’ve got a pair of scissors if you need them.”

Student 3: *from the back of the room* “OR MY AXE!”

(Everyone starts laughing.)

TA: “The only axes allowed on the exam are in the graph section.”

(Everyone groans.)

TA: “Oh, come on, you’re in a math class. Deal with the math jokes.”

(The professor enters with a stack of exams. With him are two exam proctors.)

Professor: “Tolkien jokes already, [TA’s name]?”

TA: “Hey, I didn’t start it.”

(The professor starts handing stacks of exams to the TA and proctors.)

Professor: “But I’m about to finish it. [TA], take these exams down the left flank. [Proctor 1], follow the desks down the center. [Proctor 2], take your exams right, along the wall.”

(At this point, many of the students have realized where this is going: Theoden’s lines from ‘Return of the King.’)

Professor: “Forth, and fear no problems! Solve! Solve, students of calculus! Points shall be taken, scores shall be splintered! A pencil day! A red-ink day! Until three thirty!”

(The professor pulls out a pencil, holding it out like a sword, and runs down the first row holding it out. Students hold up their pencils, hitting his as he passes.)

Professor: “Solve now! Solve now! Solve to good grades and the class ending! MAAATH!”

Entire Class: “MAAATH!”

Professor: “MAAAAATH!”

Entire Class: “MAAAAAATH!”

Professor: “Forth, exam-takers!”

(The entire class rises to their feet and gives him a standing ovation. A week later, we get an email from the professor.)

Professor: *at the end of the email* “PS: I appreciate all of you who wrote in their evaluations that I was the one professor to rule them all, but the best one yet was the student who called me ‘Mathrandir.'”

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