You Might Be A Physics Major If…

  • if you have no life – and you can PROVE it mathematically.
  • if you enjoy pain.
  • if you know vector calculus but you can’t remember how to do long division.
  • if you chuckle whenever anyone says “centrifugal force.”
  • if you’ve actually used every single function on your graphing calculator.
  • if when you look in a mirror, you see a physics major.
  • if it is sunny and 70 degrees outside, and you are working on a computer.
  • if you frequently whistle the theme song to “MacGyver.”
  • if you always do homework on Friday nights.
  • if you know how to integrate a chicken and can take the derivative of water.
  • if you think in “math.”
  • if you’ve calculated that the World Series actually diverges.
  • if you hesitate to look at something because you don’t want to break down its wave function.
  • if you have a pet named after a scientist.
  • if you laugh at jokes about mathematicians.
  • if the Humane society has you arrested because you actually performed the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment.
  • if you can translate English into Binary.
  • if you can’t remember what’s behind the door in the science building which says “Exit.”
  • if you have to bring a jacket with you, in the middle of summer, because there’s a wind-chill factor in the lab.
  • If you are completely addicted to caffeine.
  • if you avoid doing anything because you don’t want to contribute to the eventual heat-death of the universe.
  • if you consider ANY non-science course “easy.”
  • if when your professor asks you where your homework is, you claim to have accidentally determined its momentum so precisely, that according to Heisenberg it could be anywhere in the universe.
  • if the “fun” center of your brain has deteriorated from lack of use.
  • if you’ll assume that a “horse” is a “sphere” in order to make the math easier.
  • if you understood more than five of these indicators.
  • if you make a hard copy of this list, and post it on your door.

A Quick Test

The Exam


Read each question carefully. Answer all questions.
Time limit: 4 hours. Begin immediately.

  1. History
    • Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.
  2. Medicine
    • You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have fifteen minutes.
  3. Public Speaking
    • 2,500 aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm Them. You may use any
      ancient language except Latin or Greek.
  4. Biology
    • Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if this form of life had developed 500 million years earlier, with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system.
      Prove your theses.
  5. Music
    • Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum.
      You will find a piano under your seat.
  6. Psychology
    • Based on your knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Ramses II, Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi. Support your evaluation with quotations from each man’s work making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.
  7. Sociology
    • Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.
  8. Epistemology
    • Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.
  9. 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.
  10. Literature
    • Write an epic of not less than 10,000 rhymed couplets on The Ascent of
      Man; do not use more than four different languages. Then write a critical essay explaining the intentional fallacy of your poem.
  11. Engineering
    • 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 appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.
  12. Economics
    • Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, The Donatist controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.
  13. Mathematics
    • Provide a counter example to Goldbach’s Conjecture. Reconstruct Fermat’s proof of Fermat’s Theorem. Using the construction paper and Scotch tape found on the back of this exam, build a working model of a sphere which can be turned inside out without any folds.
  14. Chemistry
    • Using the materials leftover in the box containing the rifle, along with the chemicals provided in the first aid kit, build an atomic bomb. This is to be used in the next question.
  15. Political Science
    • There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III.
      Report at length on its socio-political effects, if any.
  16. Physics
    • Explain the nature of matter. Include in you answer an evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.
  17. Philosophy
    • Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance.
      Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.
  18. General Knowledge
    • Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.

Extra Credit

    Define the universe. Give three examples.

If you finish before time is called, go back and check your work.

How to Write a Paper

  1. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a well-lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.
  2. Read over the assignment carefully to make certain you understand it.
  3. Walk down to the vending machines and buy some coffee to help you concentrate.
  4. Stop off at another floor on the way back and visit with your friend from class.
  5. If your friend hasn’t started the paper yet either, you can both walk to McDonald’s and buy a hamburger to help you concentrate. If your friend shows you his paper — printed, double-spaced and bound in one of those irritating see-through plastic folders — drop him.
  6. When you get back to your room, sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well-lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.
  7. Read over the assignment again to make absolutely certain you understand it.
  8. You know, you haven’t written to that kid you met at camp since fourth grade. You’d better write that letter now and get it out of the way so you can concentrate.
  9. Go look at your teeth in the bathroom mirror.
  10. Listen to one of your favorite CDs and that’s it. I mean it. As soon as it’s over, you are going to start that paper.
  11. Listen to the another.
  12. Rearrange all of your CDs into alphabetical order.
  13. Phone your friend on the other floor and ask if he’s started writing yet. Exchange derogatory remarks about your teacher, the course, the university, the world at large.
  14. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well-lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.
  15. Read over the assignment again. Roll the words across your tongue. Savor its special flavor.
  16. Check the newspaper listings to make sure you aren’t missing something truly worthwhile on TV.
    NOTE: When you have a paper due in less than 12 hours, anything on TV, from “Masterpiece Theatre” to “Sgt. Preston of the Yukon,” is truly worthwhile, with these exceptions:

    1. Pro Bowler’s Tour
    2. Any movie starring Don Ameche.
  17. Catch the last hour of “Soul Brother of Kung Fu” on Channel 26.
  18. Phone your friend on the third floor to see if he was watching. Discuss the finer points of the plot.
  19. Go look at your tongue in the bathroom mirror.
  20. Look through your roommate’s book of pictures from home. Ask who everyone is.
  21. Sit down and do some serious thinking about your plans for the future.
  22. Open your door and check to see if there are any mysterious, trench-coated strangers lurking in the hall.
  23. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well-lighted place with plenty of freshly sharpened pencils.
  24. Read over the assignment one more time, just for the heck of it.
  25. Scoot your chair across the room to the window and watch the sunrise.
  26. Lie face down on the floor and moan.
  27. Leap up and write the paper.
  28. Print the paper.
  29. Complain to everyone that you didn’t get any sleep because you had to write the darn paper.


Wouldn’t it be nice to tell the Dean of your college what you REALLY think about him/her?

Well,… if you like YOUR Dean as much as I like MY Dean, then you’d better keep your mouth shut. I knew I’d get kicked out of the college if I expressed my true feelings, so I remained silent for the last four years.

But yesterday was my graduation. And as I walked across the stage, the Dean handed my diploma to me (nicely scrolled and tied with a ribbon).

Once she handed it to me, I could finally tell that bitch what I REALLY thought about her. So I leaned across her podium and I looked her straight in the eye. “Hey Bitch,” I said. “You’re so damn ugly… you could practice birth control just by leaving the lights on!”

And then I walked off the stage, and went home. I gotta tell you that it felt just as good as I had imagined it would for the last four years.

Today, I unwrapped my diploma, framed it, and hung it in the living room, where it proudly exclaims to the world:

    “In order to receive your diploma, please present this certificate to the Dean of your college after final grades have been posted!”

The Term Paper Bank

There was a university in New England where the students operated a “bank” of term papers and other homework assignments. There were papers to suit all needs and as it would look odd if an undistinguished student suddenly handed in a brilliant essay, there were papers for an A grade, a B grade and a C grade.

A student who had spent the weekend on pursuits other than his assignment, went to the “bank” and as his course was a standard one he took out a paper for a inconspicuous C, retyped it and handed the work in.

In due course he received it back with the professor’s comments “I wrote this paper myself twenty years ago. I always thought it should have had an A, and now I am glad to give it one!”

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

A professor at the Texas A&M gave a lecture on the supernatural. To get a feel for his audience, he asks, “How many people here believe in ghosts?”

About 90 students raise their hands.

“Well, that’s a good start. Out of those of you who believe in ghosts, do any of you think you’ve ever seen a ghost?”

About 40 students raised their hands.

“That’s really good. I’m really glad you take this seriously. Has anyone here ever talked to a ghost?”

About 15 students raise their hands.

“Has anyone here ever touched a ghost?”

Three students raise their hands. “That’s fantastic. Now let me ask you one question further…Have any of you ever made love to ghosts?”

Way in the back, Bubba raises his hand.

The professor takes off his glasses, and says, “Son, in all the years I’ve been giving this lecture; no one has ever claimed to have made love to a ghost. You’ve got to come up here and tell us about your experience.”

The big redneck student replied with a nod and a grin, and began to make his way up to the podium. When he is at the front of the room, the professor asks, “So, Bubba, tell us what it’s like to have sex with ghosts?”

Bubba replied, “Shiiiiit! From way back thar I thought you said, ‘Goats!’

Final Exam Hymn

Mine eyes have seen the horror
Of the ending of the term
It has poisoned all my spirits
Like an apple with a worm
It’s infected all my freedom
Like an ugly cancer germ
The truth shall soon be known.

Chorus: Failure, failure, degradation,
Failure and humiliation,
Failure, failure, academia,
The truth shall soon be known.

I have listened to the teachers
But the homework leaves me cold
I have never done assignments
Although many times been told
I have even missed my classes
When I was feeling bold
The truth shall soon be known

Chorus: Failure, failure, degradation,
Failure and humiliation,
Failure, failure, academia,
The truth shall soon be known.

They are adding all my points up
And I haven’t earned but few
In fact, I haven’t even gotten
More than one or two
Oh, if I could only find an answer
Anything to do
The truth shall soon be known.

Chorus: Failure, failure, degradation,
Failure and humiliation,
Failure, failure, academia,
The truth shall soon be known.

On the lines of every gradebook
There is solemn news for me
The worst is yet to come when
Financial Aid ignores my plea
So I guess the only answer is
To drop my books and flee
The truth shall soon be known.

Chorus: Failure, failure, degradation,
Failure and humiliation,
Failure, failure, academia,
The truth shall soon be known.

Well, the end has finally come
And I have failed to pass a class
Though the fun and laughter, goofing off
Was really quite a gas
But I won’t be in the numbers
Of the capped and gowned mass
The truth was finally shown.

Chorus: Failure, failure, degradation,
Failure, and humiliation,
Failure, failure, academia,
The truth was finally known.

Failing in Style

50 Fun things to do in a final that does not matter (i.e. you are going to fail the class completely no matter what you get on the final exam)

  1. Bring a pillow. Fall asleep (or pretend to) until the last 15 minutes. Wake up, say "oh geez, better get cracking" and do some gibberish work. Turn it in a few minutes early.
  2. Get a copy of the exam, run out screaming "Andre, Andre, I’ve got the secret documents!!"
  3. If it is a math/science exam, answer in essay form. If it is long answer/essay form, answer with numbers and symbols. Be creative. Use the integral symbol.
  4. Make paper airplanes out of the exam. Aim them at the instructor’s left nostril.
  5. Talk the entire way through the exam. Read questions aloud, debate your answers with yourself out loud. If asked to stop, yell out, "I’m SOOO sure you can hear me thinking." Then start talking about what a jerk the instructor is.
  6. Bring cheerleaders.
  7. Walk in, get the exam, sit down. About five minutes into it, loudly say to the instructor, "I don’t understand ANY of this. I’ve been to every lecture all semester long! What’s the deal? And who the hell are you? Where’s the regular guy?"
  8. Bring a Game Boy (or Game Gear, etc…). Play with the volume at max level.
  9. On the answer sheet (book, whatever) find a new, interesting way to refuse to answer every question. For example: I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it conflicts with my religious beliefs. Be creative.
  10. Bring pets.
  11. Run into the exam room looking about frantically. Breathe a sigh of relief. Go to the instructor, say "They’ve found me, I have to leave the country" and run off.
  12. Fifteen minutes into the exam, stand up, rip up all the papers into very small pieces, throw them into the air and yell out "Merry Christmas." If you’re really daring, ask for another copy of the exam. Say you lost the first one. Repeat this process every fifteen minutes.
  13. Do the exam with crayons, paint, or fluorescent markers.
  14. Come into the exam wearing slippers, a bathrobe, a towel on your head, and nothing else.
  15. Come down with a BAD case of Tourette’s Syndrome during the exam. Be as vulgar as possible.
  16. Do the entire exam in another language. If you don’t know one, make one up! For math/science exams, try using Roman numerals.
  17. Bring things to throw at the instructor when s/he’s not looking. Blame it on the person nearest to you.
  18. As soon as the instructor hands you the exam, eat it.
  19. Walk into the exam with an entourage. Claim you are going to be taping your next video during the exam. Try to get the instructor to let them stay, be persuasive. Tell the instructor to expect a percentage of the profits if they are allowed to stay.
  20. Every five minutes, stand up, collect all your things, move to another seat, continue with the exam.
  21. Turn in the exam approximately 30 minutes into it. As you walk out, start commenting on how easy it was.
  22. Do the entire exam as if it was multiple choice and true/false. If it is a multiple choice exam, spell out interesting things (DCCAB. BABE. etc..).
  23. Bring a black marker. Return the exam with all questions and answers completely blacked out.
  24. Get the exam. Twenty minutes into it, throw your papers down violently, scream out "Fuck this!" and walk out triumphantly.
  25. Arrange a protest before the exam starts (i.e. Threaten the instructor that whether or not everyone’s done, they are all leaving after one hour to go drink)
  26. Show up completely drunk. (Completely drunk means at some point during the exam, you should start crying for mommy).
  27. Every now and then, clap twice rapidly. If the instructor asks why, tell him/her in a very derogatory tone, "the light bulb that goes on above my head when I get an idea is hooked up to a clapper. DUH!"
  28. Comment on how sexy the instructor is looking that day.
  29. Come to the exam wearing a black cloak. After about 30 minutes, put on a white mask and start yelling "I’m here, the Phantom of the Opera" until they drag you away.
  30. Go to an exam for a class you have no clue about, where you know the class is very small, and the instructor would recognize you if you belonged. Claim that you have been to every lecture. Fight for your right to take the exam.
  31. Upon receiving the exam, look it over, while laughing loudly, say "you don’t really expect me to waste my time on this drivel? Days of our Lives is on!!!"
  32. Bring a water pistol with you. Nuff said.
  33. From the moment the exam begins, hum the theme to Jeopardy. Ignore the instructor’s requests for you to stop. When they finally get you to leave one way or another, begin whistling the theme to the Bridge on the River Kwai.
  34. Start a brawl in the middle of the exam.
  35. If the exam is math/science related, make up the longest proofs you could possibly think of. Get pi and imaginary numbers into most equations. If it is a written exam, relate everything to your own life story.
  36. Come in wearing a full knight’s outfit, complete with sword and shield.
  37. Bring a friend to give you a back massage the entire way through the exam. Insist this person is needed, because you have bad circulation.
  38. Bring cheat sheets FOR ANOTHER CLASS (make sure this is obvious… like history notes for a calculus exam… otherwise you’re not just failing, you’re getting kicked out too) and staple them to the exam, with the comment "Please use the attached notes for references as you see fit."
  39. When you walk in, complain about the heat. Strip.
  40. After you get the exam, call the instructor over, point to any question, ask for the answer. Try to work it out of him/her.
  41. One word: Wrestlemania.
  42. Bring balloons, blow them up, start throwing them around like they do before concerts start.
  43. Try to get people in the room to do the wave.
  44. Play frisbee with a friend at the other side of the room.
  45. Bring some large, cumbersome, ugly idol. Put it right next to you. Pray to it often. Consider a small sacrifice.
  46. Get deliveries of candy, flowers, balloons, telegrams, etc… sent to you every few minutes throughout the exam.
  47. During the exam, take apart everything around you. Desks, chairs, anything you can reach.
  48. Complete the exam with everything you write being backwards at a 90 degree angle.
  49. Bring a musical instrument with you, play various tunes. If you are asked to stop, say "it helps me think." Bring a copy of the Student Handbook with you, challenging the instructor to find the section on musical instruments during finals. Don’t forget to use the phrase "Told you so".
  50. Answer the exam with the "Top Ten Reasons Why Professor xxxx Sucks"

University Entrance Exam – Football Player Version

Time Limit: 3 weeks

  1. Foreign Language: What Language is spoken in France?
  2. History: Give a dissertation on the ancient Babylonian Empire with particular reference to architecture, literature, law, and social conditions
    -OR- Give the first name of Pierre Trudeau.
  3. Literature: Would you ask William Shakespeare to
    1. build a bridge
    2. sail the ocean
    3. lead an army or
  4. Religion: What religion is the Pope?
    1. Jewish
    2. Catholic
    3. Hindu
    4. Polish
    5. Agnostic (circle only one)
  5. Metric Conversion: How many feet equal 0.0 meters?
  6. Physics: What time is it when the big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 5?
  7. Religion: How many commandments was Moses given? (approximately)
  8. Geography: What are people in America’s far north called?
    1. Westerners
    2. Southerners
    3. Northerners
  9. American History: Spell Bush, Carter, and Clinton.
  10. European History: Six kings of England have been called George, last one being George the Sixth. Name the previous five.
  11. Natural Science: Where does rain come from?
    1. Macy’s
    2. a 7-11
    3. Canada
    4. the sky
  12. Advanced Physics: Can you explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity?
    1. yes
    2. no
  13. Philosophy: What are coat hangers used for?
  14. Political Science: The Star Spangled Banner is the National Anthem for what country?
  15. Physics: Explain Le Chateliers Principle of Dynamic Equilibrium -OR-
    Spell your name in BLOCK LETTERS.
  16. Architecture: Where is the basement in a three story building located?
  17. Agricultural Science: Which part of America produces the most oranges?
    1. New York
    2. Florida
    3. Canada
    4. Wisconsin
  18. Advanced Math: If you have three apples how many apples do you have?
  19. Communications: What does NBC (National Broadcasting Corporation) stand for?
  20. The Cornell University tradition for efficiency began when (approximately)?
    1. B.C.
    2. A.D.
    3. still waiting
  21. You must answer three or more questions correctly to qualify.

Arizona State University Grading System

This is a list of the ways that professors at Arizona State University grade their final exams:

  • Department of Statistics
    All grades are plotted along the normal bell curve.
  • Department of Psychology
    Students are asked to blot ink in their exam books, close them and turn them in. The professor opens the books and assigns the first grade that comes to mind.
  • Department of History
    All students get the same grade they got last year.
  • Department of Religion
    Grade is determined by God.
  • Department of Philosophy
    What is a grade?
  • English Department
    Your final exam will be scored by totaling the weight of all the books you read this semester:

      40+ pounds – A
      30 pounds – B
      20 pounds – C
      10 pounds – D
      <10 pounds – F
  • Law School
    Students are asked to defend their position of why they should receive an A.
  • Department of Mathematics
    Grades are variable.
  • Department of Physics
    Grades are relative. but…
    All theoretical physics is really mathematics. See Above.
  • Department of Chemistry
    All theoretical chemistry is really physics. See Above.
  • Department of Biology
    All theoretical biology is really chemistry. See Above.
  • Department of Logic
    If and only if
       the student is present for the final
       the student has accumulated a passing grade
       the student will receive an A
       the student will not receive an A.
  • Department of Marxist Studies:
    The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Therefore, everyone will now get the same grade!
  • Department of Economics:
    All of your grades, as a collection, will reach the level where your marginal product (MP) of labor for each individual grade is equal.
  • Department of Operations & Logistics Management
    Grades will be posted *at* 12:00 Noon. NOT 11:59 — NOT 12:01
  • Department of Computer Science
    Random number generator determines grade, but… YOUR grade is an object in a class of its own.
  • Music Department
    Each student must figure out his grade by listening to the instructor play the corresponding note (+ and – would be sharp and flat respectively).