Top 10 (or so) ways to amuse yourself during the upcoming department meetings.

PB screen mishap

  • Open up your ‘Pokemon Go’ app and capture all of the Pokemon lurking in the room. Don’t be rude though, and excuse yourself as you walk in front of the screen.
  • Open up one of your many ‘Fart’ apps and bask in flatulent bliss as you scroll and launch an odourless assault of distasteful audio. Make sure to point to the person next to you if someone turns around to look.
  • Point your laser pointer in a haphazardly way on the presenters slides while he/she is talking and facing the audience. They will be totally oblivious to your shenanigans.
  • Before the meeting, sneak into the room and replace all the whiteboard markers with permanent markers. Wait for the expression of sheer panic on the presenter’s face when they realize what they just wrote isn’t coming off…hilarious.
  • Order a pizza at the beginning of the meeting to force a break when the meeting goes on too long. When it arrives, call out “Who ordered room service?” Make sure you tell the pizza place to bill the department when you place the order of extra large, fully dressed pizzas in quantities that could feed an army.
  • Totally derail the meeting by asking an unrelated question, “So who will win the U.S. election, Clinton or Trump?”
  • Look around the room and create your own Pokemon names for each faculty member in attendance. If you have time, draw them.
  • Take a glass and spoon to the meeting. Keep them out of sight and every time the presenter says “Um”, clink on the glass with the spoon.
  • Clap every time the presenter answers a question from the audience.
  • Every time a slide changes on the screen, kick the chair leg of the person sitting in front of you.
  • Take in a brand new box of multiple-coloured white board markers. Pull off the lids of each marker, then try to guess the colour of each marker by closing your eyes and sniffing them.
  • Make an funny looking origami of the person sitting beside you. Slowly push it in front of them while a serious subject is being discussed and then wait for their loud outburst of laughter. Watch them have to apologize to the group…once again, hilarious.
  • Perform 5 sets of calf raises by lifting your table with your knees.
  • Open up your palm to look at your life line to see if you are going to survive until the end of the meeting.

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Set ‘S-M-A-R-T-E-R’ goals

When in college, we learned about setting goals and were taught the acronym ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based). Well, I’m creating a new acronym that should be used instead: ‘SMARTER‘ (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-Based, Economical, and Rewarding). Since goals are directly linked to your habits and, more often than not, requires changing your current habits in order to achieve your goal, you need to add ‘economical’ and ‘rewarding’ to the current mix.

A NEW MODEL FOR SETTING GOALS: ‘SMARTER’:

SPECIFIC

MEASURABLE

ATTAINABLE

REALISTIC

TIME-BASED

ECONOMICAL

REWARDING

–Professor Phil Jones

 

Your goal must be ‘economical’ (meaning, are you willing to pay the price in order to achieve it?)  Setting a goal means that you WILL be sacrificing something in order to achieve it. Spending less time with family and friends? Spending money for products, services or memberships necessary to achieve the goal? Time commitment? Not doing other leisure activities?

Also, if you read about how habits are formed and/or changed, you will see that in order to successfully change a habit, there MUST be a reward at the end. Giving yourself a reward once you have achieved the goal is a huge motivator and must be part of the equation. It will keep your eye on the prize at the end of the journey.

If more people thought about the sacrifices they will be making before they start their goal and also think about the reward they’ll get once completed, it will result in more people achieving their goals. Don’t just be smart when setting your goals, be smarter!

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Advice, tips, and favourite quotes I gave to my graduates.

handling pressures of collegeThis year, I was asked to give a talk to my graduating students at their graduation dinner. If you ever get asked, and wonder what you will say, simply give them some of your favourite quotes, advice, and tips that you have learned since the time you graduated. Here were mine:

  1. The best scenario in life is knowing that you know, the next best scenario is knowing that you don’t know, and the worst scenario is not knowing that you don’t know (unknown, but my father told me this one.)

    “Give yourself a ‘Life Sentence’. It has to include a noun (you), an adjective (one word that you want to be known for), and a verb (what you are doing).”–Professor Phil Jones

  2. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans (John Lennon)
  3. Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.” (John Wooden)

    “Read Youtube comments; it will ensure that you will have a laugh every day.”–Professor Phil Jones

  4. Remember those that help you during your life; and remember those that don’t, especially when you win the lottery.
  5. Buy a lottery ticket once in a while (the majority of my students don’t buy them).
  6. Add value to your employer or client…then multiply that value by 3 times; it will make you invaluable to an organization. (Jenniffer Alvarenga).
  7. Try to avoid booking a dental or medical appointment on a Friday. If things don’t go well, it will be hard tracking down the doctor; they’ll be away at their cottage.
  8. Make your bed every morning; it will make you feel organized as you start your day.
  9. Your ‘word’ is everything, so use it wisely.
  10. Read…a lot.
  11. Drink water…a lot.
  12. Did you know that ‘Drake’ is a male duck, and not just a Rapper? It’s true, look it up on your ‘smartphone’.
  13. Never give away your ‘Coca Cola’ secret ingredient; that way no one can steal your ideas.
  14. Listen to the song ‘Time’ by Pink Floyd.

I finished off the speech with: “People will only remember how you made them feel…so I hope that I, along with your fellow professors in attendance here tonight, made you feel a little smarter, a little more motivated to learn, and a little more important. Enjoy your graduation day.”

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Top 10 similarities between a colonoscopy and working at a college.

Colonoscopy for web FINAL

It’s a pain in the ass when… you’re approaching your 2010 ‘Toyota’ in the parking lot, and you see that student who failed your class (twice), driving past you in a brand new ‘Porsche’.

It’s a pain in the ass when… you have to repeatedly tell students that, just because its their ‘end-of-semester anniversary’ coming up, it doesn’t mean they can be ‘sexting’ back and forth with their boyfriend/girlfriend during your lecture.

It’s a pain in the ass when… you’re marking exams and you accidentally knock over your fourth glass of red wine all over them.

It’s a pain in the ass when…you have to use a washroom in one of the older buildings that don’t have ‘2-ply’ toilet paper in the stalls or the  ‘5-step hand-washing instructions’ posted on the wall for you to follow.

It’s a pain in the ass when…the college’s ‘automated’ phone system doesn’t work properly and connects you to a professor or a department…in another country.

It’s a pain in the ass when… the elevator is ‘Out of Order’ and you are forced to take the stairs to get to your class on the second floor.

It’s a pain in the ass when… the ‘mystery professor’, who taught in the classroom before you, used ‘permanent’ white board marker instead of ‘dry erase’ marker on all of the boards.

It’s a pain in the ass when… you’re sitting with the College President and Dean on the graduation ceremony stage, and you all start to notice that your graduation gown stinks like ‘Old Spice’, bad body odor, and salt & vinegar potato chips; compliments of the professor who wore it during the previous ceremony.

It’s a pain in the ass when… you start yelling obscenities and dropping ‘F-bombs’ at the automated voice on the college phone system, only to realize that it’s actually that nice lady working in the Registration office that ‘pulled some strings’ to get your lazy-ass, no job, smartphone-addicted son to the top of a program’s waiting list.

It’s a pain in in the ass when… you’ve just handed out the last exam to your students, and are just about to sit down and relax for 2 hours with your coffee and newspaper, and suddenly notice that the print shop forgot to print the last page of the exam; the page with the question worth 40% of the final mark.

It’s a pain in the ass when…you go to the ‘Rate my Professor’ website and all the students comments are saying that you’re the one who’s a “pain in the ass”!

 

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Top 10 (or so) “I have to go to the washroom” exam strategies.

bathroom break It never fails; there’s always a student that raises their hand during an exam and says “I have to go to the washroom.” Your initial reaction may be “too bad, wait” but you can’t do that. So, here are some tips to ‘flush’ any student attempts for cheating on an exam.

 

  • Understand your college policy for such circumstances and send the policy to your students the day before the exam date.
  • Before the exam starts, tell students that now is the time to go to the washroom, not during the exam. It will give the impression that there is no option, even though you know that you can’t prevent them from going.
  • Write the time they left and the time they return on the front page of their exam.
  • Make note how many eraser marks there are and where they are on the existing answers that they have, up to the point when they went to the washroom. For example, if they have answered 25 out of 50 multiple choice questions with no eraser marks before they went to the washroom, make note of it. Upon final review of their final exam, if you see some of those 25 answers were changed after they used  the washroom, then I would be very suspicious. You can try this with short answer and True or False questions as well. Also, let the students know that you will be doing this if they have to leave to use the washroom during the exam.
  • Make sure they don’t have their cell phones on them when they leave. Don’t search them, you’re not a police officer.
  • If you are in a larger room and have the assistance of exam invigilators/supervisors, have one of them accompany the student and wait outside the washroom. You should have a male and female supervisor to cover your bases. The only thing that escorting them will do is to make sure they don’t talk to anyone to and from the washroom. By the way, don’t stand outside the stall; that’s ridiculous and unnecessary.
  • Lighten up, yet hint before they leave that you are aware that using the washroom during an exam has been used as a method for cheating, “you didn’t write all the answers on the toilet roll in the stall before the exam did you?”
  • Limit washroom visits to one student at a time.
  • Reiterate the consequences of academic dishonesty and the short term and long term implications.
  • Keep an eye on the length of your exam. If it’s a 3 hour exam, what do you think will happen?
  • Don’t say, “…and make it quick!” Really?

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Top 10 (or so) warning signs for College Administration staff that your job may be heading for obsolescence .

Rfc1394-Desk-Chair-Blue-with-wheels-300px-The new person you’re asked to train and mentor is named ‘R2D2’.

-The Dean mistakenly and prematurely says “Good morning Siri” as he/she walks past your office.

-Management tells you to quit whining about your ‘Carpel Tunnel Syndrome’ because starting next month, it will “have lots of time to heal.”

-Professors are no longer asking you to do those repetitive tasks for them because now they are being forced to do all of them.

-The college has named a ‘self-help’ kiosk after you.

-You notice management performing ‘dry-run’ exercises, escorting people out of the building who are yelling obscenities at them and at the security guard who is carrying a box of ‘pretend’ personal items.

-You open up your office door the next morning and all you see is cleaning supplies, mops, a pail, and a washroom cleaning schedule with your name on it.

-When you overheard the management team talking about you behind closed doors and you heard them referencing the word “offshoring”, you find out later that they weren’t talking about giving you an all expense paid vacation on a cruise ship.

-You notice the ‘office door name plate’ budget has been slashed to zero for all administration staff.

-When you enter the staff lounge for lunch, the HR staff suddenly stop talking and look down at their soup.

-Professors start handing things in on time because they feel sorry for you.

-The photocopier technician says to you, “Oh, I heard you weren’t here anymore?”

-Management asks you if you’ve ever thought about taking a  ‘Robot Technician’ course.

-Your work hours have been drastically reduced: 9am to 9:17am.

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18 things Professors can do if they win the lottery!

lottery-balls -When Management asks you why you weren’t at the department meeting, just say, “Because I didn’t feel like it.”

-Hire ‘Bruce Springsteen’ to perform union songs at the next union meeting. Offer him the leftover donuts from the last union meeting as additional payment for him to find a way to insert the name of your college into the lyrics.

-Pay the textbook publishers to put your name, including your picture, as a co-author for all their textbooks. Make sure they thank you in the ‘acknowledgements’ page, even though you did absolutely nothing as a contributor.

-Have a stretch limousine drop you off and pick you up every day at the front of the college. Make sure the driver parks in the College President’s parking spot all day, windows down, blaring the song “Money” by Pink Floyd.

-Boost your ego even further by inviting yourself as the ‘Surprise Guest Speaker’ to all of your classes.

-Hire a ‘Dry Erase Assistant’ (DEA) to write on and erase the whiteboard for you during your lectures.

-Keep your job so you can still collect your pension and use the money for ‘playing the slots’ at the casino.

-Read the ‘Financial Post’ and keep track of your investments during your office hours. Hang up a gold-plated ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door.

-Tell your colleagues that with your new status, that you’ll no longer be socializing with them, but instead, will only be hanging around with the College President.

-Pay someone to mark all your exams, projects, and assignments and to provide a ‘Summary Page’ for your review just in case a student questions the mark they received.

-Give an all expense paid trip to ‘Cancun’ to the students that get the highest marks in your class, thereby solidifying you being the most popular, coolest professor in the entire college.

-Dominate the conversation during every lunch break in the staff lounge by bragging about your “awesome” weekend getaways to destinations that your colleagues can only dream about and will never be able to afford on their salary.

-Install a fully stocked bar and a mirror ball in the union office for celebrating grievance ‘wins’.

-Have your own exclusive table set up in the corner in the staff lounge. Invite only the coolest Profs in the college to join you for lunch. Be boisterous and loud so the other profs wish they were cool enough to be able to sit with you.

-When on strike, pay someone to hold up your picket sign as you get a foot massage in the lounger that you will have delivered to you while ‘protesting’ on the picket line.

-Have ‘Physical Resources’ install your own personal washroom stall in each washroom throughout the college. Insist that the cleaners fold the ends of the toilet paper roll into a small triangle. If they don’t, file a grievance.

-Set up a ‘Student Bursary Fund’ in your name with an amount far exceeding the monetary contribution of all the others. It will make all the other bursaries at the awards dinner look cheap and pathetic. Make sure to make an annoying ‘scoffing’ noise each time the other donation amounts are announced.

-Buy the college.

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Chalk Stick Cartoon ‘Graduation Day’!

 

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‘HIGHUR Education’ cartoon by Phil Jones: ‘Nada on Big Data’!

Final ver Nada on Big Data cartoon

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Top 10 (or so) reasons why Professors should sign up for yoga classes at the college.

yoga pose

– You won’t feel so bad wearing your ‘Lululemons’, because you’ll soon realize that you’re not the only ‘plus-size’ professor working at the college.

– It will force you to get some exercise, instead of sitting all day on your fat ‘Asana’ in your office, munching on potato chips and drinking ‘Diet Coke’.

– It will be a nice change to start spending time in a different kind of Detox Centre other than, as you call it, the classroom.

– While lecturing at the front of the classroom, you can impress your students by putting one leg behind your head when standing.

– When you see a student texting during a guest speaker’s talk, you can replace the traditional ‘Count to 10’ with yoga breathing exercises, the Pranayama, to help you refrain from going over and smashing their phone with a sledgehammer.

– You can lend your yoga mat to that student who falls asleep in your class.

– You can learn how to create a relaxed mood in the classroom by using incense, candles, and speaking in a way that your whole lecture sounds like a series of Tibetan chants.

– If you’re non-tenured, it will help with your depression.

– You can keep fooling yourself that you’re as youthful as your students.

– With your newly acquired skills, you will now have a better chance of getting a job as a full-time yoga instructor than a full-time college professor.

– It will help with your digestion after eating the food at the cafeteria.

– You’ll have a place to go for serenity after a student receives their failing grade and tells you to “go to hell!”

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