Justin Meyer
Justin Meyer
Senior Lecturer of Chemistry, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

 

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As this post is a continuation of my series on the Art of Classroom Humor, I thought I would wrap up this topic with a few quick comments and some examples of jokes or fun you can apply to a classroom. Keep in mind that some of this is fairly original content, but just like the content we cover in class, most of this is based off of something I found online or from other sources (including a 7 year old neighbor).

 

The Warm Up

 

Let me start off with a little background about me. I’ve bounced around between jobs prior to this. I started off working at a publishing company charged with making calendars. They fired me. Who would have thought you could get fired for missing just one day? I then thought I had a great job working for Pepsi, but they had a drug test and I tested positive for Coke. After that I tried being a barber, couldn’t cut it, and a butcher, but I couldn’t make ends meat. I even got a job fixing clocks, it was part time. So now I hope I have found the solution teaching chemistry (or perhaps found the precipitate?).

 

This silly string of puns and jokes does prove a point. You can really increase the effectiveness of a joke if you set it up well. Something as simple as; “I am a little out of it because I was up late last night… “ can set up for a number of jokes.

 

  • I was up late last night. I was doing some work and I got so upset with my computer that I flung my keyboard across the table. Some keys popped off and I learned a valuable lesson: don’t lose control!

 

Being a chemist, I like to use chemistry jokes, but I don’t limit myself to these alone. So, for my last bit of advice, use stories as much as you are able. One liners are good, but there is fun and educational use in getting students to listen to what you are really saying. Make them wonder if what you’re telling is a joke or a serious story. (And then enjoy the eye-rolling when they “get it”.) This idea of unpredictability relates back to the first part of my series. The end goal is to keep students at their sharpest, most engaged level so when the serious learning moment is at hand, they’re ready.

 

So with that, and the tortilla I had for lunch, it is time to wrap up this series with some of my favorite stories, jokes and images to brighten up your classroom.

 

Short jokes

  • Some Chemistry labs will require long sleeved shirts. However, in this lab, we don’t; in here, we have the right to bare arms.
  • Recently, the actor Will Smith got lost while wandering in the canyons near Bel-Air. Have you heard about this? The LA County Sheriff’s department located him when they found the fresh prints.
  • Last night, I went out to dinner and the waiter got so upset with me he threw a salt shaker and a AA battery at me. It was a clear case of a-salt and battery, but the police said they couldn’t charge the battery.
  • I like to practice magic as a hobby. Last night I was driving down the street and I turned into a driveway.
  • My home town is excited about the recent purchase of a dairy farm by the singer John Legend. I guess he is going to fix it up and try to make it a tourist attraction. He was to name it after himself. That’s right, it will be called the Legend Dairy.
  • I found my son in his room the other day with a box of toothpicks. He was taking each one and quietly snapping the tips off of them. I find him so disappointing.
  • If you adjust your posture, do you stand corrected? (Or; “Can you adjust my posture? I need to stand corrected.”)
  • I am thinking of getting a new computer. I am considering one of those new singing computers. You know, a Dell?
  • What did they give the guy that invented the door knocker? A No-Bell prize.
  • Each year hundreds of children go off to mime school, never to be heard from again.
  • My next exam is going to be given a special title. I am going to call it “The World Exam”. That way my class can solve all of The World’s problems, starting with The World’s #1 problem.

 

Not what you expected

 

  • Two goldfish are in a tank. One looks at the other and says, “You know how to drive this thing?”
  • Two parrots are sitting on a perch. One turns to the other and asks, “Do you smell fish?”
  • I don’t always tell dad jokes, but when I do, he laughs.
  • What is orange and sounds like a parrot? A carrot.

 

Visual

  • I like to type Conjunctivitis.com on a PowerPoint slide and ask the class what this is.--a site for sore eyes, of course!
  • I also like to type “My day” on a Powerpoint slide, select it and  then highlight it. I tell the class that this was the highlight of my day.

I hope that these jokes at least brightened your day, and perhaps a class of yours. I am always looking for more jokes. Please leave any good (or not so good) jokes in the comments!

 

Image credit: Brand X/Getty Images