Sixteen Ginsbergian things to do in class in addition to throwing Potato Salad

by Jon Slotkin, March 1995

Allen Ginsberg on a roof in New York City, mid-1950s.

>   1. Listen attentively to lecture.  Approximately every fifteen minutes, 
>      look really startled, then clap your hands twice.  Repeat this 
>      often.  If the professor complains, say "The light bulb above my 
>      head is connected to a Clapper, stupid!"
>   2. Brush your teeth during class.  While doing so, raise your hand as if you
>      have a question, and mumble your question incoherently while brushing,
>      spewing toothpaste all over the place.  If your professor objects to your
>      actions, go on a tirade about proper oral hygiene.
>   3. Instead of taking notes, do an abstract painting during every 
>      class.  Call the paintings things like, "Professor Acting Like Mr. 
>      Know-It-All" or "Idiot Who Doesn't Know What The Hell He's Talking 
>      About."  Give the paintings to your professor as gifts.
>   4. Sit way at the back of the room, up against the wall, to get as far away
>      from your professor as possible.  While he/she is lecturing, shout out
>      things like, "What!?" and "Speak up!  You're mumbling!"  If your professor
>      advises you to sit closer to the front, tell him/her you can't because
>      you're scouting the room for "assassins."
>   5. Show up to class about ten minutes late.  Ride into the room on a bicycle,
>      yell, "Look out!", and crash into the blackboard.  Get up, take a seat, and
>      act like nothing happened.  Do this every day.
>   6. Keep "accidentally" setting fires at your desk.  Burn notebooks, papers, or
>      whatever you have handy.  Whenever you start a fire, no matter how small it
>      is, start yelling, "Fire!  Fire!" and run out of the room in a panic.
>      Don't return for the rest of class.
>   7. Hide somewhere inside the classroom.  Wait for your professor to take
>      attendance.  Don't come out when he/she calls your name.  Halfway through
>      class, jump out and yell, "Just kidding!  I'm here!  Fooled you again!"
>      Sit down and be quiet for the rest of class.
>   8. Come to class with a jar full of angry hornets.  Five minutes into class,
>      release the hornets, scream, and run away.
>   9. Bring a vacuum to class.  Halfway through class, stand up and start using
>      it.  If your professor objects, explain that you "can't stand sitting in
>      this pigsty any longer."  Keep vacuuming, grumbling angrily.
>  10. Bring a small cactus to class with you.  Raise your hand, and when you're
>      called on, say that the cactus has a question.  Turn and look at the
>      cactus, as if you're waiting for it to say something.  After a few moments,
>      shrug, and wait for your professor to move on.  Do this once a day, and
>      become increasingly irritated with the cactus every time, sighing heavily
>      and giving it evil looks when it fails to "speak."  When you leave the room
>      after class, start yelling at the cactus, "I can't believe you embarrassed
>      me AGAIN...."
>  11. When your professor gives you a syllabus, take it home, correct it, give it
>      a grade, and return it to the professor.  Demand extra credit.
>  12. Wait for your professor to mention a date, and then yell out, "Bingo!"
>      Apologize, and explain that you got confused.
>  13. Carve a bust of your professor out of cheese.  Tie a ribbon around it,
>      and present it to him/her at the beginning of class.  Demand extra credit.
>  14. Write your professor a note that says, "I'm going to be about 15 minutes
>      late.  Go ahead and start without me."  Wait outside the building until
>      the time when class is supposed to begin.  Tie the note to a rock, and
>      throw it through the window.
>  15. Get a monkey, and bring it to class with you.  Tell your professor that
>      you've hired the monkey to take notes for you.  Sit back and relax during
>      class, letting the monkey scribble on a piece of paper.  When it comes time
>      to write a paper or take a test, write down things like, "I wish I had a
>      banana" and "I miss my tire swing."  Assuming you get a bad grade, angrily
>      fire the monkey in front of your professor.
>  16. Draw hearts and flowers on the backs of your papers and tests.  Next to
>      them, write things like, "You're the best, even though you suck" and
>      "You're the worst professor in the world, but I still love you."


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Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:29:03 EDT