Final Foibles '08, Part 2

Whew.  Another semester finished.  All my grades are in and apparently I have survived my first foray in the the professor-mom experience.  Yeah me.  

Grading this time, I have to admit, was much much more fun because I spent the whole time looking for doozies for the Final Foibles Contest.  

The Greatest Anachronism Prize:
"After the [American] Civil War... women were being admitted to higher education institutions, participating in medical training and other science-related fields, such as astronomy and the space program." 

It is a little known fact that many people in the North considered colonizing the Moon after the end of the Civil War as the next step in Manifest Destiny driven expansion.  Yes, it's true. Abraham Lincoln, that visionary, began the oh-so-secret Union Army Women's Space Program, where steam powered rocket ships fueled by coal were being developed to colonize the moon. With women. 

Bonus points were given to this entry for the next sentence in the paper:  "Post-Civil War technological advancements allowed women more freedom and leisure in terms of organizing and participating in community activities."  Hm.  Technological advancements like Rocket Science?

The Three Strikes and You're an "F" Award
(Or the Alas, Poor Martha Ballard Award)
1. "Martha Ballard's community was unhindered by astringent ideas of what it was to be a woman."   

I did not know that they had this stuff way back in the 18th century.  And, while, yes, the secondary definition does apply here and can make sense, harsh or strident is not the first definition that springs to mind when I hear the word "astringent." 

2. "Martha Ballard was a marvelous woman who persevered through harsh colds, and endless deaths of others."

Yes, the common cold is terrible.  As is death.  Endless death, though, that is definitely the worst.

3. "Martha Ballard had no information on this [newer ideas about womanhood], nor was she a simple housewife pruning her children and calling on her husband's every need." 

Please join me in sending money to the American Association for the Prevention of Baby Pruning. (AAPBP)

The Could You Vague That Up A Bit For Me? Award:
(at the start of a paragraph)
"More modern historians disagree with this notion.   These new age authors argue that both sides had the same feelings." 

Yes, we new age historians often consult our crystals while we sit under a pyramid in order to be fully considerate of the feelings of people in the past. 

And finally, without further ado...
The Spring 2008 Grading Extravaganza Grand Prize Winner:

"There is also scholarly evidence of suggestions made by historians asserting their belief that the war was in a result a direct result of the establishment of transportation which then in fact led to the westward expansion of a nation which was severed at the hip."  


At 7:43 PM Supadiscomama said...

I laughed out loud--too, too funny! Thanks :)

At 10:55 PM Amanda said...

That is hilarious. I laughed so hard my roommate had to see what was going on!

At 4:25 AM Mimi said...

Oh. My. God. That last one *is* a doozy.

I haven't thought of Sea Breeze in years and years, but I used to use it every day ...

At 7:14 AM Suz said...

Too funny! Thanks for the morning laugh. And big congratulations on the first semester working with baby.

At 8:44 AM Kathleen said...

Oh dear, and I thought lab reports were bad! The last one must have made your head hurt.

You know, my dad tried growing tomatoes under a pyramid one year. Heh. Channeling the energy or some such thing...

At 10:49 AM AcadeMama said...

OMG this is hilarious!! I'm forwarding it to my ABD in History hubby! Ya know, usually you can kinda figure out what a student is *trying* to say if you study their jibberish long enough; but, with this last one, I have no clue!?

At 2:36 PM from away said...

Funny but not funny. Gah. :)

At 10:57 PM What Now? said...

"a nation which was severed at the hip"? Too fabulous.

At 8:45 PM zelda said...

pruning her children. ahaha!

At 1:17 PM Waterlily said...

You must cultivate such a wacky sense of humor in your students!

At 7:06 PM Psych Post Doc said...

When you want to cry, it's always better to just laugh.

At least it made your grading experience easier.

At 1:06 PM Scrivener said...

Those damned New Age historians. What we need is scholarly evidence that they have made some suggestions that they might have some beliefs.


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