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Davis, California

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Student pretends to be interested in professor’s personal life to avoid pop quiz

Not all heroes wear capes — sometimes they pretend to be interested in other people’s knitting projects


By AUDREY ZHANG —  aurzhang@ucdavis.edu


She’s almost done it. Her classmates watch with bated breath. The clock ticks ever closer towards 3 p.m. If she can just keep the professor talking for five more minutes, they’ll all be safe. 

“Do you have any pets?” Bingo. The class collectively coos over pictures of the ugliest dog they’ve ever seen, stuffed into a pink tutu. Three o’clock hits and half the class is already out the door. They’re safe for another day.

“Where did the time go? I suppose we can get around to it next week,” the professor said. And just like that, a new national hero is born. At least until the next pop quiz.

We asked this student to share some of her secret techniques. Here are her top tips:

“It’s very easy to miss, but underneath all that argyle and misery, professors are actually people just like us. I was surprised too when I found out. Once you understand this, it’s simple. Just talk to them like they’re your friends who also happen to hold your futures in their hands.”

“Children are a surefire topic, as long as you’re willing to agree with whatever parenting tactics they use. If the professor looks old enough, you can probably get them to complain about phones and social media. Real heroes sit in the front row and smile at their phones. Nothing gets them ranting faster.”

“Have a friend distract the TAs so they can’t remind the professors to get back on track. Asking how many years of grad school they have left is a safe bet, it puts them into a depressive haze for at least a few days.” 

“Economics professors are easy, ask them to solve any problem and they’ll eventually conclude that the most optimal solution is to kill poor people. You’ll be uncomfortable, but you won’t be taking any extra work.”

“Others are more unpredictable. It’s hard to guess at first glance, but even the harshest of professors have their weak points and hobbies. Go out armed with new knowledge. Be careful not to go in too deep. Otherwise, they might end up liking you.”


Written by: Audrey Zhang — aurzhang@ucdavis.edu

Disclaimer: (This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


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