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17 College Professors Recall The Most Painfully Dumb Students They've Ever Had

Educators probably prefer to give each student the benefit of the doubt, but when they comes across unprecedented stupidity, it's hard not to laugh about it!

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  • 1
    Text - BSB8728 6h One of my husband's colleagues said a kid came up to him after an exam and said, "I didn't know the answers to the questions you asked on the test, so I made up my own questions and answered them." The professor said, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, and when I go to lunch, I'm going to tell all my friends."
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  • 2
    Text - daeekhoorn 6h (Not a teacher, but 1 of my friends) On a geog- raphy test with one of those blinded maps: Test: 'What is the capitol of Australia?' Him: 'Paris' He got a 0, even though the minimum was a 1.
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  • 3
    Text - bgoegan 4h A student in my economics class started his final essay with this: "We are all familiar with the country, Africa. Yet at the same time we know little about them. All we know is that it is hot there, African Americans live there and they are really poor. This begs the question, why is Africa that poor?" It was just so jam-packed with stupid I had to stop grading for 24 hours.
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  • 4
    Text - Freon Trip 7h T had a student who tried to argue that plagiarism wasn't real after ganking the text of a one page paper on velociraptors straight from a top Google search result for them. "But if you read something, then you're just taking the knowledge and thumping it back into a word processor, what's the difference?" She was a criminal justice major.
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  • 5
    Text - ponderingprofessor 10h I don't know if this qualifies as dumb or is closer to stupid, but...I had a student who didn't show up for class regularly, and her grade was going to be a C, maybe a D depending on her final exam. What made her dumb, however, was how she tried to cheat on the final exam. She reached down into her bag and took out her phone, put it on the desk, typed something into it, looked at the test, looked at her phone, looked back at her test, rechecked her phone, then answe
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  • 6
    Student wrote an art history paper on 'Leonardo Davin Chi'
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  • 7
    Text - Ball_Masher 7h I was an adjunct after undergrad and occasionally during my master's. I taught a few sections of prealgebra which no one tenured wants to deal with. Me: I'm actually required to put one question of this type on the final. Him: There's a final? It was mid-November.
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  • 8
    Text - IThinkThingsThrough 6h I saw some amazingly bad attempts at plagiarism in my day. These included: 1) Plagiarizing from an article in a journal the professor edited. This was a grad student. 2) Plagiarizing from the same source as another student in the same class. First hit on Google is not your friend. 3) Turning in a sophomore lit survey paper refer- ring to a poet's use of hendecasyllabics. I have a doctoral degree and I had to look that one up. Googled author's name "hendecasyllabics"
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  • 9
    Text - tapehead4 9h I didn't believe any student was dumb - he/she may only have needed the right motivation. Until I met RJ. RJ was dumb. RJ didn't realize that the chicken we eat was the same as the animal. RJ was 21 at the time.
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  • 10
    Text - Coloradical27 7h As a GA teaching freshman English, I had a couple instances of cheating that left me speechless. First, my university uses an online plagiarism checker and the students know this. With one student, over half of his essay was copied from a website. He looked genuinely shocked when I called him out on it, and then told me that his mother wrote the paper for him. I explained that his mother writing his paper was also cheating. Then he asked if he could get credit for the hal
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  • 11
    Text - PubScrubRedemption . 8h Happened in the first week of a college anthropology course: Prof: "Let's list a few basic differences between modern humans and animals" Student: "We have a heart beat"
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  • 12
    Text - perceptionactionprof 9h I teach a class on the history of Psychology. When covering the chapter on behaviorism, and discussing the ideas of its founder, John Watson, who was a determinist (did not believe in free will) - a student asked me in the middle of class that if he was a determinist, why did he advocate free will in the Sherlock Holmes book? I was really taken aback by that one.
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  • 13
    Text - why-is-everything 7h I once had a girl in my class ask why meteors always fall in to craters, for context this was journalism degree and we where talking about libel laws. This girl did not pass.
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  • 14
    Text - RavlinBay 5h T had a student plagiarize on the final exam. It was a take home, essay/short answer exam. They knew to cite any sources, and to put it in their own words. The kicker? This particularly bright bulb plagiarized me. The professor. She tried to pass off MY WORDS as her own. Oi.
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  • 15
    Text - SubMGK 8h May or may not be dumb, but my friend and I went to her uncle's house which had this piece of paper framed and put on the wall. It was a 0/20 on a true or false quiz. Her uncle was a professor and was just too impressed by such an achievement that he had to put it in his home.
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  • 16
    Text - Captain_buttchug 6h (I was a student in this class) but after an entire chapter of going over the civil war in a history class, our teacher as a joke said "So who won the civil war". A girl raised her hand and said "the south" and he laughed until he realized she was serious, and she tried to defend it saying "what, we still have slaves right?" Edit: She was referring to still have mass slavery in the south
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  • 17
    Text - Tabarnouche 6h Actually one of the smarter kids in my class. Ethics, awareness of social norms...not so much. He sent me an email after the semester ended, asking if I'd mind telling my next semester class that his digital textbook was available for sale. Oh, and that it's a PDF so if multiple people want it, he can sell them all copies. I responded that I admire his entrepreneurial spirit, but it probably wasn't a good idea to solicit his professor's help in starting a piracy-based book
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