(We’re taking a calculus final. The TA is a well-known Lord of the Rings fan, and we’ve had running LotR jokes all semester.)
TA: “Okay, guys, everyone look at me. We’ve been over the rules, but just in case: no notes, pencil your answers in on the scantron sheet, and graphing calculators only – no more ‘can I just used my cell phone’ nonsense.”
Student: “[TA's name], my calculator batteries just died! What should I do?”
TA: “Here, I’ve got a big box of spares.”
Student: *struggling* “I can’t get this packaging open…”
Student 2: “Here, I’ve got a pocket knife.”
TA: “And I’ve got a pair of scissors if you need them.”
Student 3: *from the back of the room* “OR MY AXE!”
(Everyone starts laughing.)
TA: “The only axes allowed on the exam are in the graph section.”
TA: “Oh, come on, you’re in a math class. Deal with the math jokes.”
(The professor enters with a stack of exams. With him are two exam proctors.)
Professor: “Tolkien jokes already, [TA's name]?”
TA: “Hey, I didn’t start it.”
(The professor starts handing stacks of exams to the TA and proctors.)
Professor: “But I’m about to finish it. [TA], take these exams down the left flank. [Proctor 1], follow the desks down the center. [Proctor 2], take your exams right, along the wall.”
(At this point, many of the students have realized where this is going: Theoden’s lines from ‘Return of the King.’)
Professor: “Forth, and fear no problems! Solve! Solve, students of calculus! Points shall be taken, scores shall be splintered! A pencil day! A red-ink day! Until three thirty!”
(The professor pulls out a pencil, holding it out like a sword, and runs down the first row holding it out. Students hold up their pencils, hitting his as he passes.)
Professor: “Solve now! Solve now! Solve to good grades and the class ending! MAAATH!”
Entire Class: “MAAATH!”
Entire Class: “MAAAAAATH!”
Professor: “Forth, exam-takers!”
(The entire class rises to their feet and gives him a standing ovation. A week later, we get an email from the professor.)
Professor: *at the end of the email* “PS: I appreciate all of you who wrote in their evaluations that I was the one professor to rule them all, but the best one yet was the student who called me ‘Mathrandir.’”
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