The Disinformation Exam


THERE IS A little-known test that all professors must go through before gaining tenure at Harvard. The test is called the Disinformation Exam.

Upon gaining tenure, a scholar must be prepared to unlearn everything he has ever known about teaching a course. He must become completely ignorant of when study cards are due; this way, he can hold a course lottery the day before the registrar's deadline.

Question 3 of the Disinformation Exam insures that professors are completely useless in helping students get into the right section:

A student comes up to you after class to ask if she can switch sections. You should:

a) run away as fast as possible, claiming an important meeting at the Brookings Institute is taking up your time;


b) ignore her;

c) say no;

d) say, "What do I look like, a head section leader?

e) all of the above.

A professor must also disinform himself of when and where sections meet and must be sure never to attend them. Most of all, however, he must be utterly incapable of running any mechanical equpiment. Question 7 of the Disinformation Exam reads as follows:

You are using a slide projector to illustrate a brilliant point in one of your fabulous lectures. When it comes time to turn down the lights and put the slide on the screen high above the lecture hall, you should:

a) turn off all the lights so that nobody can see anything;

b) turn off the main power switch in the lecture hall and accidently kill all the electricity.

c) move the black boards up and down;

d) yell, "How the hell does this thing work," as you fiddle with the projector until the head teaching fellow comes over and fixes it for you;