Some of the dumbest things I've ever heard came out of the mouths of grad students. I won't say in what discipline these folks were studying--except to say that it wasn't mine!--because I don't want it to reflect poorly upon people with that type of degree. But let me just say: even though these people apparently had the smarts to not only get decent grades, procure an undergraduate degree, and pass an admissions test, there were students in some of my classes who couldn't beat a bowl of ice cream in a game of four square. Eventually, it got so bad that I started recording a few of the sayings in the back of one of my notebooks, just so I could remember the great ones.

That being said, here are a few of the silliest things I've heard in grad school:

  • From a student in an International Business class, in response to a professor's question about the Northern Alliance: "Oh, that's those pretty lights that appear in the sky in winter when you're in Alaska or something. I've heard they're beauuutiful...I'd love to see them sometime."
  • Another student from that same International Business class, after viewing a movie on how foreign (aka non-American) cultures dispose of their dead, pointed to an image of African funeral pyres and said: "How can that be happening? In this day and age, people still commit human sacrifice? They just burn people alive? Why doesn't someone stop this?"
  • A discussion in one of my marketing courses was apparently more than one student could take, as he raised his hand and kind of driveled: "In countries where there is no marketing, it must be very difficult to market to the customer. And if there is absolutely no marketing at all, then sometimes it must just be next to impossible. What I mean is, 'how do you market to people if you can't market, or if the market doesn't even exist yet, or something like that?'" How do you market if you can't market--a vexing query, indeed.
  • Heard in passing, one new student talking to another: "Hey, do you have any idea what time they turn off the Internet for grad students? I mean, what if I have to look something up on the weekend?"
  • From a labor negotiation class: "Why does Management care if the workers want to unionize? What, are they afraid that they're all gonna gang up and demand higher wages or something?"
  • And my personal favorite (although I suspect this might have been said a bit tongue-in-cheek): "About what percentage of statistics are, in fact, wrong?"

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