Moldy bagels

Only teachers get excited by such things as bagels sprouting fluffy fungal mycelial masses.  “Oh, boy!  Some Rhizopus and Penicillium, just what I needed for this week’s lab exam!”

Yes, I’m in the thick of making up, administering, and grading endless rounds of exams. Both classes have exams every week, and they also have periodic larger exams.  As this is the first time I’ve taught either course, I’m up to my tuchis in the exam-writing process, so the whole process keeps me busy as a beehive*.

And of course, every teacher loves to collect those oddball answers to test questions.  Here are some from college students studying botany & horticulture (correct answers in parentheses). [N.B. for those concerned with the politically correct, none of these students were identified to me as having dyslexia or other learning issues.  However, there’s a good chance that many of us are suffering sleep deprivation.]

List a specific epithet describing the growth habit of a plant:
Palin_short, dwarf (pumila)

Who invented binomial nomenclature?
Nomen (Carolus Linnnaeus)

Steps in planting roses:
… add compost, manure or soil condiments (amendments)
… apply orgasmic mulch (organic)

How would you use this plant?
For boarders (borders)
sleaging (huh?)

Mitosis, per some secondary students who were answering questions from their textbooks (meaning the terms were there in front of them):

… after division, cells grow, increasing the cytoplams in growtiful size … (cytoplasm and … something)
… the cell man brain pinches each cell … (membrane)

Ah, life and times!

Feel free to share some of your own [students’] bloopers.  (-:

* Researchers have discovered that individual honeybees can sometimes be rather lazy. I don’t blame them (the bees); it’s a hard life, and a gal needs a vacation once in a while.


  1. 29 October 2008 at 17:58

    […] Moldy bagels posted at Andrea’s Buzzing About:. […]

  2. Anna said,

    28 October 2008 at 3:20

    Let’s be honest. “Soil Condiments” is a GREAT name for a rock band.

  3. Bug Girl said,

    25 October 2008 at 20:43

    I have a similar list somewhere. The best ones are when you have them label human anatomy :)

  4. Norah said,

    25 October 2008 at 19:53

    :D :D :D

    I have one blooper like that (my own), but it’s not an English one, so all the extra explaining I’d have to do would completely ruin the funny.

  5. ebohlman said,

    25 October 2008 at 7:08

    The bit about Nomen having originated nomenclature reminds me of the assertion that Aesop’s fables were written by Aesophagus (it was cited by Leo Rosten, but I can’t remember the origin).

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