College in a Nutskull is the follow up to Professor Anders Henriksson's Ignorance Is Blitz. It takes a humorous look at the college experience, featuring clips of actual student writing from essays, exams, and even e-mails and texts sent to professors. Henriksson gathered these nuggets of hilarity from his own students, but friends and colleagues also have contributed to the collection. These students hail from the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and it's a good thing for them that they remain anonymous.
The book is spiral bound with pages lined like an actual notebook, and it is divided by subjects, ranging from Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Political Science to English Literature, Music, Art, and Economics. And like most of the notebooks I took from class to class, there are doodles in the margins.
I didn't know what to expect when I opened this book. I hadn't even expected the book to arrive on my doorstep. So I casually flipped through it, but once I realized how funny it was, I couldn't put it down. I seriously read the entire book out loud to my husband, laughing so hard I was crying and even gasping for air.
Here are a few of my favorites quotes (and keep in mind that the spelling errors are not mine):
"Creationism is the belief system of people who like to go out and create things. Polo Picaso, for example, would be one of your creationists." (from Religious Studies, page 8)
"Some people do not cope well. This copulation problem can lead to heroine or alcohol abuse. Alcoholism may involve drinking." (from Psychology, page 20)
"Shakespeare won the Nobel prize on several occasions. This makes you a nobel and involves being nightied by the Queen. It is very cool that Shakespeare decided to set Richard II in Nazi Germany." (from English Literature, page 43)
"World War II began when Hitler decided that he would like to visit Paris. Suddenly it was VD Day in Europe. Hitler, who had begun as a painter, wound up painting himself into a corner." (from The Modern World, page 84)
While a lot could be said about Henriksson's observations that today's students often are taught to pass standarized tests and have short attention spans because they are tied to their iPods and cell phones, he points out that these bloopers amount to only a handful of students. I must admit that I refused to think about the book as a statement about the education system and embraced it in the spirit in which it was intended. College in a Nutskull is one of those books that offers hours of fun, and you can open it up randomly when you need a gut-busting laugh.
Disclosure: I received a copy of College in a Nutskull from Workman Publishing for review purposes. I am an Amazon affiliate.
© 2010, Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or reproduce content without permission.