Leading a classroom full of rowdy college students is not the easiest job in the world, and some professors recently went on to Reddit to reveal what exactly goes on during their lectures.
In response to a thread asking “what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve seen a student do in one of your lectures?” many college professors — and a few student onlookers — detailed some of the most ridiculous behaviour they have witnessed during their time teaching. Stories range from blatant cheating to odd pets to poorly executed pranks.
We’ve pulled out some of our favourite stories below:
“A guy at my college came into my morning class about 45 minutes late and looking pretty messed up from the night before. He proceeded to stumble to his desk and attempted to sit down. Instead he missed the desk, fell on the floor and then threw up.” — mastermooney
“If I have a student who chronically sleeps and does until the end of class, I’ll just signal the class to leave without making a lot of noise. If they’re still asleep, I’ll turn off all the equipment, close the doors and quietly leave so that the student wakes up all alone in an empty classroom.” — BadProfessor69
“I’m an adjunct professor at a few different schools in the NYC area. One spring semester I was teaching an astronomy course. I had a particularly … enthusiastic student. He interrupted class about as often as he contributed, so it balanced out. One day, he saw a young woman outside that he wanted to talk to. So, he walked over to the window and climbed out.
Fortunately, the classroom was on the first floor. I was so shocked, I just watched him do it. He climbed out the window, walked over to the girl, chatted a bit, and then (I take this as a testament to his interest in my class) he headed back towards the window to return to class. I waved him off and told him to go use a door like a human being. He came back and I went on with class.” — paleo2002
“In my linear algebra and differential equations class, I saw two guys who weren’t students enter the classroom and unload their Super Soakers on another student while he was finishing up his homework for submission at the end of lecture. He and his homework were completely drenched.” — LuckyChen
“In my biological literature course (mostly juniors and seniors) were given over 2 months to prepare a 15-minute lecture to be presented in front of the class. One of the students did his presentation on ‘mermaids’ and used scenes from the animal planet mockumentary as part of his presentation. This was not a joke. This kid absolutely did not realise that the mermaid documentary was fake. He honestly thought that various scenes of the cgi’d mermaids was real. How he made it so far as a biology major still baffles me.” — teaparty88
“I was a TA for a calculus class a few years ago. With just under 10 minutes to go in a 50 minute midterm exam, a student bursts into the classroom dressed in a taco costume, sweating, completely out of breath, grabs a test from the front desk and starts to frantically write. At first I thought it was some prank and I tried to kick him out. Turns out he was enrolled in the class and apparently just passed out at a Halloween party the night before and woke up with no time to change clothes. I let him take the test in the remaining 7 or so minutes.” — zhiborg
“First year teaching and I looked out into the students and watched a girl remove a very wee little baby bunny from her purse. It hopped around her desk for a bit and was generally quite distracting.” — Hallwaywalker
“I had two students speaking Arabic to each other during the final exam. It was audible to the whole class. When I informed them that they would not pass the exam due to obvious cheating, they were completely incredulous. They couldn’t believe they were not allowed to talk to each other at full volume during a final exam. After a long discussion, one tried to convince me that they were just talking about what they were going to do that night. Bizarre. Also, they had the same wrong answers with the same exact wording.” — urethraFranklin1
“Valentine’s day of freshman year, in a lecture hall of 600 students, a guy in underwear and a cape came running through the front of the class cheering, ‘WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!’ Then ran out the door on the opposite side of the room. Everyone was stunned for a minute, before the Prof said, ‘Not every day you lose your virginity.'” — WeAreFree
“I teach a freshman zoology lab. More like gross I guess, but a student dissected a fetal pig while eating a turkey sandwich. One hand in the pig, one hand on the sandwich. Had to kindly tell him to finish eating in the hallway while trying not to vomit. He didn’t seemed bothered at all, and actually seemed kind of confused as to why I wouldn’t let him eat while he did the dissection.” — cajunryder
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