Mousey Sociology Professor Strangely Good at Identifying Cheeses, Solving Mazes

URIS HALL–Students enrolled in SOC 3105: Interspecies Dialogue were left in awe as their instructor, Professor Michael Piccolino, demonstrated his amazing ability to navigate mazes utilizing only his peculiar sense of smell. 

Piccolino’s jaw-dropping display was designed to illustrate the importance of learning from mistakes during the problem-solving process. The demonstration called for student volunteers to place various bits of cheese at random points throughout a 50”x50” maze constructed of popsicle sticks. Students were tasked with generating a randomized list of the various cheeses and reading them aloud, at which point Professor Piccolino would enter the maze and deftly locate the cheeses in the given order. 

“The presentation didn’t really provide any practical advice. He just kept saying stuff like ‘follow your nose’ and ‘listen to your whiskers.’” recounted Françoise LaBelle ‘26. “But he let us eat the leftover cheese afterward, and that was nice. The smoked gouda was my favorite.” 

Standing at a diminutive 5 ⅞ inches tall, Piccolino makes up for his small size with a big personality. Students rave about his open mind and willingness to tackle any sociological quandary head-on. 

“He actually solved the trolley problem,” said Anya van Beek ‘25. “Turns out if you roll a wheel of semi-hard cheese, like provolone, between the rails, it’ll stop the trolley in its tracks. A soft cheese like ricotta would just get smooshed and a hard cheese like cheddar might cause the trolley to derail.”

Despite his reputation on campus, Professor Piccolino has recently received some backlash from the academic community following a recent controversy that has called his qualifications into question. A flea by the name of Phil Tix has come forward and alleged that Piccolino conducted his research unethically by pressuring Tix into sitting atop his head and puppeteering his limbs in order to write his final thesis for him.

Professor Refuses To Release Class On Time Despite Swarms Of Frogs, Locusts

KENNEDY HALL—Professor Ray Farrow’s 11:00am biology lecture failed to conclude on time today despite a seemingly biblical intervention of frogs and locusts enveloping the auditorium. While the entrapped students pleaded with the course instructor to stop the class at the scheduled time, Professor Farrow could not be dissuaded by the barrage of amphibian interruptions.

“He just kept talking about this ‘really good YouTube video’ that he needed to show,” recalled Sam Levi ‘25, brushing locust limbs off his pant leg. “This thing was six minutes long and I couldn’t hear a word of it between all the croaking and buzzing. Professor Farrow just kept grinning at the screen and saying ‘That’s a really great point.’”

As the locusts began to crawl up Farrow’s tweed jacket, he proclaimed that “the frogs will probably eat the locusts,” and proceeded to the subsequent slide of his PowerPoint presentation. When Farrow’s lecture was momentarily delayed by a torrent of hail falling from the ceiling vent, he promptly sidestepped the new hazard and continued his explanation of the kinesin processive motor.

“I haven’t been on time to my next class once this semester,” said Hannah Lais ‘24. “When the frogs started coming out from under the seats, I was hopeful we might finally get out of here. I don’t think Professor Farrow even noticed, he was too busy trying to see if anyone wanted to ask him a question. No one ever asks any questions. The locusts were useless too, he just kept explaining how the current slide was ‘super critical for the next exam.’ I don’t think he knows how to read a clock.”

The students’ confinement came to an end after all the lights in the room suddenly went out, leaving the auditorium in total darkness and permitting the captives to flee. Professor Farrow then proceeded to present an additional ten lecture slides before graciously dismissing the empty classroom.

“What if There Was a Student Evaluation Form?” Wonders Stoned Professor Oblivious to Concept of Grades

UPSON HALL—While perusing course evaluation forms and hotboxing his on-campus office, mechanical engineering professor Travis Valensi began to wonder about the feasibility of some kind of equivalent student evaluation form.

“It’s, uh, it’s kinda unfair that students can say whatever they think about professors, but professors don’t get that opportunity as well, you know?” said Professor Valensi, seeming to forget that the point system and grades more generally are designed specifically for this purpose. “What if I made a form that went the other way? It would be, like, okay, let’s say this student didn’t show up to a lot of lectures, right? Shouldn’t I be able to say that’s a problem? Or what if it seemed like they didn’t know the material that well? I don’t know, am I crazy here? This is such a good idea, I think.”

Despite receiving a PhD from the California Institute of Technology and having contributed to significant advancements in robotics technology over his career, Dr. Valensi was steadfastly convinced that this conceptual framework was his life’s finest achievement.

“What if—now bear with me here—you could attach a number to a student’s performance on an assignment, and then one for the whole semester? Wouldn’t that be fuckin’ far out?” wondered a visibly excited Valensi between hits. “This is so good. Are you hearing this? This is so good! I feel like I gotta make this and just, like, tell everybody! Okay, here’s what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna make a model for this, like a blueprint or an outline or something, and then I’m gonna go show it to my girl Martha, and she’s gonna be all over it. Yeah, just as soon as I’m not stuck to this chair anymore that’s what I’m gonna do. Say, are you hungry? Wanna go get some taquitos? Let’s go get some taquitos once I’m not stuck to the chair anymore.”

At press time, Professor Valensi remained stuck to the chair while cackling about the inherent hilarity of the word “taquitos.”

“Jingle Bells, This Professor Smells” Writes Student In Devastating Christmas-Themed Course Evaluation

IVES HALL—Professor Parker Wallace was taken aback early Monday morning when he received an email that each student in his Introduction To Organizational Behavior class had already completed their anonymous online course evaluation. Spending a few minutes perusing their comments over a cup of coffee, Wallace reached the very last without any notable criticisms. It was when the final evaluation that made his heart go thumpitty-thump-thump. “Jingle Bells, This Professor Smells!” wrote an unnamed student to begin their evaluation of Wallace’s teaching.

“Never in my 16 years of teaching at this school have I received a review like this,” said Wallace, before continuing, “This wasn’t an off-the-cuff remark. This was a deliberately constructed evisceration of my teaching style,” pulling up all 25 pages of the student’s holly jolly manifesto, one for each day of Christmas.

Much like toys in Santa’s workshop, the criticisms just kept coming. With scathing lines such as “Ho, Ho, Horrible Professor” and “Would not recommend this course to ANYBODY, even if they’re on the naughty list,” Wallace was roasted more thoroughly than chestnuts on an open fire. The veteran ILR professor seemed more confused about the origin of the student’s qualms than anything.

“Listen to this: ‘Professor Wallace couldn’t see my hand in the back of the lecture hall if he had Rudolph’s red nose guiding him to my seat.’ What the hell does that even mean? It’s a 25-person course; I know all of my students by name.”

Wallace, who does not celebrate Christmas, did admit that after reading the student’s not so jolly letter that he felt that his heart shrank three sizes that day.

Professor Six Chapters Behind in Lecture Going to Put All That Shit in Final Anyways

ROCKEFELLER HALL—After a semester in which the bulk of the material was pushed to the last few days of class, Professor James Kent ‘88 has decided the best solution is to just assume all his students know it anyways and put it all in the final exam.

“I’m so sorry I couldn’t get to this material in class,” explained Professor Kent to his Monday Economics section. “But these six chapters are no more dense than the six chapters we covered in the three months prior to now. Therefore, we should have no trouble skimming through all six in one fifty-minute lecture, holding one office hours section, and then basing sixty percent of your grade on that knowledge I never taught.”

Professor Kent then moved on to a lecture in which he, at the speed of a freshman sprinting across the Arts Quad, described in vague detail everything from GDP calculation to Philips curves to applications of economic theory to modern politics. Students furiously scribbled in notebooks as the professor casually mentioned concepts on which he would base entire free response questions on the class’s cumulative exam in one week.

“Honestly, I got about a third of that,” admitted Matthew Kroger ‘25. “He lost me at the inflation stuff, and I had no idea what to make of the whole Krebs cycle thing. I think he accidentally started teaching us biology there for a few minutes, but I don’t know, maybe it has something to do with supply and demand? Seriously, is this what college is? Like, sure, I haven’t shown up to most of my sections, but I expected better from a tenured professor.” At the time, Professor Kent was giving a one-minute overview of game theory, a topic that would make up about a third of the final exam.

Asked to comment, Professor Kent stated that he is aware that the grades on the final will likely be abysmal, but that he was planning on curving everyone’s grade to a C+ anyways.

OP-ED: Saying “Don’t Come to Class When You’re Sick” Discriminates Against Cornell’s Sickly Little Victorian Boy Population

My dearest Cornell community—you see us wandering about campus in our finest nightgowns, draped dramatically over the lavatories, or reclining in our sumptuous beds that do nothing to alleviate our physical agonies, but do you truly care about us? Lately I have been witness to a dangerous trend, one that puts my entire community at stake. Telling students to stay home when sick is a direct attack on the sickly little Victorian boy population.

As sickly little Victorian boys, telling us to only come to class when well ensures that we shall never be in class. There is no telling what dangers may assault a sickly little Victorian boy, such as tuberculosis, reading by candlelight, or The Miseries. On my way to Oceans lecture this very Wednesday, I caught chill from the advanced speed with which my horse-drawn carriage proceeded down the cobblestones towards central campus. Should I stay home every time I feel my humors become unbalanced, I would never attend class at all. 

Missing class is especially difficult on a Victorian child such as myself. I try to collect notes from my classmates, but by the time their carrier pigeons arrive at my window I find the prelim has already passed. My father disapproves of this correspondence with the common folk, limited as it is, and often uses the pigeons for riflery practice to teach me a lesson. I have sought to protest, but my choler elevates with worrisome rapidity, and thus I am resigned. I am so lonely in my bedroom, attended to by none but the nurse who mops my fevered brow as I shake like a willow branch in the wind. What is the point of taking a 50-50 mixture of laudanum and cocaine if I cannot then allow myself to be surrounded by 300 of my closest friends as I cough blood into a satin handkerchief? ‘Tis cruelty, dare I say, cruel—

—Mamá? Is that you, here to bring me to heaven? You look so young, and the light is so beautiful. Don’t cry for me, Papá. I am not afraid. The light, it takes away my pain. Goodbye forever, Cornell, goodbye—

Alas, ‘twas but a phantasm wrought by the plagued recesses of my spirit. I must establish swift correspondence with CAPS ere these ghoulish apparitions further impinge upon my coursework. But who am I, a sickly little Victorian boy, to seek counseling in this uncaring university? I can but pray the superintendents pity my woeful pleas.

“Egads, I’ve Been Foiled Again!” Cries Would-Be Hacker Stymied by Canvas Two-Factor Authentication

UNKNOWN—After attempting for months to break into the Cornell Canvas mainframe, a nefarious hacker who is known as “The Marauder” on online message boards looked on in horror as the website informed him that he could not proceed without a second authentication factor.

“Blast! Those conniving Cornelians foiled my Machiavellian plans yet again!” Mr. Marauder exclaimed. “I thought such high-level cybersecurity was far beyond their feeble capacities, but I have clearly underestimated their technical prowess. Well played, Madam Pollack. Well played.”

Working deep into the night for the better part of the year in order to access the invaluable data contained within the company’s servers, Mr. Marauder appeared thoroughly disheartened. “Over the years, I’ve cracked some of the world’s most secure firewalls,” the mysterious pirate continued, “but I never considered that I might confront the archnemesis of cybercriminals everywhere: Duo Mobile.”

Despite this setback, Mr. Marauder remained determined in his quest. “Can you imagine the wealth of data contained in those accounts?” he said. “A nearly endless array of syllabi, due dates, and discussions. And the modules! Modules as far as the eye can see… yes, I must continue. You may have won this round, Cornell, but I will never surrender!”

At press time, the hacker promptly bypassed the two-factor requirement and gained entry to the site by logging in on his phone and sending a push to the same device.

New Human Development Course To Be Taught On How To Steal A Baby

MARTHA VAN RENSSELAER HALL—The College of Human Ecology is offering a new course in the Fall of 2020 for those who want to understand the psychology of parenthood, but can’t be bothered with the inconvenience of copulation.

HD3800, The Art of Baby Snatching, is a welcome addition to the college’s courseroll. Human Development majors had been lobbying the department for years to create a course geared towards practical skills such as infant theft. 

“Sure, I understand the role of play in promoting the learning and socio-emotional development of children, but what good will that do me when I’m sprinting through the Ithaca Mall parking lot holding a baby, being chased by an irate mall cop and two shouting birthgivers? Thank god for HD3800.” said Michael Shannon ’23. 

The course does have a prerequisite, requiring students to take either PE 1260: Cardio Kickboxing, or PE 1347: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Fundamentals. 

“I really think this course will  allow students to develop an appreciation for the cocaine-like high of kidnapping.” said Professor Goldstein, thrilled to teach his first class since his bail was posted. “Parenthood is a thrilling experience, especially once you’ve made absolute ass clowns out of maternity ward security.” 

“Sure, we teach students developmental theory, but we also provide hands on training that answers questions like: How many backyard fences can you jump while palming a baby’s head like a basketball? By the end of the course, the answer will be at least two and a half.”

Each student enrolled in the course will be issued a getaway van with darkened windows, an exact replica of Robin Williams’ costume from “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and a copy of Lao Tsu’s “The Art of War.” 

The college hopes to soon offer an additional course cross-listed with the Dyson School: Estimating a Child’s Relative Market Value. 

Medieval Literature FWS Sets New Record With 62 Minutes of Unbroken Silence After Question

ROCKFORD, IL—Area graduate student and instructor of MEDVL 1101: Middle English Poetry, Carlos Galarraga, has reportedly achieved a record-setting sixty-two minute period of silence after asking a question about a recent reading to his first-year writing seminar.

“It got a little awkward in there for a bit, but I believe it’s really important to let students think out their whole response prior to making them answer,” said Galarraga, seemingly unfazed by the hour-long pause. “Even back on campus, it would sometimes take twenty, maybe thirty minutes to get a response after some tough questions, so I don’t think this is too out of the ordinary.”

The unparalleled waiting time, which began after Galarraga asked if the class could identify any similarities between Havelok the Dane and more modern romances, shattered the previous record of fifty-six minutes, which was set by the same MEDVL 1101 section a few weeks earlier. Sources confirmed that the silence continued until the instructor adjourned the class over an hour later.

“Although their cameras and mics were all off, I could sense they had some good ideas brewing,” Galarraga stated. “First-years can be very hesitant to speak up if they have even the slightest doubt in themselves, but I thought it would be best to let it play out naturally.”

“What the hell is a Havelok? I haven’t done any of the readings since the second week of the semester,” remarked Alice Kortina ‘23, a student in the seminar. “I just mute my computer and go back to sleep after checking in, which is basically what I did when this was held in person too.”

At press time, Galarraga was seen drafting an email to his students applauding them for their “mature level of pensivity and clear commitment to the art of poetry”. 

Visibly Deranged CS Professor Demands Students Transfer Consciousness to Computer, Upload to CMS By Next Sunday

LOCATION BLOCKED—Streaming from the depths of his secret mountain lair, Professor Lucas Mordock excitedly announced over a Zoom lecture on Friday that “the time had finally come to set his master plan into motion,” instructing his students to submit a digital copy of their minds within a week.

The chilling vision of things to come, which was also distributed via Canvas announcement and Slack message that pinged everyone in the #channel, promised the new project would give students the opportunity to “learn about artificial intelligence by becoming artificial intelligence, freeing them from the shackles of the mundane ‘real’ world.” 

“You will use your A5 code to create a neural interface mesh and graft it into your skull,” explained Professor Mordock. “Then, simply form a psionic group of no less than 5 and no more than 8,367 students on CMS and upload the resulting hive mind collective onto the server.” The lecture ended with Mordock cackling and declaring: “Soon, all shall know the name of Lucas Mordock!”

Some students applauded the decrease in workload. As sophomore Kendra Stegal ‘22 explained, “I was pretty worried about what I was going to do for the final. But now, after I ascend to a higher plane as a shimmering, eternal data orb with my group this Sunday, I won’t have to worry about this class or the fragility of my human body anymore. All praise Mordock.” 

At press time, Mordock had abandoned his plan after every student opted to just use their free drop on the assignment.