Humor: University of Phoenix online writing assignment

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by me again, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    What follows is a REAL writing assignment from the University of Phoenix online. -enjoy..
    • Professor's Writing Experiment Proves Men ARE Different From Women

      Here's a prime example of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" offered by an English professor from the University of Phoenix:

      The professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

      Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

      The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:
      Rebecca and Gary.

      THE STORY:

      (first paragraph by Rebecca)

      At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile.
      But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

      (second paragraph by Gary)

      Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. " Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the ####pit.


      He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.


      Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet.
      With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie.


      This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


      Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. " Oh, shall I have

      chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA??? Oh no, what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels!"




      In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.

      A+ - I really liked this one.
  2. gkillion

    gkillion New Member

    My only question is - Did the professor know that Gary and Rebecca were married...before he gave the assignment?:)
  3. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    Thank you for the laugh! :p
  4. jek2839

    jek2839 New Member

    Yes, I enjoyed that one also.
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Good God, man! What the hell was that professor thinking?
  6. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    I agree with Gary... er... Carl... er... Gary... er... well... you know who I mean.
  7. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    I first read this about ten years ago. Then it was being attributed to the University of Notre Dame. Just for fun, I did a Google search for "Anu'udrian mothership" and it found 692 postings of this story, many of them from 1997. The school in question (on the few dozen I looked at) is Notre Dame, Southern Methodist, McGill, American University, and the University of Phoenix. The students are either Rebecca, Jane, or Susan, and either Gary, Ted, or Tom.

    Dare I suggest we have an urban legend here?
  8. sentinel

    sentinel New Member

    But it makes for for an amusing read. :rolleyes:
  9. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    And you are indeed correct. The final arbiter on all things urban legendish,, has this to say:

    ""The Writing Assignment" first appeared on the Internet in February 1997, when it popped up in the newsgroup rec.humor, having gotten there from a joke list. Though it's passed around as a "true story," we should simply accept it for what it is — a wonderful piece of creative writing."

    See: Tandem Writing

    Tom Nixon
  10. Tom H.

    Tom H. New Member

    It appears that it is, indeed, an urban legend. Is there any significance to the University of Phoenix presence on a list of established B&M universities? It may be an indication that the public perception of UoP has improved markedly in the last few years. The intended shock value of the story would be minimal if the school in question were ..., say Knightsbridge University. In that case, the only "shock" might be that there were actually written assignments involved in the "coursework."
  11. Mooshlu

    Mooshlu New Member

    There is now an illustrated movie of this on youtube!



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