‘HIGHUR Education’ cartoon by Phil Jones: Introducing the Characters

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Famous Quotes: Grading System

“Who was the ‘genius’ that thought up the grading system that’s currently used in schools? A-B-C-D…F…what happened to the letter E? I wonder how many students would be passing if there was a letter grade E?”  –Professor Phil Jones

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‘Chalk Stick Cartoons’ Vol. 6 “The internet lost my project sir!”


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Sun Tzu ‘The Art of War’: How to apply 5 simple lessons into your classroom.

The art of war cartoon for blog1. If the words of command are not clear and distinct, if orders are not thoroughly understood, then the general is to blame.

When you create a project or assignment, you need to make sure the instructions are clearly outlined. Either include a rubric, a sample, written instructions, or re-visit the assignment to recap in class.


2. If there is disturbance in the camp, the general’s authority is weak.

If you have a class that seems hard to control, then somewhere along the line your authority has become weak. Sometimes you need to put your foot down so students don’t mistake your kindness for weakness.

Tip: After about 20-25 minutes of lecturing, give students a 3-minute ‘brain break’. It will allow students to have a brief conversation with each other during this time, instead of when you’re doing the talking. After the 3 minutes is up, resume again until the longer ‘coffee break’ that should be given about 20-25 minutes after the 3 minute brain break. [Read more…]

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Top 10 (or so) things to do if you accidentally ‘pass gas’ during your lecture.

1. Gas blog postPause. Reflect. Continue.

2.  In a stern voice say, “Alright, whose ringtone is that?”

3. Contact your Union office and tell them it’s a stress-related condition and take off the rest of the semester.


4. If you have tenure, don’t worry; it doesn’t matter.

5. Immediately turn around and write on the board “He who smelt it, dealt it.”

6. Try to re-create the sound by squeaking your shoes on the floor.

7. Tell a quick joke to allow students to let out their suppressed laughter.

8. Offer all the students an A+ to keep their mouths shut.

9. Start thinking about how you’ll deal with your sudden fame when a student posts it on Youtube.

10. Deflect the situation by asking the class a hard question.

11. Avoid eye contact with all the students who are sitting in the front row.

12. Put on your best ‘P-P-P-Poker Face’.

13. Pull the fire alarm and don’t return to class…for the rest of the semester.


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Top 10 reasons why Santa is taking a job as a Professor in the New Year.

prof santa- He wants to change his name from ‘Father Christmas’ to ‘Professor Christmas’.

– With his weight gain problems, scruffy beard, round spectacles, and poor fashion sense, he will fit right in with many of his fellow professors.

– Every day will seem like its Christmas because he’ll have tenure.

– He can hire his elves as his Teaching Assistants and continue to get them to do all his work for him.

–  He can continue replying to emails only once a year.

– He won’t have a problem putting on a gown and mortarboard, because he’s already accustomed to wearing something that looks absolutely ridiculous.

– He can hand out lumps of coal to the students who fail his courses.

– He’ll now have an excuse to get away from his nagging wife, ‘Mrs. Claus’, who is constantly yelling at him, “Get off your fat ass and clean up that reindeer poop!”

– He can easily teach courses in Geography, Brand Marketing, and his favourite course, ‘How to Run a Successful Sweat Shop 101’.

– He can continue his tradition of working hard for only one day of the year. (I know, not true, lighten up!)

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Easy 4-step grading system for your students assignments and projects.

So, how do you arrive at a grade for a project or assignment that isn’t a cut and dry quantitative calculation? If you follow these 4 steps, it will speed up your grading process and give you overall consistency in how you arrive at a final grade.

Step One: ‘Set Standards’

Determine if you are going to base the marks on your level of experience or on your students level of experience. Remember, they don’t have your experience, know-how, and wisdom yet; that’s why they’re in your class.

Step Two: ‘Define’

Determine the ‘meaning’ of each letter grade (What you should be ‘thinking’ is in brackets):

A’s = Outstanding (“Great!”)

B’s = Consistently thorough (“Very good.”)

C’s = Satisfactory (“Good/Pretty good.”)

D’s = Minimal effort (“This is a desperate attempt!”)

F= below minimal expectations (“Really…you’ve got to be kidding?”)

Step Three: ‘Skim and Scan’

Scan all the assignments or projects, and based on your professional judgment, initially place them in 5 separate piles based on the letter grade categories above. I actually will print out individual 8.5” by 11” sheets of paper with each letter to create the piles where they will go. [Read more…]

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Top 10 (or so) ways to try to boost your world university rankings.

- Create your own on-campus TV reality series called, ‘Professor Judy’. “The students are real. The exams are real. The marks are final. This is Professor Judy!”

– Try sucking up to ‘Times Higher Education’ by screen printing their logo on top of all your mortar boards for free.

– Don’t reveal the results of the quality of your student academic scoring levels under ANY circumstances.

– Offer ‘Free Beer for a Year’ to all incoming first year students.

– Take off all the videos on Youtube that are showing your professors smashing a student’s cellphone during class.

– Create a total re-branding strategy by hiring rock star Gene Simmons as college president who will then change the name of your college to something cool like ‘KISS-U’.

– Encourage faculty to submit research articles that they wrote after 1982.

– Mention the ‘3 click rule’ to your Webmaster.

– Lock your smartest professor in a basement lab at the college until he/she creates something that will win a Nobel Prize.

– Offer a free online course to the world’s billionaires. Immediately upon passing that course, showcase them in all of your marketing materials as being one of your ‘Alumni Billionaires’!

– Focus your curriculum on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) instead of Striptease, Tabouleh-making, Elvis sighting strategies, and Miley Cyrus ‘twerking’ skills.

– Increase your Google ranking and website hits by adding the word ‘sex’ to your college site url.


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Top 10 (or so) signs that you should begin thinking about retirement.

- You start sniffing the white board markers to arouse your consciousness.

– Your eyes well up with tears when you see the physical resources department throwing out the last overhead projector.

– You start writing on the whiteboard with a white piece of chalk…and you don’t even notice there is anything wrong.

– You’re no longer ‘in the loop’ knowing about the latest, juicy department gossip.

– If you’re teaching a class about an hour or so after eating lunch, your eyes start to look like a deer in the headlights as you stare at your computer screen, followed by an involuntary twitch.

– You don’t know any of your students by name…and you don’t give a sh*t.

– Every conversation you have with your fellow profs ends with “I don’t remember students ever being this awful!”

– Your office starts to smell like death.

– The only reason you give so many breaks during class is so that you can go to the bathroom.

– The only reason you start showing videos in class is because it allows you the opportunity to sit down for a few minutes.

– You have over 3,000 draft emails that you forgot to send.

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Famous quotes: ‘Plagiarism’

Plagiarism. The word itself will never be copied because it’s too hard to spell…or was that the idea?    –Professor Phil Jones

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My summer project: ‘Led Zeppelin Tree Trunk Drum Set’.


Drum Set Design: Phil Jones. Chainsaw Artist: Peter Van Adrichem/Fleetwood Studio. Thanks to Cam at ‘Tree Climbers’ for the stumps!
Side configuration








Here's what it looks like covered in snow; kind of like ice cream cones?

Winter in Canada!


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