Sex Ed in Higher Ed

College instructor teaching human sexuality rants about the dumbing down of America, the lost art of manners, grammar and (the perfect combination of both) the thank you note. Also includes random rants about life, pet peeves, and sometimes raves about favorite things.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Midterm Misspelling Olympics

The first midterm in Human Sexuality typically requires the students to label the internal and external male and female reproductive structures. Up until just a few days ago, grading these exams was a great source of consternation for me. But, yesterday, I read something that was so wrong, and so mystifying and so confusing yet entertaining that I laughed so hard tears rolled down my face. May you enjoy it as much as I have. I present to you the Winter 2006 Human Sexuality Misspelling Olympics.

In the female anatomy category, we have for the General Amusement Event:
Gold: Fallopian tub.

General Confusion Event:
Gold: Mons deferense (which is a brilliant combining of the female "mons pubis" and the male "vas deferens.")
Silver: Gland (written next to the vaginal opening; I say points for just giving it a hell of a guess.)

I Like to Make Up Words Event:
Gold: Frenembrie (For fimbriae. I like it. Sounds like a delicious but frenetic soft cheese.)

General Common Misspellings Event:
Silver: Introinus. I like this one. The vaginal opening is also called the introitus. The thing I like about this one is you might pronounce it with an "oin" as in "groin" sound. Really, it's like two great words in one!
Bronze: Fibiea (Again with the fimbriae. They really struggle with this one. I swear I repeat this word dozens of times in class. Maybe I have a speech impediment?)

Then, in the male anatomy category, we have for the My parents should ask the university for their money back event:
Gold: Pituitary duct (Brilliantly written next to the drawing of the anus. Note to self: Must spend more time teaching students the male reproductive structures, i.e., head is different from ass.)
Silver: Pituitary gland (This one written next to the seminal vesicle. What did I say to make them think the pituitary gland resides in one's nether-regions? Must revisit teaching techniques, I think.)
Bronze: Epidermis. Well, yes, I suppose in a matter of speaking, but we could say that about all of our external structures. I think the young lass meant epididymis.

Event: I'm either a total freaking genius or just so completely fucked in the head, even my instructor can't tell the difference.
Gold: Prenimbrium. I have no idea what body part this is. The student had written this next to the epididymis. I don't have a medical degree. I've never heard of the prenimbrium, but that doesn't mean men (or women or dogs for that matter) don't have one. Kudos to this student for knowing an obscure part of the human anatomy, or inventing one so convincing-sounding that even his instructor is scratching her head.

Crazy-creative spelling event:
Gold: Vas Enderfruns. (I believe the poor chap meant Vas Deferens. what the hell - I gave him partial credit.)
Silver: Vas Defernis. (Can you blame him?? Sometimes it gets hot down there, you know in deFurnace!)

The Clearly I am Catholic event:
Gold: Seminary Vesicle. (This is for the sperm with the priest gene.)
Silver: Seminal Vesticule. (Maybe it's just me, but it sounds like a cross between vestments and vestibule. Where the priests get dressed before Mass. You know, the Vesticule.)

Event: Just regular, common misspellings that never fail to amuse the instructor:
Blatter. (As in, "urinary bladder.")
Scrodum. (Well, you know - as in, scrotum.)
Cowpurr's Gland. (Because sometimes the Cowper's Gland likes to make an interesting noise.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow! This is clearly the winner. I have been keeping myself updated on your blog postings and this one is the best.

Not only was it educational for me, but worth a good laugh. Several laughs, actually!

Diaper pail

February 24, 2006 8:22 PM  
Blogger Mikey said...

Those are some good ones. I always liked to use 'vast difference.' It helped me to remember 'vas deferens.'

February 25, 2006 3:37 AM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

That is actually an excellent study hint for my students. Will recommend that next semester!

February 27, 2006 9:49 PM  
Blogger liberalbanana said...

Reminder to self: never try to read sex ed jokes during a professional work class. Don't want to have to explain outloud to everyone what I just choked on my gum about. SO. FUNNY! (Is it bad that I didn't know what half that stuff was?? I just call it my cooter.) ;)

February 28, 2006 4:14 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Your lack of knowledge is quite all right as you are not in my class. One of my friends calls "it" her hole. I think it's because "vulva" just doesn't have the same ring to it, you know? Yes, that would be difficult to explain to co-workers. It's amazing how this job makes you forget that most people don't use the words penis and vagina in everyday conversation until you see their faces when you (meaning me) use those words in everyday conversation.

February 28, 2006 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Karlynne said...

My nieces refer to theirs as cookies - gives a whole new meaning to Girl Scout Cookies!! My nieces giggle every time someone brings that up!

February 28, 2006 6:56 PM  
Blogger Isabel said...

Okay, so I'm at work and it's all quiet and I read this post during my lunch hour. And I start lauging so hard that everything in my mouth ends up on my huge prenant belly.


Thanks for sharing what the furture leaders of our world know about their bodies.

March 02, 2006 3:30 PM  
Blogger Teacher lady said...

Welcome, Isabel! I am all for spit-causing laughter. Yes, these young folks, they are dangerous but so much fun. (Is it okay if I say, "I'm not laughing at them, I'm laughing near them?")

March 02, 2006 6:10 PM  

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