Everything You Need to Know to Pass English Class: The Classics

funny english classic novelFor those of you just joining us, this is a continuation of a series of posts that aims to, um, “help” you with your classes, because if you get bad grades it makes us look better.

“Help,” in this case being the help you’d receive if you fell overboard on a boat, called for help, and got tossed a life-preserver, but instead of catching the life-preserver and floating to safety you were knocked unconscious by the surprisingly hefty floatation device and got eaten by sharks/drowned/run over by the boat.

(The first two parts of this series may come in handy during History or Chemistry class).

Thus, today we will tackle* the most difficult aspect of English class, which, for most people, is simply making sense of the jumbled sentences found in the novels themselves.

*Not literally. We’d probably get hurt, because most of these texts weigh more than us, even if we’ve got pads on.

To Kill A Mockingbird

This masterpiece, often referred to as an unparalleled advance in the field of bird hunting by accountants, engineers, politicians, or anyone else that can’t keep track of conversation but wants to appear intelligent, actually has nothing to do with mockingbirds. Once you overcome this misconception, you will have a very easy time understanding the actual plot. For reference’s sake, the main characters are named “Boo,” “Atticus,” and “Mockingbird.”

Lord of the Flies

This book does actually include a “Lord of the Flies,” but it is so confusing that most people purposefully forget that fact. Otherwise, this is basically a mix between the shows “Lost,” “Survivor,” “Extreme Wipeout,” and “The Teletubbies.”

The Red Badge of Courage

Like many books on this list, there is no red badge of courage present in the novel. (This is because of a sneaky marketing tactic where the author names their book after some tangible object, like a bird or badge. Then, when no one finds this object in the novel, they tell all their friends, ridiculing the author for his stupidity in forgetting that this object isn’t in his book. Thus, more people want to be included in the ‘joke’ and the author not only hits the bestseller list but makes it into the immortal high school curriculum).

Actually, that entire parenthetical is all I’ve got on this book, because this book is so bad that I won’t mention specifics without first personally apologizing, in person, very person-ably. Since I can’t do that to all of you, I’ll skip it.

Romeo and Juliet

We all know this one; it’s the classic that has been re-made so many times that people can’t actually keep track of the original anymore. If you know which version came first, please let somebody know; this is probably the reason our economy is failing. This story either involves a song, a musical, an animated movie, or, probably the least likely of all the choices, a Shakespearean play.

Animal Farm

Now, if you think about it, all farms with animals could be considered animal farms. However, not all farm animals are communists, and that’s pretty much all you need to know in regards to this book. It was originally introduced into the curriculum by an undercover KGB agent who didn’t take the time to read to the end of the novel (spoiler: communism doesn’t work too well in its current forms).

Macbeth

A classic classic (and thus twice as bad as all the other classics), Macbeth details a young man’s journey to take revenge on the society that casts him out by building a world-renowned food franchise that will cause obesity for generations to come. Oh, wait, I’m sorry. I’m thinking of MacDonald, another Shakespeare classic (he was quite the prolific author).

The only thing I can tell you about Macbeth is that there are three witches who chant incantations, the only part of which that sticks in my mind being something about a newt, or possibly a salamander. Actually, with the way my memory is after two days of no sleep, for all I know there are three pigs, or three bears, and not three witches.

Brave New Fahrenheit 1984 World (451)

For time’s sake, I’ve clumped these three books into one category: the future could be really bad, or really confusing, or really hot (451 degrees F is above most summer temperatures, except of course in parts of California and certain places on the surface of the sun). To add to the confusion, none of these books has anything to do with Mockingbirds, Lords of Flies, or Badges of Courage (whatever color they may be).

Aren’t English novels just wonderful? They not only provide hours of entertainment (for the English teachers), but also play a valuable role in our daily life, from the seats we use to eat in front of the TV (you really only need 2-3 thick volumes) to the weapons we use to rid our house of mosquitoes.

Last year at this time we offered advice on a different topic with “5 Tips for an Amazing Powerpoint Presentation.” Even if you don’t care for Powerpoints, you should still check it out, because it is one of the original illustrated posts (so it’s got a few great pictures).

Everything You Need to Know to Pass Science: Chemical Reactions

A dangerous reactionIn continuing the High School Humor Blog series of posts that teach you everything you need to know to pass your classes, cleverly titled “Everything You Need to Know To Pass [Class],” I’ve decided to cover Science/Chemistry Class (why do we bring you these informational posts? Read the first paragraph here).

One of the interesting things about science class is that science is generally the easiest class to fail. You use one milligram too much of a substance, and BOOOOOOM! Just like that, your results are ruined.

Plus, and worse, the classroom has turned into a charred skeleton of what it was merely seconds ago, with parts of it still on fire. And the FBI Anti-Terrorism task force shows up, and before you know it you’re spending the rest of the semester in a solitary confinement holding cell hoping that your lab partner will hurry up and get out of the ICU so that he/she can visit you and bring candy.

Therefore, the first thing to keep in mind when dealing with chemical reactions is: never be the one to blame. Have your partner measure the chemicals. Heck, have your partner do the whole lab – you can offer your valuable commentary (for added value, give the commentary in a British accent). Or, if you must do the lab, make sure that you get your partner’s fingerprints all over the test tubes first.

Another part of chemical reactions is the fact that many of them are actually supposed to go BOOOOM!, give off toxic fumes, or contain substances that, if you get them on your skin, will burn right through your bones until that section of your limb falls off. Therefore, in most chemistry classes, safety, or a lack of safety, also impacts your grades.

However, there is only one part to safety, and that is: wearing goggles. Sure, they might be uncomfortable, awkward, dumb-looking, and have mold growing on the nose piece, but rest assured, if your lab suddenly sends shattered glass towards your eyes, only the rest of your face will be harmed. Plus, you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes, because the smell of the shared goggles will have already done whatever damage the fumes might do to your brain.

But the central idea you must grasp, if you want to pass Chemistry, is: why are you doing chemical reactions? The answer to this is: because even chemistry teachers have a sense of humor. They purposefully choose dangerous or amusing reactions, just to see how the students react (pun intended).

I mean, given the option, which would you rather do, lecture on the properties of particles so small that you are actually allowed to take billions of these particles through airport security, or watch teens with no common sense handle dangerous, fuming, explosive chemicals that could end up altering their brain so that they start acting like a bird or even lead to the loss of their arm or torso?

Once you’ve grasped this, you can realize that the true way, and the easiest way, to pass Chemistry is to provide your teacher with as much lab entertainment as possible. Got a bologna sandwich for lunch? Toss it in with the copper oxide over the burner and see what happens. Is your lab partner trying to text in class? Drop their phone in some water and then add francium, or acid, or both.

Heck, take your whole chemical setup and toss it, burner, ring stand, test tube, and all, out the window to ‘test’ the effects of gravity on your reaction. You’ll even get extra credit for hitting a jock (with a brain the size of one of those yogurt-covered raisins, the ones that look appetizing until you actually try one) and making him/it think that the Russians are attacking.

Personally, I think the most vital part of Chemistry, regardless of the grade, is to make it out of the class in one piece. It is difficult to pass the class if you miss school for a hospital stay, solitary confinement imprisonment, or trip to a government lab because of an acquired mutation.

This is why, to ensure your safety, I recommend buying Kevlar clothing, treating it with flame-retardant, and then putting on one of those X-ray lead jackets you get at the doctor’s office. You should also wear a gas mask, hair net, football helmet, and, on top of that, a beekeeper’s hat. For certain labs, you may even want wool mittens or a hockey mask.

I’d love to give more advice, but my three remaining fingers are getting tired and the hole where my nose used to be needs to be drained. Also, my vision is still a little asfwe yaago qpeeee

Everything You Need to Know to Pass History: The Civil War

A map of the civil warAt High School Humor Blog, we’re deeply concerned with your grades. We figure that if you get bad grades, that means less competition for college and job spots (although we needn’t be worried, because we all know that writing at a mediocre level yields more income per year than, say, top-performing dust mites).

With this in mind, we are starting a new ‘series’ that may make appearances every now and then, with the aim of helping you get better grades.

Today’s topic will be the Civil War. Named for John D. Civil, it took place at some point between the birth of the United States and your birth. It is required curriculum in almost every history class, because the guy who comes up with the curriculum was related to John D. Civil (although his name is I. Doo Da-Kericulum; the relation is from his mother’s grandmother’s husband).

Events Leading Up to the Civil War

This is always when your teacher tells you “Oh boy, class, we’re starting the civil war unit today. It’s so exciting-you’ll really like it.” You’ll “really like it” as much as you “really liked” the unit on Hobbes and Locke, and the unit on the Declaration of Independence, and the unit on the Constitution, and the unit on worms that lived in the peat bog outside the Founding Fathers’ homes and did nothing but eat, poop, reproduce, and die.

To save you the trouble of listening, here’s what you need to know. First, there were a number of compromises that occurred, such as the Missouri Compromise (which created the official spelling of the word “Missouri”), the Compromise of 1850 (when people agreed to say “eighteen-fifty” instead of “one-hundred-and-eighty-five-zero”), and the Compromise of the Compromise (when people agreed to stop coming up with stupid compromises for minor things and instead create a curriculum that would require people to study these compromises).

Furthermore, there were tensions between the North and South regions of the United States. This was because people in the south had slaves and the people in the north tried not to have slaves except when necessary (such as when one’s income rose to a level where they could afford slaves). There were also things like economic factors (like taxes/tariffs), cultural factors, and prime factors (like 3, 2, or 7).

The Civil War

The actual war started when one of the states, probably Canada, decided to secede from the union, as in “the farmers woke up one day and pointed to the freshly-sown fields, shouting, ‘Secede (See, Seed)!’, which started the civil war.” From there, things got worse, as the Southern states all followed Canada’s lead by also seceding.

There were notable battles that occurred, such as the Battle of Getty’s Burger, the Battle of Aunty Em, and General Sherman’s March to the Sea. There were also important people that liked to hang around the battle scenes in the hopes that they’d get mentioned by a history textbook, such as Robert “E” Lee, Ulysses “S” Grant, and George “ ” Pickett.

The greatest mis-information to be found in a history textbook deals with Stonewall Jackson; he was not actually a great general. Rather, he was an actual stone wall somebody started calling Jackson when they’d had a little too much to drink, and the actual General of the battle used this joke as a morale booster for his troops.

The life of the common man was terrible on the battlefield. There were many ways to die, all of them horrible, and in addition people had to watch out for Russians. If one was injured, they’d usually get an amputation, and then die a few months later, unless they were Canadian, as the Canadians have always had better healthcare. In that case, they would be given an amputation and die a few years later.

After the Civil War

After the Civil War, an era known as the “reconstruction” era began, as in “Let’s reconstruct the border between us and the aliens that got destroyed during the war!” It was characterized by a lot of amendments to the constitution by Northern republicans to ensure that if the aliens did arrive, they’d at least be able to vote.

Also after the Civil War, the South said, “Okay, sorry, we were wrong about slavery and all the other complex causes of the war.” I’m just joking. Of course they didn’t. Instead, they said something like, “No comment.”

Other important things I might have missed include the mentioning of Frederick “Dred Scott” Stephen-Douglas-Lincoln-Davis, the Battle of Bull Run (where they all traveled to France to fight for animals’ rights), and the Government.

If you can master this material, I guarantee that you will get a history class grade that is so unusual your parents will personally take you to the amusement park of your choice. Then, they will leave you on a ride and drive away as fast as they can.

What were we up to last year at this time? Well, Ted wrote his most popular post to date, entitled “Beware of the ‘K’ Text.” It explains what that text saying ‘K’ really means.