This is the online component of the humor section of the Argus, the Wesleyan University newspaper.


A Few Final Exam Questions

The Ampersand knows that exams are stressful, forcing students to draw from their innermost reserves of perseverance and Adderall. To that end, we’ve compiled sample questions from various finals in order to give you a taste of what to expect.

HIST 136:
The Cold War and espionage
1.Retrieve the microfilm container taped to the underside of your chair.
Did anyone see you get it? Good.
Your directives are contained within. Construct a flowchart to outline the network of opposing agents, and then eliminate the cell’s leader. Good luck. Olin library has umbrella-shotguns and mini-pistols on reserve. Hint: One of your classmates is not who he says he is.

THEA 352:
Nudity on Stage
A recording of the seminal nude work “Rekindling the Heat”, about a senior couple who decide to inject some romance back into their faltering relationship in the most graphic way imaginable is now available on Moodle.  Watch the play in its entirety and then comment on the agency of the female characters, providing screengrabs for reference to particular scenes.

LANG 110
Elementary Melodic Clicking
Translate the following sentences.

MATH 202
Alien Geometries
Construct a diagram of a house with no right angles that might house a being of such pure beauty that a single glance will render one awestruck in rapt insanity.
You may use a calculator.

BiOL 103
Marmosex: Reproduction and Sexual Behavior in Marmosets
1.Find two marmosets and get them to bang. Videotape it.
2.That was pretty hot, wasn’t it?

Empty Thesis Carrels A Haven for Druggies and Wild Animals

This spring’s slackadisical seniors have neglected to clear out and secure their thesis carrels, says a new report from Public Safety, and the derelict cubbies have attracted all sorts of crime and vermin.

 Rabid and/or drunk raccoons have moved into carrels in the basement of SciLi, several of whom are “tripping balls” after ingesting substances they pilfered on Zonker Harris Day. “There is definitely a sperm bank operating out of the fourth floor of Olin,” added Dean Scott Backer, “and at least two meth labs. No one goes there anymore, because no one comes back.”

One senior, Abigail Wright ‘12, fell asleep in her carrel for eighty-seven hours after handing in her philosophy thesis, “Derri- don’t: Meta-Paradox of Ritualistic Thought in Given Time and the Impossibility of Time.” When she awoke to the sound of gunfire several cartel members were already bickering over her carrel-neighbor’s abandoned Teddy Grahams.

“I didn’t understand the language they were shouting in, but it sounded like Laotian maybe?” said a shaken Wright. “I opened the door a bit and almost got mauled by a wolf. Are those even native to Connecticut?”

She managed to secure safe passage to the regular stacks from a passing Ranger who wanted to know which carrels might contain precious metals or fresh water. One senior had set up a twenty-four hour webcam in their carrel and mistakenly left it on after fleeing at 3:58pm on April 15th. The footage has provided valuable clues to the police, who have already identified a Wiccan prostitution league and two currency counterfeiters.

“There are some baboons running around, maybe? They’re hard to identify,” said Scott Backer. “We know they feed on human blood.” Physical Plant plans to fumigate and/or napalm the carrels over summer break, when students won’t be so uptight about the reality of war.

Jonathan Franzen Disappointed by Camp Cardinal

As American writer and bird lover Jonathan Franzen was dismayed to learn, Wesleyan’s Camp Cardinal is in fact a daycare for the children of alumni, not a forum for enthusiasts of birdwatching and other amateurs of avian activity.

 Franzen, who often publicly expresses his affinity for cardinals and their ilk, traveled all the way from his bodega in Boulder Creek, California to attend Camp Cardinal. He arrived on campus in high spirits, binoculars at the ready, but he was soon gravely disappointed. “I came here to watch some birds,” said Fran- zen, visibly shaken. “But this is just a bunch of children. Why would I look at these illiteate ur- chins when I could look at dope- ass birds?”

To the Camp Counselors’ dismay, Franzen refused to leave the premises, hanging about in a foul humor and ruining the oc- casion for everyone. “Can children poop and fly at the same time?” Franzen asked one counselor rhetorically. “Not any that I’ve seen.”

Sorely disappointed, Franzen tried to cheer himself up by organizing a writing workshop for Camp Cardinal’s juvenile attendants. True to his curmudgeonly and sour public persona, Franzen was harshly critical of his peers’ work. Franzen described the poetry of one Charles Hildenburss, age seven, as akin to “a dyslexic Billy Collins.”

“Come on, impress me!” the contemporary American novelist and essayist was heard yelling. “You call this literature? This makes me want to vomit. This makes me want to go read Stephen King in Rosie O’Donnell’s hot tub.”

 Though this criticism was cer- tainly harsh, many of the attendees of the Camp Cardinal writing workshop appreciated Franzen’s feedback. “It’s so difficult to get honest feedback at most workshops,” said Darla Harrington, age six. “A lot of the time people show up without having even reading your work; they just want something to put on their CV so they can get into some shitty MFA program. That doesn’t happen at Camp Cardinal.”

Franzen spent the rest of the weekend wandering alumni brunches and lunches with a petition demanding that he replace Michael Bennet ‘87 as commencement speaker. “I have a lot more to say about birdwatching,” Franzen explained.

Franzen was last spotted talking to the Wesleyan cardinal, which is a human being dressed as a highly an- thropomorphized cardinal. According to witnesses, he was quizzing it on its nesting habits, plumage, and whether or not it had a boyfriend.

Summer Housing Students Get Multicultural Experience

As the class of 2015 prepares for the final stretch of its first year, it behooves one to remember that some of these fine young things are struggling to make ends meet. That’s right— come fall many members of the rising sophomore class will be without one of the necessities of life: shelter. I refer, of course, to those who were assigned summer housing.

As everyone knows, there are about a billion too many people in 2015, and though Modest Proposal- like suggestions have been circulating around North College for months, Laura Lay ’15 engages with her hosts. it seems the execution of such a plan would put a moderate to heavy strain on the alumni network, thereby hurting our venerable institution’s already meager endowment.

So where will these “young minds,” “scholar-athletes,” and “Hot Rachel” live next year? That’s the question being asked on most ACB threads, including “Anger...everyone sucks” and “why don’t Asians under- stand sarcasm?” The answer: many students will be required to live with Middletown host families. “It just makes sense,” explains one ResLife member. “Like the sentence, ‘Do you surf the library?’”

A representative from the Office of International Studies agrees. “It might be hard for them to understand the lo- cal accents at first, but once they get used to it, I think the different cultural perspectives will be really valuable.”

 The last time the university had to resort to such measures, it was met with mixed result. Sam Gringold, ’83, noted, “I mean it was nice of the fam- ily, I guess, but it was pretty annoy- ing when my host mother made me stay in on Fridays for family movie nights.”

Another student recalls, “That was what made me decide not to go abroad.” The system wasn’t a complete fail- ure though, to which many students can attest. “The food was pretty weird, but once you get used to it, Usdan seems weird! I love cultural immersion!” says one enthusiastic alum.

Despite the obvious drawbacks, many students are excited for a chance to connect with individuals outside the “Wesleyan Bubble” and even those who aren’t are, as expected, choosing the option over Light House.


Ampersand 4/9/12

Happy Birthday M Roth!

A brief Q&A with Michael Roth

A message from Pres. Roth

Roth’s Workout Obsession

As any tour guide worth their mettle will be glad to tell you, President Roth likes to maintain an active and visible presence around campus. So active, in fact, that the number of hours our president spends at Freeman Athletic Center have increased exponentially in recent years.

“What’s the problem?” questioned Roth from the stair-stepper machine as the sweat gathering on his brow streamed steadily into a stagnant pool of perspiration gathering beneath him, “I can still do my job, I swear.”

“I don’t know,” said a concerned Dave Robbins, ’12, Freeman Center employee and resident muscle-bound DKE bro, “for every hour I spend at bench-press, he spends ten. DO CURLS GET GIRLS!”

Roth’s workout regimen is concerning many of those in Wesleyan’s administration, including ResLife, whose operations directly beneath Roth’s office have been significantly disturbed by the president’s incessant routine of jumping jacks and wind sprints. Roth’s new personal assistant is also feeling the strain. 

“To sustain this level of activity, Michael requires around 8,000 calories per day,” said assistant Brendan O’Donnell. “Most of my job is making pancakes.” 

Roth Commences Midlife Crisis

The Chevy dealer’s lips gleamed with sweat as his bowels fluttered with excitement. He always got diarrhea after a big sale. The whole industry was reeling, so to sell $60,000 of Corvette was something of an event. He wasn’t going to be fired today, and his bowels were sighing with relief.
“This car goes very fast,” he said. “Seriously, it’s faster than a cheetah or an older car, you can drive away from a lot of problems in a car like this.”

The customer glanced nervously over his smart black sunglasses. His square jaw jutted forward resolutely. Overall, he had the aura of a significant man.

“Is this Anthony Weiner?” thought the dealer.

The man emitted the aura of a significant man who, knowing that he is doing something unbecoming of his station in life, goes right ahead. What kind of man drives such a car? The man asked himself what Freud would say about such a blatant phallic symbol. Would the car somehow impede the inevitable deterioration of his body? Was his constant exposure to the young and vital troubling some unknown corner of his mind? Who would this car impress? He was pretty sure he didn’t even want a mistress.

“I’ll take it,” he said in the authoritative voice he often used to impress upon his students the importance of Lacan, then drove and drove, certain he would never die.

Michael Roth’s Birthday Wishlist, April 2012

— Copy of Kari’s new book about animals with underlines already in it
— Gift certificate to Thai Garden
— New assistant/best friend (send out application for job candidates familiar w/ Kant, Hegel, HuffPo styleguide) 
— Gary Trudeaus head on plater
— cooler nametags fo wesfest
— Steely Dan for spring fling (possible to add 4th act last minute??)
— Backscratcher massage thingy to scratch back when Kari refuses
— Carole King In Concert DVD (song about “pave paradise parking lot??”)
— Giant picture of me in south college (+ maybe exley)
— The Whey Station (keep staff; move cart to front yard?)
— Bonnie Iver CDs???
— New dog: nicer to Dave Pesci?
— Permission to ring tower bells
— Building bigger than Usdan named “Roth”

My Application to be Michael Roth’s New Assistant

Dear Michael Roth,
I am writing in response to the highly prestigious and publicized career of the post of Assistant to You. As per the job description, I have a four–year college degree but no desire to move on. I have a passion for fundraising. Nothing makes me happier than ruining a normal social function by using it as an opportunity to solicit people who probably already think the food is only okay. I am also comfortable with social media, which you will recognize if you have checked the Vaseline Facebook page recently. Michael, I wrote you this poem, because I feel dry prose is an insufficient vehicle to which to tie my qualifications for this position. My qualifications are a Christmas tree, Michael:
Saddle your dreams before you ride ‘em.
        — Mary Webb

Assist. Help.
That is not quite the paradox it seems. A landscape exists
as a temporal constant
And on this landscape, which is psyche, which is
One finds, that is to say, I
Boughs laden with the fruit, which itself bears
And which bears eat —
Self-determining, self-effacing
I put the fun in fundraising
I assist with the veracity of a famished bear
Of a hungry herald at once
being and was —
Knelt. Kneeling.
Helping, assisting.
A gerund? That continuous but infinitely present, that cry for sanctity, that
Tense.  Intense, and yet out
The walls of South College
another realistic tragedy
Of longing and longitudinal desires
For which and to which I devote myself, my
Self, as a whole and as a
collection of pieces as
A bear
A Christmas tree
A contradiction
An assistant.

Roth’s Birthday Celebration an Unrivaled Triumph of Art and Spirit

This past Sunday, the University celebrated the birthday of its leader in the traditional manner. A stage on Andrus Field was erected over the last two weeks. The scaffolding around the edges of the stage was ringed with scenes depicting pivotal moments in Roth’s life, such as his transformation into a bear, his first time shaving, and the slaying of Chattur’gha. These scenes were conceived and composed of students covered in body paint.

On the day of the celebration, criers were dispatched across campus to signify the date of the president’s birth by reciting the works of Hegel at the top of their lungs. At noon, Roth de-cloistered himself, emerging onto his office balcony to address the gathered throngs, his sacred heat radiating as a bright shimmer around his form. He gave his customary thanks for the devotion and gratitude on display, and then briefly levitated to scattered applause.

At dusk, Roth strode onto the black marble viewing platform on Foss Hill constructed especially for him. As he reclined in his couch, Andy Tanaka began peeling grapes for his consumption during the tribute. After the customary freshman sacrifice was met with the bloodthirsty cheers of the crowd, the wesband Linus took the stage to perform a thirty-minute long piece consisting of three chords and the repeated whisper of the president’s name. For an encore, Roth requested Das Racist’s hit “Combination Pizza Hutt and Taco Bell.”

Next, a troupe of dancers took the stage to re-enact the circumstances of Roth’s birth, with numerous dancers representing the Universe, Krishna, Francois Truffaut, and an allegorical piñata meant to represent Roth’s mother, from whom he bursts forth in a shower of grape and watermelon Jolly Ranchers.

Finally, Wesleyan’s theater department performed their rendition of the epic poem prophesying Roth’s ascendancy and rule, written by the mad poet Abdul Alhazred some 1300 years ago. As to be expected, half of the audience was reduced to gibbering madness upon viewing it, but most other students interviewed agreed, “It was pretty okay.”


Ampersand issue 4/23/12

A Message from Dean Whaley


If you’re thirsty for sports- themed drinking but Tour de Franzia is looking dry, try a toast to sports with these inebriating alternatives:

The Olympic Grains: Wearing togas, carry your team’s keg to all twelve checkpoints where your team will perform a site-specific feat. Drunkenly comment on the nature of revelry, wisdom, human conflict, and the divine à la the Symposim. Cars prohibited, scooters permitted.

Johnny Walkathon: Takes place on the outdoor track. A cruel and endless relay in which each team must best a handle of whiskey. At mandatory checkpoint participants must reflect on Christopher Hitchens, who was bested by alcohol. Lame DJ playing “Jock Jamz” mandatory.

Goose Wrestling: Johnny Walkathon with sideshow of vodka and pâté wrestling.

US Open/Winebledon: Each team has to drink a glass of wine when they lose a tennis game. A person is disqualified when they can no longer explain tennis scoring. They can, however, continue to throw tennis balls at players from the sidelines.

Yellowtail Hop: Teams jump between checkpoints. Wine must be carried in a makeshift belly pouch (e.g. fanny pack, duct tape, pilfered baby sling, etc.) Kangaroo costumes encouraged. Round of inebriated kickboxing decides the first-place winner.

Captain Morgan’s Regatta: Pirate-themed midnight sailing race at Lake Pocotopaug.

Election Update: Malter Vows To Increase WSA Accessibility

In an ongoing effort to increase accessibility and transparency, WSA presidential incumbent candidate Zach Malter ’13 has announced plans to sleep in a cot in the Butthole every night this week and release his cell number, blood type, credit card number, JC Penney purchase history, and Westicles password to all students on campus.

“Wes students need to know that they can approach me any time, anywhere,” Malter urged, “no matter where I am or which frosh At-Large biddy I’m trying to get with.”

Butts inhabitants have taken to calling Malter’s cot setup “Malterville” while nearby Bayit residents have mistaken it for a Sukkah, replacing Malter’s laptop, toothbrush, and stapler with assorted fruits and skhakh.

“This is fab,” Malter reported. “I’ve never been this approachable. It gets my motor running.”
Malter claims he has recently obtained a pure nylon transparent women’s top, which his mother mailed him from their family home in Irvington, NY.

“I intend to wear this see-through nylon shirt during Tour de Franzia to let everyone on campus know that the WSA can be transparent and let loose at the same freaking time,” Malter told the Ampersand.

Opponent candidate Arya Alizadeh ’13 questions Malter’s accessibility.

“Our new work is far more accessible than any of our older stuff,” assured Alizadeh, who prepared for the cutthroat campaign by shaving his facial hair and undergoing costly removal surgery on his three Diamanda Galás tattoos. “Our first WSA debate was just noise. Critics called it ‘Firkecore.’”

Williams to Sponsor TDF

Fuck Williams. News broke on Saturday that Williams College, the world’s favorite NESCAC school, will be sponsoring Wesleyan’s own Tour de Franzia. Several legions of Williams’ own “athletes, fratstars, browers (bro-rowers), and dolled-up beazies” will be spending their weekend running purple-and-white ambulances, flooding Wesleyan’s campus with Franzia supply carts, and dousing garbage can fires with liberal doses of douchebaggery.

“Yeah man like anything to confirm William’s status as king of the ’CAC. We’re doing God’s work. We’re saving these Wes kids from themselves,” said Jeremy Yardsworth V (Williams ’13). 
The Overachievers Club, Williams’ equivalent of the WSA, sent a letter to Dean Mike Whaley and Scott Backer asking if they would like Williams’ help during the TDF. North College leaked a copy of their response letter: “Dear Williams, Hell yeeeeeeeeeeeee, please y’all come help. Thanks broskis, Dean Mike ’n Ya Boy Scotto.” 

Come the night of the Tour, you can plan on seeing signs saying, “Thanks for getting Ephed up,” “Don’t Eph yourself into Ephin oblivion quite yet,” and “This year’s Tour de Franzia brought to you by Scott Backer Williams College.” Whether or not Williams’ help is indeed effective, let’s give them a big “Fuck Williams!” welcome. Williams sucks.

Roth Embroiled in TDF Group Drama

This year Michael Roth is sad. Ordinarily he would be looking forward to rocking the Tour De Franzia with a group of close friends. But it looks like this year he’ll have to go it alone.

“Man, this really bites the big one,” complained the University’s president. “I was gonna be in a group with Kari, but now she’s with all her Animal Studies friends. They’re dressing as their favorite animals. Hers is our dog, I think.”

Roth also thought about teaming up with eminent medievalist Gary Shaw, but Shaw said he just wanted to do a group of one. “Gary’s been having a hard year,” said Roth. “I hope he doesn’t drink too much alcohol.”

Head of ResLife Stacy Phelps reminded Shaw that he still had to form a group even if he was in a group of one.

“Maybe I’ll go in with the IT Help Desk,” said Roth. “I’m worried they’re a bunch of lightweights. As long as we’re all sipping out of the same wine bladder, I’ll have a good time.”
Roth added, “I hope Dean Whaley doesn’t catch me. He didn’t have to send that email to my mom. God.”

P-Safe Officers Mistaken for TDF Participants Dressed as P-Safe Officers

CAPS and Public Safety released a joint statement this week asking that students not dress like Psafe officers for the upcoming “Tour de Franzia” event. This plea comes in light of a year-long attempt to rehabilitate four officers who, caught up in chaos of the evening, mistook one another for student-participants wearing cheap cop costumes. 

The four unnamed officers, who had been advised against chasing intoxicated students, reportedly met outside of Exley Science Center and proceeded to harass one another for nearly an hour.  After demanding  WesID cards and trying to tear off each other’s mustaches to no avail, they stood in a circle with their video cameras out and repeatedly shouted, “You think you’re really funny, huh?” and “Where did you even get that uniform?”

Things took a turn for the weird when the officers became convinced of their accusers’ claims that they were, in fact, Wesleyan students. The four grown men sprinted off join to the debauchery, howling “Fuck the Po-lice,” and “You’re not even a real cop!” They were discovered the next morning by RAs and their fellow officers, passed out in Clark Lounge under the ping-pong table. 

In the months since last May, CAPS has been working with the woefully mistaken officers to reestablish their former identities, but the process has been slow-going. The men continue to attend Hewitt pregames and DKE parties and become bewildered when the events disperse upon their arrival. 

An Ampersand Tour Guide

The Tour de France is a bicycle race held each year in and around the country of France. The best known and most prestigious of cycling’s three “Grand Tours,” the Tour de France is the event that brings the sport of cycling to the masses since its inception in 1903.

The race is broken up into stages, with one stage completed each day of the twenty-one day, 3,200km race. While the course varies, the finish line is always located in Paris, which is in France. The New York Times has said that the “Tour de France is arguably the most physiologically demanding of athletic events,” and that is saying something, considering the number of sporting events, which exist!

 The winner is determined by the time taken to complete the course, except you want to have a small time, not a big time. Everyone loves the Tour de France, and it is an emblem of bicycles for people everywhere. But can it last?