On the Lighter Side
I've Learned at College Reading and Learning Association Conferences
By Gene Kerstiens
Like itinerant alley crap games, CRLA conferences are mobile, moving from site
to site every year. Loyally frequenting these gatherings, I seem to have
forgotten profound thoughts and theories voiced during scheduled sessions but
have managed to overhear spontaneous remarks that are somehow memorable. (My
otologist tells me I have peripheral hearing.) I call these utterances "slip
talk." They are somewhat more than slips of the tongue. Rather, they are
oxymoronic slips of the brain that nevertheless make the point intended. Here
are a few.
Heard from an exasperated participant retiring from a San Francisco keynote
address: "If Maria Montessori were alive today, she'd turn
over in her grave!"
Remark whispered during a dull session in Portland: "…so we gave the student an
IQ test, and the results were negative."
An exuberant Oakland Conference participant exiting the Museum of Modern Art:
"When I get home, I'm going to have a bust made of my daughter's head!"
Tempe: "We're thinking about networking our computers, but we'll jump off that
bridge when we get to it!"
San Diego, where the conference site was on the beach: "We have the nicest
little cabana; the sea comes right up to the shore!"
Sacramento: "I consider every student as unique, just like everyone else!"
Tucson: "The hospitality suite was crowded last night. Everybody in the room was
Hawaii: A participant upon having viewed Wailua Canyon: "Why, it was so deep it
took two of us to see the bottom!"
San Diego Zoo: a wife reproaching her husband who had teased an ape: "Of course
he's angry; it's only human nature!"
Sacramento: "I just want to live long enough to hear what people say about me
when I'm dead."
Reno: "I don't want to go to that restaurant because it's always crowded. That's
why nobody goes there."
Seattle: "Half of this test-taking game is ninety percent mental."
Seattle: "We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply don't enroll certain
types of students."
Albuquerque: "Our coach is going to turn this team around 360 degrees."
Questions or comments? Discuss this
article with the author or with other readers by
Have a funny to share? Email it to