When I attend a dinner or a musical concert at my school, I'm always unpleasantly surprised by the initial speeches. For some reason I can never remember that every event starts with 20 minutes of a Chinese speech with a mumbled English translation.
I also forget that student presentations are going to include unintended comedy. It might be awkward comedy, but it will still be hilarious.
For instance, yesterday a student made sure to include in a list of John Nash's life accomplishments, "the birth of his bastard." And today a student expressed amazement that Edmund Phelps "does not own a car despite of these accomplishments [sic]."
What's been most-surprising to me in this round of student presentations has been the lack of antisemitism. So far in my time here every batch of presentations has been good for one casual mention of a Jewish economist's Jewishness in a "warts and all" kind of way. Maybe my continual reminder that this is inappropriate is bearing fruit. But we still have four more presentations to go tomorrow. It's too early to tell for sure.