By Peter Wood
Anyone who has visited an RPI-themed Facebook group has surely seen the innumerable surveys posted by countless frantic IED students scrambling to do market research. Tired of this spam, I decided to (with a little help from my roommate) react in the only logical way: by making my own survey. Since we posted it on the first day of finals, over two hundred stressed-out people desperately scrounging for any shred of levity they could find took it. Here is a detailed breakdown of each question we asked and the responses we got.
Question one: “What is your major?”
This one was multiple choice, with multiple answers allowed. The options given were “Political Science”, “Gender Studies”, and “Other”. The overwhelming majority chose “other”, undoubtedly not yet realizing the true nature of the survey; however, Gender Studies is apparently twice as popular as Political Science, and 31 people have multiple majors.
Question two: “Gender?”
A simple yes-or-no question. The split was 70-30, favoring “Yes”. This is surprisingly close to the ratio of male to female students.
Question three: “On a scale of 1 to 5, with 10 being the lowest and 3 being the highest, how threatened do you feel by the squirrels on campus?”
Respondents were given a slider with its extremes at 1 (labeled “No Squirrels”) and 7 (labeled “Lots of Squirrels”).
Question four: “Why are Thursdays better than Tuesdays?”
The first of several free-response questions. Nine people said “Yes”; three said “No”. Many people also said “they aren’t” or some variation of “they are closer to the weekend” or something about “thirsty Thursdays” and the related increase in potential alcohol consumption. A surprising number of people mentioned the presence of the letter “h” in “Thursday” making it better, or the Norse god Thor who is Thursday’s namesake.
Other highlights include:
|Thursdays have a markedly lower saturated fat content.|
|Thursdays are the fith dai; Tuesdays are thirb; 3>5; small number is better rank|
|Behead those who believe in the existence of Tuesdays|
|I have massive, throbbing erectile dysfunction|
|Are you making me do your math homework for you?|
|mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell|
|Cause my girlfriend cheated on me with her ex-boyfriend on a Tuesday. That Thursday I got our DC trip refunded!|
Question five: “What is your favorite color?”
Participants were given a scale of one to five with which to answer this question. 1 through 3 had around 15% of the vote each, 4 had about a quarter, and 5 had about 30%.
Question six: “How frequently do you respond to surveys in RPI facebook groups?”
Question seven: “What is your favorite question?”
Approximately a fifth of all answers to this were some variant of “This one” or just repeated the question itself. Several highlights from this question have been compiled below alongside the highlights from a follow-up question.
Question eight: “Which of these fonts seem most appealing?”
Participants were shown the words “Sample Text” four times in the same font. Unfortunately, due to the way Google Forms handles answers with the same text, every answer to this question was counted for all four options and so I can’t say anything humorous about it.
Question nine: “What are your favorite and least favorite internal organs, respectively?”
A free-response question. Appendix was popular for least-favorite, and brain was favorite for both favorite and least-favorite. A surprising number of people listed various kinds of genitalia, most of which are not actually internal (or, in some cases, not even organs). One person posted a large, dialogue-heavy excerpt of narrative prose, that as far as I can tell originates from a comment on Reddit one month ago that only got three upvotes, and one person apparently thinks “nose piercings” is an organ.
Other highlights include:
|3.141592653589793238462643383, the color blue|
|Favorite: lungs. Least favorite: snow|
|In all due respect, my least favorite internal organ would have to be the one they play at baseball stadiums, as I feel it really should be an external organ, and it doesn’t play very many tunes. My favorite internal organ is the kidney stone, which can be found in St. Peter’s Basilica.|
|right kidney, left kidney|
|I don’t play favorites with my children|
|Egg sac, vas deferens|
|What are your favorite and least favorite internal organs, respectively?|
|Left kidney, right kidney|
|are toes internal organs? if so i love them the most, if not my appendix is my fav. i hate my liver though, its too effective at its job.|
|the thing that makes you live and the thing that hinders life|
Question ten: “What is the answer to your favorite question?”
Another free-response question. The answers continued the trend of self-reference started in question seven. One person put 384 question marks followed by a slash; another person put about a thousand words of War and Peace.
Other highlights include:
|How do we fire shirley||you know ;)||No, actually, we don’t. Also, S&W does not endorse firing our Honorable Doctor President Empress (long may She reign).|
|Squierrelllss||Dwiorttr;;;dd||Presumably a reference to question three.|
|Has anyone been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?||Yes, but last time I did, I forgot to wipe||I could have sworn that was a dead meme.|
|Are potatoes sentient?||yes, but they’ll never let you know it|
|How old were you when||Vermont Maple Syrup|
|Okay but bees the size of cats?||Yes.||I have confirmation that the person who answered this lives on my floor.|
|Is your gpa above the specified criteria?||None of your beeswax.|
|“Why are you crying? Please answer to the best of your abilities.”||A fly flew into my eye.|
|do ur parents know ur gay||yes|
|What is your favorite question?||What is your favorite question? (Calls recursively)|
|The normal one||a setting on the dryer. I think its the one made for bulky delicates (both, not either), but you can only use it for the fluffy dead-leaf-auburn satin dress (really more of a dog-that-just-ate-a-whole-pound-of-butter-and-now-has-diarrhea beige) with a horse pattie trim (actual horse patties, not the colour) when you spill blueberry flavoured ketchup on yourself||I don’t know what kind of questions this person thinks are normal, and I’m also not sure if I want to know.|
|If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?||An aspen because of the way it is|
|What do you like to do during your free time?||Curl up in a ball and potato|
Question eleven: “If 1 mol of spheres each with radius of 3 kg are thrown off a 2-minute-high cliff, with an initial velocity of -34 amperes at an angle of 45 radians above the vertical, and air resistance is a thing that exists, how many of the spheres will hit the ground in a finite amount of time? Assume standard temperature and pressure.”
Question twelve: “How many times have you taken this survey?”
This question was also multiple choice. The options were “Less than 1”, each integer from 1 to 7, 8-36, 37-64, 64-255, and “ERROR: Integer Overflow”. “Less than 1” was the most popular at about 40%, with “64-255” at around 30% and “Integer Overflow” at around 20%”.
These two respondents had such interesting answers across all the free response questions that I have to just highlight all of their answers.
|Why are Thursdays better than Tuesdays?||What is your favorite question?||What are your favorite and least favorite internal organs, respectively?||What is the answer to your favorite question?|
|do you think you’re funny?||screw off you’re wasting my time and nobody thinks you’re quirky or cute||any of your internal organs are usebess because they’re working in unison to operate garbage.||screw off|