For me, it often happened on 3 fronts: my students (which was usually the case), the administrators (no surprise there), and, often, my colleagues (especially the silverbacks waiting for retirement--thinking was "work" and they wanted to get used to life without it).
3 fire alarms in 3 class days is enough already. Stupid administrators need to look at the cameras that point at the fire pulls, and expel the idiots who keep doing it!
Bomb threats seem to be in vogue this "spring" on my campus. Or maybe the first one just gave just one other idiot the idea, and now we're done. I hope so. Hey, at least none of our students are manufacturing ricin in their dorms. Of course, that takes some brains and initiative (if not good judgment and/or mental health).
There's actually a link on the ricin story. We (well, at least my aging eyes) need a bit more contrast in the link color, Ben.
It worries me, too. I estimate that fewer than 1 in 100 of my general-ed students can do math at 8th-grade level, or write at 9th-grade level. The really scary ones are the engineers. I'd estimate that fewer than 5-10% have the makings of a good engineer, with more than half of them unable to do even the simplest problems in elementary calculus, and certainly unable to do anything practical such as build anything. This is dangerous.
That's because just about anybody who wants to study engineering gets accepted. And you know why, don't you? It's because there's a shortage of *engineers*.On top of that, many engineering profs nowadays don't even have to have any actual engineering experience in order to teach it. Imagine someone teaching electrical engineering who didn't know how to, say, use a wire stripper.It's quite a change from when I was an undergrad 40 years ago. Most of my profs had either spent time in industry or were closely associated with it.
I was worried 25 years ago when I scored in the 80th percentile on the math portion of the GRE. I'm not incompetent at math, and I realize that the math on the GRE isn't tremendously advanced, but it seemed to me that, given the number of scientists and social scientists taking the test, the percentile for an aspiring English Ph.D. should have been lower, even if the score itself was respectable. Maybe I should have taken the hint and gone into engineering. I kinda like making things (but I really like making written things -- hence the English Ph.D.)
The math part of the GRE tests for capabilities such as logical thinking and recognizing patterns and structures, though it is in a mathematical context.