I say all this so you can fully appreciate my predicament when one of my students wrote me this note on an assignment:
Thanks for such a great year of chem. This has been by far my favorite class this year and I feel like its made me really BOND with my classmates. The ENERGY in the class was off the charts even though there was no NEGATIVITY involved. Your STABILITY was much needed among us RADICALS. My QUALMS about chemistry ARGON now, and to my doubts I say BARIUM. My friend Cal said he hated chemistry, but I took your powerpoints and I left CALCIUM and now he loves chemistry.
I was laughing (on the inside - I was proctoring an exam at the time) when I read the first couple of lines, but my heart started racing after that.
Argon? What is this student trying to say?
Barium? What? That's a chemical. Nothing more.
I think I was prouder than a student earning an A in chemistry when I finally decoded all the puns.
To compensate for my punning inadequacies, I find excuses as to why I don't understand the puns. My favorite reason? I heard once that puns are the lowest level of humor. I must be too smart to get them.*
*Apologies to any of you punsters out there, including my handsome, funny, and smart husband.