The setting is Ohio State University about six or seven years ago in a huge
(approximately 1000 students) for a Calculus final.
Apparently this particular calculus teacher wasn't very well liked. He was one of those
guys who would stand at the front of the class and yell out how much time was remaining before the end of a test, a real charmer. Since
he was so busy gallivanting around the room making sure that nobody cheated and that everyone was aware of how much time they had left before their
failure on the test was complete, he had the students stack the completed tests on the huge podium at the front of the room. This made for quite a
mess, remember there were 1000 students in the class.
During this particular final, one guy entered the test needing a decent grade to pass the class. His only problem with Calculus was that he did
poorly when rushed, and this guy standing in the front of the room barking out how much time was left before the tests had to be handed in didn't help
him at all. He figured he wanted to assure himself of a good grade, so he hardly flinched when the professor said "pencils down and submit your
scantron sheets and work to piles at the front of the room". Five minutes turned into ten, ten into twenty, twenty into forty...almost
an hour after the test was "officially over", our friend finally put down
his pencil, gathered up his work, and headed to the front of the hall to submit his final. The whole time, the professor sat at the front of the
room, strangely waiting for the student to complete his exam.
"What do you think you're doing?" the professor asked as the student stood
in front of him about to put down his exam on one of the neatly stacked piles of exams (the professor had plenty of time to stack the mountain of
papers while he waited) It was clear that the professor had waited only to give the student a hard time.
"Turning in my exam," retorted the student confidently. "I'm afraid I have
some bad news for you," the professor gloated, "Your exam is an hour late.
You've failed it and, consequently, I'll see you next term when you repeat my course."
The student smiled slyly and asked the professor "Do you know who I am?"
"What?" replied the professor gruffly, annoyed that the student showed no
sign of emotion.
The student rephrased the question mockingly, "Do you know what my name is?"
"No", snarled the professor.
The student looked the professor dead in the eyes and said slowly, "I didn't think so", as he lifted up one of the stacks half way, shoved his
test neatly into the center of the stack, let the stack fall burying his test in the middle, turned around, and walked casually out of the huge
And it came to pass,
Early in the morning toward the last day of the semester
There arose a great multitude smiting the books and wailing,
And there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth
For the day of judgment was at hand.
And they were sore afraid for they had left undone
Those things which they ought to have done.
And they had done those things which they ought not to have done
And there was no help for it.
And there were many abiding in the dorm
Who had kept watch over their books by night,
But it availed them naught.
But some were who rose peacefully,
For they had prepared themselves the way
And made straight paths of knowledge.
And these were known as wise burners of the midnight oil.
And to others they were known as "curve-raisers."
And the multitude arose and ate a hearty breakfast.
And they came unto the appointed place
And their hearts were heavy within them.
And they had come to pass, but some to pass out.
And some of them repented of their riotous living
And bemoaned their fate.
But they had not a prayer.
And at the last hour there came among them
One known as the instructor;
And they feared
He passed papers among them and went his way.
And many and varied were the answers that were given,
For some of his teachings had fallen among fertile minds,
While other had fallen flat.
And some they were who wrote for one hour,
Others for two;
But some turned away sorrowfully, and many of these
Offered up a little bull in hope of pacifying the instructor.