Fresh Perspective

On Friday, my professor asked everyone in the class to wear a red shirt the following Monday. We were learning colors. But my parents took me to the playground on Saturday and the petting zoo on Sunday, so when Monday came around I had completely forgotten my professor’s instruction—I wore a blue shirt. But, hey, red shirt or not, I still showed up to class, so I was still entitled to a decent grade.

She gave me a B+.

The next day we made macaroni art. The professor told us we had to be sure to let the glue dry for thirty minutes or the macaroni wouldn’t stick. But what does she know? Is she a glue expert? I crafted a wonderful macaroni stick-figure on my construction paper, let it dry for a couple of minutes, then hung it on the wall.

Within an hour every piece of pasta had fallen from the paper and cemented firmly to the carpet below.

“Did you wait thirty minutes?” my professor asked.

“No. But I tried my best. I still deserve a proper grade.”

She gave me a B+.

For our final exam, we were tested on the whole alphabet as well as numbers up to ten. Too easy, I thought. I’ve known the alphabet for nearly six months now! She gave us a study-guide to fill out over the weekend, but I never looked at it. I would have—but my buddies came over to play in the sandbox, and we played with way too much sand.

I felt lousy on Monday morning, but I went to the exam anyway, expecting it to be easy.

First question: “What number follows ten?”

Are you kidding me?

“Excuse me, professor, but we were told we’d only be tested on numbers one through ten,” I asserted.

“I added more numbers to the study-guide, didn’t you see them?” she replied, much more calmly than I.

I looked at her with disgust, then back at my exam. Half of the questions were on numbers I’d never learned. Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen. I scribbled beneath the questions, and left odd markings that were neither numbers nor letters, all the while abhorring the professor. How dare she put me in this position? I’m paying plenty of money to be here, and she’s setting me up for failure!

After the exam I confronted her. “I haven’t missed a class all year,” I protested. “Sure, occasionally my nap-time runs a bit long, and I pick my nose too much, but I deserve at least a B in the course.”

Fortunately, she realized how irrationally she’d been acting. She looked at the mess of incorrect answers on my exam, and gave me half-credit for each.

My final grade, rightfully deserved: B+.

-William Jacob

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