For those who think outside the box – this one’s for you

A friend sent this to me and, after I had quit laughing (although I had seen it before), I pondered a bit. It brought back a couple of memories. Enjoy this student’s answers (again, if you’ve already seen it), before going on to revel in my deathless prose, won’t you?


I would have given him 100%!  Each answer is grammatically correct, correct as far as the question is posed, and witty, too. The teacher obviously had no sense of humor.

Q1.. In which battle did Napoleon die?* his last battle

Q2.. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?* at the bottom of the page

Q3.. River Ravi flows in which state?* liquid

Q4.. What is the main reason for divorce?* marriage

Q5.. What is the main reason for failure?* exams

Q6.. What can you never eat for breakfast?* Lunch & dinner

Q7.. What looks like half an apple?* The other half

Q8.. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what it will become?* Wet

Q9.. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ?* No problem, he sleeps at night.

Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand?*   You will never find an elephant that has one hand.

Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have?* Very large hands

Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it?*No time at all, the wall is already built.

Q13. How can u drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it?
*Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.

And for these answers, he got a 0%?

I love this guy. The teacher must have resented someone who could think outside the box – a talent that would serve him FAR better in his future life than knowing the technically correct answers to those questions.

Of course, the student never existed. This has been going around for years. It’s right up there with my other favorite, Philosophy 101. Do you know that one?

I’ll relate it just in case you don’t – or even if you do.

The time comes for the final exam in Philosophy 101. The teacher strides in, approaches the blackboard, and writes one word: “Why?” He turns to the students and says “You may begin.”

Two students scribble something swiftly, and leave the room. The rest sweat it out, filling their exam books for the required 2 hours.

When they go to find their grades a few days later, only two students passed – one got an A, the other a B+. They happened to be the two students who had left minutes into the exam.

The “A” answer was: “Why not?”

The “B+” answer was: “Because.”

Now, apocryphal as this story was, it illustrates a teacher who wants students to “get it”, and who rewards those who do.

This reminds me of the time I was the only one to get an “A” on a semi-final geometry test in 9th grade. The teacher wrote on the board: “Prove that 1 + 1 = 2.”
I sat looking at the question, stumped, while others around me started drawing diagrams and writing what would become 17-page proofs. I know that a few of these people went on to MIT and such, btw. But I was stumped because, NOT being a math person, I couldn’t figure out how you could PROVE that 1 + 1 = 2. In the geometry book we had received at the start of the year, strewn amongst the pages would be the occasional red-highlighted box. In these boxes would be something called a “given”. These “givens” were supposed to help us with our calculations, rather like “freebies”, because as they were “given” to us, we didn’t have to PROVE them. Now, I vividly remembered that in the very first “given” box, in Chapter One, was the information that “1 + 1 = 2.” So, not only could we NOT prove it, we weren’t EXPECTED to. I had thought it silly at the time, because everyone KNOWS that 1 + 1 = 2, but it was possibly going to come in handy now.

I pondered a bit more upon this, and then – because there was no way I was going to be able to turn out a 17-page proof ANYWAY, I might as well go for broke – just wrote “Cannot be proved, and we are not expected to. It’s a ‘given’.” Ten minutes into the exam, with fear and trepidation, I approached the adored Mrs. Meisner (my favorite teacher), and handed her my almost empty blue exam book. She looked VERY surprised, but said if I was sure I was done, I could have the rest of the class off and go to the library. Not study hall, but the LIBRARY! Bliss.

It turns out she was trying to teach her students to think, to remember, and to look at the big picture. She was stunned that her darling little mathlings-in-training were all sitting there trying to PROVE that 1 + 1 = 2, whereas her stumbling but game student – me – took only 10 minutes to “get it.” And she proceeded to explain that to the entire class as she passed out our graded exams. All but mine were graded with a big fat “F”. I got the only “A”, and was a hit at the nerd lunch table for the whole rest of 9th grade.

Aside from my obvious mathematical prowess (ahem!), this just shows you the difference between those teachers, doesn’t it? The one who counted a student down for being clever (and absolutely accurate to boot, considering the phrasing of the questions), versus the two teachers who genuinely wanted their students to THINK.

This reminds me of George Carlin’s bit “Don’t get smart with me!” But, that’s another story, and with luck you all remember it anyway. That’s “anyway” folks – NOT “anyways”!!! Sheesh, I loathe “anyways.” It’s almost as bad as “I want to loose some weight.” Even SPELLCHECK catches that one, people! Oh, don’t get me started.



About merseamersea

setter of cryptic crosswords, designer of jewelry, paper and card maker, editor, quilter, embroiderer, cook, avid mystery reader and occasional writer. Find me on Facebook as Maggie-beth Rees Rasor.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s