Friday, March 8, 2013

Some things change, and some things never seem to change

Students today seem by-and-large to be more conscientious about their studies than my friends and I were back when we were in school.  This is a good thing as success today takes more study and knowledge than it did 40 years ago.  "Hard work" went a lot further then than it does today.  Now "working smart" is more important, IMO, than "working hard".

Yet there will always be a few dunces who are stuck grasping at straws on test day.  The headline in USA Today read "Nineteen buses found with flat tires on test day."  It seems one (or several) students weren't prepared for their tests, so they just sabotaged the school buses.  Flat tires = no students = tests postponed.  Ta Da!

Flashback:  Murdough Hall, Texas Tech University, 1970.  My good friend and I had a big _______ test the next day.  ( I can't remember the subject.)  Typical for us, we had managed to do just about anything/everything except study for that test.  We would rather spend 4 hours planning and executing a clandestine dumpster dive than actually studying for a test.  (I never said we were very bright.)  

Our only chance was an all-nighter.  Things went well for the first hour or so, then we got bogged down arguing the case for Ginger vs Mary Ann or something equally ridiculous.  By about 4 am we realized we were just plain screwed.  Too much to learn, not enough time left to learn it.

Then we remembered the campus newspaper story a couple of weeks earlier about a bomb scare....the building in question was cleared, the students affected sent home.

You see where this is going.

Our plan was hatched:  We would use a pay phone a few blocks off campus and call a bomb threat in to the KK (Kampus Kops). We would put a handkerchief over the mouthpiece of the phone to disguise our voice.  (That's what all the bad guys did on TV.)  Then we would arrive at our building just as it was being evacuated.  Test delayed until Monday.  *back slapping, high-fiving*  Disaster averted.

Except for one little thing.  In my mind Fred (not his real name) would make the actual phone call, while in his mind I would do the deed.  This led to an argument as we stood outside the phone booth because neither of us wanted to spend time in Leavenworth in the event the handkerchief-over-the-mouthpiece trick failed and we were caught.

As things turned out we showed for the test, dutifully bombed it (pardon the pun), yet somehow still passed the course.  Lesson learned:  We were both chicken to the core.

Postscript:  I managed to somehow mature, marry, have a family, and lead a criminal-free life.  "Fred", however, later went over to the dark side.  He became a very high-ranking Republican leader in our state House of Representatives.


Have a great weekend everyone.



  1. Ah, youth. It was high-school where I practiced such things. It seems I was the only person who knew that there were secondary fuser breaker boxes that operated downstream of the main circuit controls....

  2. There were a couple of times in college I'm sure where I would have liked to call in a bomb threat or something to get class postponed. But really if you had gone through with it, you'd still have probably bombed the tests.

    BTW, I was at the doctor's office on Wednesday and a pharmaceutical rep was saying that prescription costs keep going up because America is the only country developing drugs. This seems like a crock of bull to me.

  3. Wonderful story...I thought you would be too smart (honest) to pull it off. I am dissapointed in a future Republican leader though. I would have expected he would call it in, "There is going to be a bomb today, so you better call off the test in ______!"


  4. The closest I ever came was wishing that my professor would fall on the ice on campus & cancel class. And then she fell on the ice, broke her ankle, & canceled class. I was so stunned & mortified that I never wished such a thing again! So sorry Mrs. Chapman!!

  5. I always studied a lot before tests and still dreaded them. I always thought it would be best to just get the test behind me; a bomb threat or flat tires would just prolong the pain and anxiety.

    My youngest son, on the other hand, goes to class... "Oh, we have an important test today?" ... finishes 45 minutes ahead of everyone else and gets an A. I really hate him.