This story is about Marshall, a high school student with a remarkable memory, who finds himself facing off against a challenging teacher. She presents Marshall with an epic challenge: earn extra credit by memorizing lines from a poem. What follows is Marshall’s clever and audacious attempt to turn the tables and secure a passing grade.
A Teacher’s Biased Grading
Back in high school, Marshall had an AP English teacher with a strong grading bias.
If she adored a book that the class had to read and you didn’t share the same sentiment, your report would suffer in terms of grades.
He Loved Reading, but Not Her Selections
Now, Marshall was an avid reader, having even cleaned out his school library back in 3rd grade. But, unfortunately, he wasn’t exactly fond of the literary selections made by this particular teacher.
This teacher also believed that her class was the most important in students’ lives.
As a result, the workload was nothing short of overwhelming.
She Gave a Speech
Just before the final exam was about to take place, she gathered the class and delivered a speech.
A Shocking 60% Semester Grade
She announced that she would be weighting their semester grade with a whopping 60% given to the final exam!
She justified it as “preparing them” for college.
Extra Credit Opportunity
However, in light of the heavier weight, she offered an opportunity for extra credit.
For every four lines of the epic poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” that students could memorize and write verbatim on the back of the test, they would receive 1 point of extra credit!
Marshall’s Remarkable Memory
Given his challenging year due to the teacher’s grading style, Marshall found himself holding a B in the class at that time. But now, this was his moment to shine.
A Flashback to Freshman Year
He had a remarkable memory and could recall a time as a freshman when he learned all the lines for the lead role in Neil Simon’s play “Rumors” just two hours before opening night, filling in for the actor who dropped out.
A Flawless Understudy
Marshall flawlessly performed the role for three nights without dropping a single line.
Tailor-Made for Success
So, this opportunity to earn extra credit seemed tailor-made for him, and he wasn’t about to let it slip away.
The Speedy Memorization
As soon as he got home, he looked up the epic poem, which spanned well over 400 lines, and he got to work.
The Test-Day Triumph
Finally, the day of the final exam arrived. Marshall sat down confidently in his seat, eagerly awaiting his test.
The class received a hefty 15-page final with 3.5 hours to complete it.
Straight to the Back
He wasted no time and promptly flipped the test over to the back. In just eight minutes, he feverishly wrote out 400 straight lines from the epic poem verbatim.
The Real Exam Just the Dessert of Victory
With that step completed, he decided to take a look at the questions the teacher intended for them to answer.
Filling in the Blanks
The exam consisted of multiple-choice, essay, and fill-in-the-blank questions.
Marshall spent a few minutes filling in the blanks he knew, making educated guesses for the multiple-choice questions he wasn’t sure about, and outright ignoring the biased essay prompts.
Defiance and Confidence
Now came the fun part. After a mere 15 minutes into the 3.5-hour final, Marshall confidently walked up to the teacher’s desk.
He placed the test on her desk and cheerfully said, “Have a great summer.”
The Teacher’s Frustration
The teacher responded, “Very funny. It’s a 3.5-hour final. Sit down and finish your test.” Marshall wasn’t about to back down.
He Pushed Back
He firmly stated, “No! I’m finished, and I got over 100%.”
She Pointed Out the Missing Answers
The teacher demanded, “Let me see your paper!” As she scrutinized his test, she noticed the empty essays and unanswered fill-in-the-blank questions.
Growing more annoyed, she exclaimed, “You haven’t answered half of these! It’s a 3.5-hour final! Sit down and finish your test!”
A Brave Stand
But Marshall wasn’t going to take no for an answer. He defiantly said, “No! I’m finished, and I got over 100%!” By this point, the teacher was visibly upset, her face turning red and her grip on the paper tightening.
With a burning glare, she interrogated Marshall, “How do you think you have over 100% when you haven’t completed half of the test?”
Marshall’s Calculated Claim
Wearing a big smile, Marshall confidently replied, “Look at the back.
You said for every four lines of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner we memorized and wrote on the back, we would get 1 point of extra credit.
You will notice I have written 400 lines from the poem. By my math, that equals 100% of extra credit. Anything I answered in this nonsense is gravy. So, I got over 100%!”
The Teacher’s Rage
At that moment, the teacher’s face turned beet red, her knuckles white as she clutched the paper, and she stared at Marshall with pure hatred in her eyes.
“Have a Great Summer!”
Unfazed, Marshall casually bid her farewell, saying, “Have a great summer!” As he walked out, he couldn’t help but feel like he had just knocked out Mike Tyson with a single blow.
The Unbelievable Outcome
In the end, Marshall not only achieved an A in the class but also received a final grade of 145%, smashing the maximum score of 100%! What a crazy outcome!
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dragon Images. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
This post is based on Reddit but the names have been changed.