A New Reformation Appreciation

| Learning | February 4, 2014

(My history teacher has always been known for his unorthodox teaching methods. Lately, we have been studying the corruption in the Catholic Church that led to the Reformation.)

Teacher: “Hey, guys! Before we get started I’d just like to tell you that the vice principal will be coming in later to share some information on a new fundraiser.”

(He then continues to run the class normally.)

Teacher: “Okay, class. Pop quiz!”

(He quickly hands out sheets of paper. I realize quickly that I have never even heard of the majority of the terms, which refer to dates and other specifics of the Reformation, and conclude that I must have been absent when the information was taught. However, another student quickly stands up.)

Student #1: “Excuse me, [Teacher], but I was absent when you taught this.”

Teacher: “No, you weren’t. In fact, the entire class was there! You must not have been paying attention.”

Student #1: “But—”

Teacher: “Sit down.”

(We finish the quiz and grade it, everyone failing horribly.)

Teacher: “Wow, you guys did horrible! Too bad it’s 50 percent of your grade.”

(Everyone freaks out, although I start to grow suspicious. The vice principal turns up as had been announced.)

Teacher: “Ah, [Vice Principal]! Thank you for joining us!”

Vice Principal: “Thank you, [Teacher]. Due to the recent levy being rejected, our school has been massively under-budgeted. Therefore, in order to allow our school to remain open we have introduced a new fundraiser to our school. Basically, for every dollar you donate, your grade point average will go up by one point in a class. Those who wish to donate may leave IOUs in place of cash.”

(The entire class rushes to their feet to donate, filling out IOUs as fast as possible. I remain in my seat, having a feeling I know where this is going. One student especially sticks out as he rushes forward desperately.)

Student #2: *pulls out $100 in cash and gives it to the vice principal* “Will this be enough?”

(My teacher bursts out laughing.)

Teacher: “Well, this was fun. Now we know why it would be so tempting to try to use bribes to get yourselves into heaven, which is, in part, what began the corruption that lead to the Reformation. Thanks, [Student #2], for illustrating that for us.”

Student #2: “Ooh! That makes a lot more sense!”

(It turns out the teacher had staged the whole thing. Even now, years later, he’s still my favorite teacher.)

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