Have Recourse To Use The Resource

, , , , | Learning | October 5, 2017

(It’s finals week, and we’re English majors in a 200 level class.)

Professor: “You may bring any notes or texts you wish for the final; it’s open book. I’m not here to make you memorize random facts. I’m trying to teach you how to find the answers you’re looking for. Anything in the room is fair game.”

Classmate: “Can we use the Internet?”

Professor: “That would not be in the room, so no. Review your texts, take notes, and feel free to help each other out. Anything in the room can be used. See you tomorrow for the test.”

(I go home and do a quick review, tabbing a few pertinent facts in my book, and come to take the test the next day. Most of the test is fairly simple, or at least easy to look up with over 20 people working together. Then, we hit a snag.)

Classmate #1: “Anyone got 23, yet?”

(There is a chorus of “No,” after which we all start searching for the answer, with no luck.)

Me: *after a good five minutes, and realizing that we won’t have time to finish if this goes on much longer* “Hey, [Professor]?”

Professor: “Yes?”

Me: “You said we could use any resources in the room, right?”

Professor: “I did.”

Me: *screwing up my courage* “Well, you’re in the room. So, what’s the answer to number 23?”

(The whole room falls silent, with everyone staring at me while I blush and fight to maintain composure. The teacher blinks a few times, as if she had never considered that possibility, and then looks down at the book in her lap, turning the pages. I figure she’s not going to answer, and go back to hunting through the text.)

Professor: *after a minute* “Page 143.”

(I immediately flip to said page and start skimming; the answer is in the second paragraph, barely mentioned and without a single other reference in the entire book. You’d have to go page-by-page to find it, if you didn’t already know where it was.)

Me: “Thanks, [Professor].”

Professor: “Don’t make a habit of it. I’m administering the test, not taking with you.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. Thank you.” *to the class* “Twenty-three is .”

(We all passed, and yes, we got number 23 correct. The professor now specifies that she and her TAs are not testing resources.)

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