Stupidity Is Esca-latin

, , , , , , , | Learning | May 1, 2019

This story is from the 1990s, back when I was at university. Certain exams went like this: there would be a few people at a time in a professor’s study, each would draw a ticket from a tray and had to speak about whatever was on the ticket. One person would be speaking, while the others jotted down notes on their own topics, organized their thoughts, or otherwise prepared for their turn.

This particular exam was in general linguistics and was taught by a guy everyone feared, because it was common knowledge he failed people for the tiniest mistakes, took his subject extremely seriously, and expected the same from everyone else. He was also a bit of a giant, physically; he was very tall and bulky, had a permanent stony expression, and spoke with the coldest voice all the time, and was generally quite intimidating.

In his exam, each ticket also contained a couple of languages we were supposed to say a few words about. I was in the study, busy writing down notes on whatever I drew from the tray and waiting my turn, while a girl started speaking about the first language in her ticket, which happened to be Latin.

“So, Latin… Well, obviously it is spoken in Latin America…”

The professor went bright red, leaned over the desk, and basically — the huge mountain of a man that he is — loomed over her like he was going to drop on her and squash her at any moment. Or explode. I mean, I could see him literally shaking as he yelled, “What?!”

She wasn’t even allowed to start on her topics; he ordered her to leave immediately and wouldn’t hear another word from her. He calmed down a bit after she left, and to be honest, he was completely fair with the rest of us that day, and I passed with top marks. The story about the girl with “Latin in Latin America” is now told as part of the local academic “dumbest things students have said” folklore, and some people think it’s made up until I mention that I actually witnessed it.

1 Thumbs
474