Taking Your Grade Up A J-Peg

| Learning | May 2, 2017

(Part of the Spanish finals in my school is an oral exam at the end of the year. While most of it is actually pretty easy, the last part of the exam is universally feared by all students. Each session of his class the teacher has given us a short presentation about something significant in the Spanish speaking world, like a political or historical figure, a place, regional holiday or event. In the exam he then shows every student 15 random pictures out of those presentations which the student then has to recall and name. Because it’s almost impossible to know all of the 300+ pictures and you have to get 99 or 100% to get an ‘A’, virtually nobody gets one.)

Teacher: “Okay, that went great so far. Now for the final part of this exam. Please correctly name the pictures which I’ll project onto the wall. Ready?”

(He proceeds to project a picture onto the wall from his computer:)

Me: “This is… La-Lonja-De-La-Seda-Sevilla.jpg”

Teacher: “Correc… Wait, what did you say?”

Me: “La-Lonja-De-La-Seda-Sevilla.jpg. You can see the answer in the file name in the title bar of the picture…”

Teacher: “S***! I never thought of that! Well, I’m not exactly tech-savvy. Do you know, if you can rename files on a CD?”

Me: “I’m afraid not. That only works with rewritable CDs and you probably didn’t use one…”

Teacher: “No, I don’t think so… s***!” *I can clearly see how he’s starting to panic*

Me: “May I? I’ve got two ideas here.”

(I go to the computer and show him both, either copying the files to the desktop and renaming them there or how he can make a paused full-screen slideshow which not only will cover the file name but also randomly shuffle the pictures. He seems extremely relieved.)

Teacher: “Wow, thank you so much! I would never have thought of that!” *looking at his watch* “But we’re also out of time now. You know what? I don’t see why I should punish you for your honesty and help. You could’ve just read out the file names and I wouldn’t even have noticed. If you promise me you won’t tell anybody of what happened, I’ll mark down that you got 15 out of 15 correct. Agreed?”

(And that’s the story why I’m the only student with an ‘A’ in this oral Spanish exam in over five years.)

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