You Do The Hokey-Pokey And You Score An A

, , , , , , | Learning | November 26, 2018

I failed my first psychology course and was determined not to let it happen again. My professor in the next course was very conceited, and annoyingly so. He bragged about being a veteran, and said that his last name translated to “war” in another language, so naturally he was one of the best soldiers. He bragged about his doctorate degree and how smart he was, and said that we had better pay attention and learn from him and his accomplishments. He bragged about how tough his courses were and the fact that many of us would fail. Basically, he was an a**hole all around.

I attended every class, I paid attention, I took notes, I did all the homework, and I studied for the tests. There would be three tests throughout the semester making up most of the grade. He handed out blue books, gave us five questions, and told us to answer any three questions, as long as the answers were in paragraph form and at least three pages each. I tend to write small and close together, so I filled in as much as I could in my normal writing with as much information as I could remember on the subject, but I couldn’t fill all of the pages. My first test came back as a 67%. This was not good if I wanted to pass the class with a decent grade.

While taking my second test, I saw the professor grading another class’s test books. He would open the book, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, flip, close the book, and write a grade on it. It couldn’t have been more than ten seconds per test. After writing as much information as I could about the questions in bigger, spaced-out writing, I still fell short on my page requirements. I finished my pages talking about how I was noticing him grade tests, and how I was going to fill in the space with words that didn’t have anything to do with the subject material just to see if he noticed. When I got my second test back, it was 100%. Success!

For the third and final test, I wrote as much information as I could in big, spaced-out writing, then finished my pages with the lyrics to the “Hokey Pokey” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” with some psychology terms sprinkled in. “You put your cerebral cortex in, you take your frontal lobe out, you put your parietal lobe in, and you shake it all about…” My grade? 100%

And that’s the story on how I aced a class by writing song lyrics on the tests. I like to call it a psychology experiment.

Unrelated, but six years later, I learned that my coworker also had him as a professor, hated him equally as a professor, but later married his son and said he was a fantastic father-in-law.

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