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jseligmann eNotes educator| Certified Educator

So there's this famous, apocryphal story that makes the rounds of almost all colleges at one time or another. Here it is:

It was time for Professor _____'s big Philoshophy final. All of his students had crammed for weeks for the notoriously difficult exam. The test was reportedly devised to challenge all students on everything covered in the class for the last two semesters. As he was a very hard grader through the entire course, this last exam from Professor _____ was expected to be almost impossible to attain a grade higher than a C on.

Well, the day of the comprehensive final examination arrived as expected and feared, and the tests and answer booklets were distributed upon all 184 desks in the oak-paneled, gothic-arched lecture hall. The students nervously opened there test booklets, and, to their dismay and consternation, there, in the middle of an otherwise blank, white piece of paper, was the single question on the exam:




Three days later, the students received their grades. True to form, most students received grades ranging from F to C+. But to everyone's shock and amazement and awe, one student received an A+. That student, a shy little waif who usually sat way in the back of lecture hall, gave the answer that had gotten her the A+; she had simply written: why not