Tuesday, April 11, 2006

At the Top of My Class

When I first started College, I thought that I wanted to be an Electrical Engineer. Mind you, I really didn't know what exactly an EE did, but thought that it sounded like a good occupation.

The first series of courses I had to take involved much math and computer science. Now I come from a small town. Really small. My graduating class was the largest EVER from my high school, 44 kids. That being said, computers were something that we knew about and how to type on, but gadfry... I graduated before hard drives were even in computers. We used to have to put in a boot disk and turn the thing on. A lot of you remember this, so stop laughing.

Anyway, I really had no idea about any type of computer programming language, or how to do it when I got thrown into CS170. CS170 was programming in Turbo Pascal, the forerunner to C++, and such. I met a guy in the class, and he helped me through that class and then we kept at it for the next 2 in the series. We turned into pretty good friends, but I digress. The short of it all was that it was a 5 credit class and I ended up getting a C.

Fast forward a few years, and one change in college Majors, and I'm a senior, with a fairly good looking transcript, but there was that damn 5 credit C, bringing the whole thing down a few notches. I was needing a few more credits to make my last quarter worth while, so I decided to retake the class. As I've already mentioned, I had taken the next 2 classes in the series that had built upon the foundations laid in this class. Fact is, I'd forgotten more than the rest of the class was going to learn! I knew I was going to be able to ace it and minimize the impact it was having.

The class was in a large auditorium, and there were about 200 students in the class. Being a senior, I was concentrating more on screwing around at night than sleeping, so everday I'd see what the professor was going to teach, giving me the refresher course I needed, then as he'd dim the lights to use the overhead projector, I'd slouch a bit in my stadium seat, and invariably doze off. I did this every day, and I really hope I didn't start snoring or something, but the prof never said anything, so I guess I wasn't too distracting.

I told you that story, to tell you this one. Every day, the same young lady would sit directly behind me in the auditorium. I actually knew who she was, even though we'd never even said boo to one another. Fact is, I knew her younger sister, and her younger sis wanted me to ask the elder out down there! But I digress...

Every day, her contempt for me grew and grew. Everytime I'd doze off, it fueled her fire more and more, until finally, the day of the first exam arrived. Mind you, I'd never done anything more than smile and nod hello to her every morning, but on that day she returned my nod with a smirk and a look in her eyes that I had no trouble interpreting--"Today is when you get yours pal!"

I took the exam (got 100% BTW) and then went on with my daily routine for the rest of the quarter. I must admit, I did screw up on one of the tests. I blew it, and I'll freely admit it. I forgot a semi-colon or something and got a 98 instead of 100 on that one. That killed my average. Shameful, but there we are.

Each test day, she'd give me that look, and each test day, I'd ace the test, but she had no idea about that, nor that I was holding a Royal Flush for the quarter, until one fateful day. That day was when there was about 2 weeks left in the quarter and the prof told the class he was going to put a histogram up on the overhead to show how the class' scores were shaping up and where they fit. He looked at the class, said, "Some of them might surprise you." and then put the transparency up. There was an audible groan from the class that I'll never forget. On the histogram there was one score at the top, it was a 98, the next highest score was an 83, and the scores went down from there.

There was another guy that I was friends with in this class, that I've forgot to mention. His name was Doug Chavez. I'll use his name because he died back in about '98, so I'll consider it more of an homage. Doug and I had become friends by taking the same classes, and I liked the guy, you know the type...

After the prof dismissed the class that infamous day, Doug stood up from the middle of the auditorium, yelled my last name and pointed directly at me (I was sitting on the front row over on the side like I usually did). "I KNOW IT'S YOU!!! YOU'VE GOT THAT 98, DON'T YA!" he yelled so that everyone in the entire class was now looking directly at me. I just looked up at him, smiled, and gave my best shrug. It was at this point that the girl behind me's jaw hit the floor. She couldn't believe it, and she was floored. This can't be right. He sleeps through class. He deserves an F, not a 98. I looked at the utter shock and disbelief in her eyes, and I busted up laughing.

I hoped she learned something that day, I really do, but either way, I'll never forget it. It was one of the best laughs I'd had all year.

6 Comments:

Blogger mr. schprock said...

I have a story a bit like that; perhaps I'll save it for a post.

4/12/2006 10:30 AM  
Blogger trinamick said...

I knew a guy once who never cracked a book and barely stayed awake through class. He aced every test without studying. His teachers always said they were frustrated because if he had wanted to, he could have been top in the class. But instead, he kept his grades just good enough to get Good Student Credit on his car insurance. Just sickening.

4/12/2006 12:19 PM  
Blogger NYPinTA said...

There was this jerk I went High School with that I had in two classes, Math & Chemistry.
He got to sit by the window and I was in the next row over, so after I got done with a test I'd flip it over and look out the window. That moron thought I was cheating off him.
Later that year one of the girls in chemistry was aking me something and he was sitting next to her and asked, in that really obnoxious moronic way of his, why she was asking me and I had the joy of watching his face when she told him it was because I had the highest grade in class. Take that, jerk.
Man I hated him.

4/12/2006 1:01 PM  
Anonymous BC said...

I aced highschool. I dont remember half the classes I took but I walked out of there with an overall 96 with 26 1/2 credits.

My 9th and 10th grade biology classes I never went to and I aced those. Just showed up for the tests every two weeks.

But I learned that you read the text books before Christman vacation and you have pretty much aced the year. *shrug*

4/12/2006 6:19 PM  
Blogger LL said...

" I have a story a bit like that; perhaps I'll save it for a post."

Glad I could be of some inspiration.

"His teachers always said they were frustrated because if he had wanted to, he could have been top in the class. "

I can relate to that, only my ambition was squelched at an early age by the teachers.

"when she told him it was because I had the highest grade in class."

Of course you had the highest grade, you had your answers and HIS too! :P

BC... your highschool sounds a LOT different than mine was.

4/12/2006 9:33 PM  
Anonymous BC said...

Damn typos.... :P

4/13/2006 7:13 PM  

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