As far back as I could remember, it seemed like every single teacher I had was portending that "winter was coming" for me and my fellow classmates the further we progressed in our academic careers. Kindergarten was nothing compared to first grade, and then elementary school was a walk in the park compared to middle school. High school was this big gnarly demon, and then undergrad in college was the final boss ready to take all of us out once we finally graduated.
But then, when I and my friends were in college, we were kind of surprised by how ... lax everything was. It wasn't this soul-crushing, stressful experience (at least not for us). In fact, I had a way more difficult time, academically speaking, in high school. All of the wild restrictions and unacceptable behaviors we were called out for, like drinking or eating in class, wearing sweatpants all the time, or having informal discussions with our teachers, were A-OK by college standards.
Whether that says more about "the decline of the American university" in our society and our high school teachers trying to hold us to a higher standard (heaven forbid) than it does about them being "wrong," is a discussion for another time.
We have bigger meatballs to discuss — like the ones that fell out of this young woman's sandwich mid-exam, exited her out of her test, and causing her to have a tremendously low score.
While we all haven't been in this kind of specific situation (unless you're eating Gary Busey from Point Break levels of meatball sandwiches every day, then, it's just bound to happen), we can definitely relate to Samantha Lee's "how the heck am I going to explain this" scenario.
But, she bravely sent her economics instructor, Professor Lastrapes. an email — along with Snapchat screenshots — that proved what happened.
"Dear Professor Lastrapes," she wrote. "I had some technical difficulties and outside distractions during the test today. Something hit my computer and caused it to submit the test when I had less than half of the questions answered. By something, I mean a meatball that had tragically fallen onto my keyboard as I was taking the exam. This said meatball caused some malfunctions with my laptop and caused the test to submit itself."
She sent the email, along with her Snapchats proving that the unfortunate sequence of events occurred.
Now one of two things could be going on here, and I'd like to think that Professor Lastrapes had considered both scenarios thoroughly before replying to Samantha.
The first, could be that she's telling the truth. Her entire message wasn't demanding in any way, and she seemed thoroughly fine with whatever Professor Lastrapes was willing to do.
As per the course policy, she could have dropped her lowest test score so as not to affect her overall grade, something that she referenced in her email.
Now, by "ornery high school teacher" logic, Samantha probably wouldn't even have received a response from her professor, and maybe, even worse, her academic career would've been in jeopardy.
Word would've gotten out that she had a penchant for eating sandwiches all over the place willy nilly and put not only her future at risk, but marvels of modern technology as well.
As it turns out, however, Professor Lastrapes did respond. And because he was either sympathetic to Samantha's plight, or entertained by the fact that she went to such great lengths to tell a wonderful story, or both, he decided to give her another chance to take the test.
He even ended his email with some words of wisdom: that she take the exam either before or after dinner, and not during.
As it turns out, there were plenty of other students who had similar college experiences where their professors weren't the "hard-a--es" that they thought they would be.
Were you surprised by how low-key/forgiving a college professor was, compared to your experience in high school or your expectations leading up to college?