Sep. 4th, 2011

I normally got poor grades in school, mostly because I couldn't be bothered to do homework. One day, in calculus class, the teacher decided to taunt the class by announcing "I will award a grade no less than one letter grade below what you get on the final exam." At first, he enjoyed the expected groaning and grimaces, until he saw me grinning madly and realized he'd made a tactical error. He and I both knew I would ace the final, and now he'd just promised me a B for doing it, even if I didn't do anything else for the rest of the semester!

The final was tough, and I did ace it. There was one final question that was this big scary horrible-looking integral that refused to yield to any of the usual techniques for simplification. I refuse to be scared off by marks on paper, and I figured I had plenty of time and nothing better to do. So I dove in and integrated the mess. And sure enough, the whole thing fell apart in the process, leaving the final answer to be something trivial like "2". It turns out the star pupils both were too frightened by the monster equation and didn't even attempt it!

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