The Worst Test of All Time
High School, 2003
Reed City, Michigan
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
How will I score on a reading comprehension test for The Canterbury Tales considering: A - I have not read The Canterbury Tales. B - I have just ingested 6 mysterious pills.
RESULTS The Worst Test Of All Time.
The year was 2003. I was a junior in high school. My last period was AP British Literature.
My strategy of failing to read my assignments was working beautifully. Rather then ponder through A Tale of Two Cities, I instead drew all of the characters from the story as cyborgs.
My teacher applauded my creativity and awarded me hundred of extra credit points.
Learning = Dodged!
However, my usual teacher was out for a few weeks, leaving behind a substitute that was young, beautiful, and ambitious. She was going to learn these damn kids some British Lit.
Her challenge to the students? Plow through all of The Canturbury Tales and pass a reading comprehension test.
My solution was to
read the damn things take 6 mysterious pills on test day!
I was instructed to only take 2 or 3 pills “for the love of God.”
3 pills later. Feeling fine. 3 more down the hatch, feeling great!
5 hours later….
I’m floating down the hallway. Where am I? Who am I? What’s that big blob of color?
Sitting at my desk in AP British Lit. Test in front of me. Alright! I’ve got this!
Where are my hands? Which one do I usually write with?
I awake an hour later. The test is stuck to my face. My classmate, Ryan Minier, has been chucking highlighters at my supposed corpse to test for signs of life.
My test is blank. I have fifteen minutes left.
Choosing between one of the three tests dancing in front of my face, I “complete” my test and turn it in to my beautiful substitute teacher.
I giggle, and possibly drool.
Monday morning, I get the test back. These were my results:
I would soon see, reading through the test, that those 18.5 points were gifted to me.
Here’s page 1, fill-in-the-blank –
My answer for Question 11 is –
“relativly, arsp KO at sothey expensphere.”
You’ll notice that I became confused and began using words in the question as my answer. I added a nice “sphere” onto the end of expense.
Mercifully, the next section of the test was multiple choice. And then this page happened….
Question 12 – I circled the “D” in “death” meaning to choose option D as my answer. Then things got worse.
Question 14 – I wrote “I maks sinish.” next to the question. Yes, yes I do maks sinsih.
Question 16 – Above Chaucer’s name, the author of the tales I am being tested on, I wrote “WHO?”
Question 17 – I decided to slash at answers with my pencil instead of circle them.
And the crowning achievement of this page, the illustration in the bottom right.
Here’s a closer look.
I provided the caption “he he me draw” and what appears to be a set of balls.
This was not the end of my academic failure.
The crowning achievement was on its way – the essay answer.
The essay question? “Why was Chaucer uniquely qualified to write about these subjects?”
Here’s what I wrote –
The year is 2023.
Essay is spelled wrong.
I ripped the page almost entirely in half while writing.
And my answer to “Why was Chaucer uniquely qualified to write about these subjects?”
“Chancer’s liked in the hardet circumstances and his posotion with the old languardd put him in a good position to write about middled aged life.”
This was my teacher’s response –
The stain marks are from bitter tears of shame.
My parents were never shown “The Worst Test of All Time.” If they are reading this blog now, it is with the assurance that I am making much better life decisions now in my late 20’s.
Even 10 years later, the lesson from “The Worst Test of All Time” is still pretty clear-
Don’t take six mysterious pills, kids. Just don’t do it.
IF YOU LIKE THIS POST VISIT MY WEBSITE
That is probably the best thing I have ever read. Didn’t we all take mystery pills to get through RCHS? No?
For many teachers and students, mysterious pills were the gateway to learning.
The gateway to other things as well. Like perishing in a meth lab explosion, the #2 cause of death in our county.
#1 cause of death? Flaming snowmobile races (on Meth.)
Mrs. T. really set high expectations for all of us. I LOVE this story!
Truly, she loved her French Cyborgs more than most. Thanks to those drawings, I finished the class with 113% A+MAX.
I was in band class playing the saxophone. My friend Scott, another saxophonist sits with his head against his stand, impressively balanced and asleep until finally called out, “Is he asleep? Wake him up!”. Word is he had a headache and took Tylenol PM for it–who cares that it’s not currently PM?
Fast forward to British Lit. I’m nearly finished with my much too long Canterbury tales exam. Looking around the room to see where I am in relation to the class I see everyone still slaving away over their test–except Scott. Head leaned back against the wall and drooling, I see a fresh Canterbury Tales test in front of him.
“Scott!” I hiss as I throw a marker cap at him. Mumbling something in response I see him quickly scribble through his test as I finish my essay. I would later get the pleasure of comparing my A test to what you see above.
Incidentally, fast forward again to the end of class. For various reasons, such as not reading entire books and buying my way onto someone else’s group project, incidentally, I end up with a respectable A- in the class. Incidentally, turns out that I didn’t know the key to Mrs. Taylor’s heart.
Haha, this is great, Scott. I’m so glad you still have the actual test! This is one of my favorite stories from HS to tell.
Ah yes, I remember sitting in band class now on that day rubbing the mouthpiece of my alto saxophone on my forehead because it felt “so weird.” Meanwhile, the rest of the band was actually playing. Later – fast asleep. It’s a small wonder that I made it to British Lit at all.
That’s awesome. Hope you can look back now and laugh as opposed to look back and wonder what would have happened if you applied yourself because you write quite well.
I, on the other hand, found my journal from grade 8 and in it was a lot of scribbles that I tried to pass off as actual work. My teacher wrote me a scathing comment about needing 64 written pages for the term and me only having 4 (all as a run-on sentence). I look back and wonder why my parents didn’t beat the living shit out of me on a daily basis, or burn my baseball glove which was on my hand 24/7.
Ah, those were the days.
My classmates from back then must be scratching their heads when they see that I have a Master’s degree… I know I would.
The most creative kids often make the worst decisions, luckily for both of us those decisions didn’t have any permanent ramifications. Many of my classmates were not so lucky. The reason that I kept this test for nine years is because it demonstrated the stark consequences of making stupid decisions. That, and it was hilarious.
Oh lord. I had tears streaming down my face that was so funny. Thanks for sharing!
You’re very very welcome, David, thank you kindly for the comment.
I laughed so hard reading this that i cried and may have stopped breathing. What a hilarious memento and cautionary tale. And i thought the german test i wrote while drunk was a good story. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for reading! And we would love to see the drunk German test.
Hope to never, ever repeat a similar misadventure with tiny purple mescaline pills in the late ’70’s. Ate the pills just before getting on the bus. By the end of home room started getting visual and auditory hallucinations. Found my group of friends on the smoking lounge, and explained what was happening. After the obligatory round of “oh, shit” from everyone, my friends agreed to find a way for a friend or trusted person to be with me in all remaining classes. I know I had to take one test that day, some Home Ec thing regarding cooking that a drooling retard could pass, which I did. By early afternoon, the pills were really starting to peak and I bagged one class to go outside and relax. Somehow avoided detection, much less an incident, and for that I am grateful.
What a treasure that you saved the actual test.
My high school self would have given anything for the mescaline instead (and to have had a smoking lounge, at that point we had to go sneak them in our cars.) Truly an extraordinary feat that you managed to ride the wave and avoid detection the whole day!
I’m surprised the teacher didn’t assume you’d had a stroke and call 911, even if she didn’t grade the test for a week! Today’s lesson has been brought to you by the letter X and the number 6 (and the word DON’T).