Wednesday, March 27, 2013

F for Effort!

Edited by Richard Benson

It’s Teacher Appreciation Day at your child’s school, or Christmas, or the last day of classes. As usual, you’re wondering what to buy for the person who’s responsible for keeping your little beloveds flourishing and in one piece while you’re out bringing home the bacon. And, as usual, you have no idea. After all, how well can you get to know a person by sitting down three times a year with your knees crammed under a kid-sized table during parent-teacher interviews? Well, here’s a way to leave them with a laugh.

F for Effort! is a collection of absolutely hilarious test responses, some unintentionally so, some calculatedly so. Almost all of us, after having gone through a exam and answered all the questions we could, have returned to stare blankly at a question to which we have not even the hint of an answer. It’s that moment, as we glance repeatedly from paper to clock to the air a foot in front of our faces, that separates those who blow the question from those who blow it in style.

Section one, which contains answers from elementary students, runs the gamut from revealing Freudian slips (“Every morning my Dad has a slice of dread before he goes to work”) to odd mental contortions (“The north pole is so cold that the people that live there have to live somewhere else”). Section two, which covers high school, reveals everything from absolute cluelessness (“Q: Correct the Sentence—The girl were extraordinarily intelligent. A: The boy were extraordinarily intelligent.”) to brilliant smartassery (“Q: How would you stop wine from turning into vinegar? A: Drink it.”)

Teachers could only wish that doltishness was always so entertaining. And who knows? As you flip through, perhaps you’ll discover one of your own brilliant efforts to score part marks.

- Bruce

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