It was the end of winter, and in the peaceful kingdom of the University of Pennsylvania, all the people were busy in preparation for the Vernal Break, during which there was to be much revelry and drinking of ale. But all was not well, for a great tragedy was soon to befall the humble people of the kingdom’s 10:30 Econ 001 lecture.
Sitting atop his ivory tower, the ruler of the Econ 001 lecture one day decreed that there was to be a midterm on the eve of the Vernal Break. A great hush came over the people, and in the days that followed, many a stern e-mail was sent. But the ruler could not be swayed to delay his examination. A growing sense of hopelessness spread throughout the land.
But then, one brave warrior, from the far-off land of South Jersey, stepped forward to face the deadly challenges of the test. He asked the wizened elders of the kingdom where he may prepare for the trials before him, and they told him of Van Pelt Library, the ancient temple of learning. Having majored in the study of art history, the warrior was a stranger to the Library, and he found the place eerie and discomfiting. Yet he remained vigilant in his quest, and in the Library he found the ancient tome known as Parkin’s Microeconomics 7th Edition.
And as the warrior sat down to uncover the secrets of the dreaded midterm, the people of the kingdom passed by, and the warrior declared to all who would listen how very fucked he was. There was much agreement on this, as the people said that they, too, were most fucked. And there was much laughter and complaint and inquiries as to what was going on that weekend.
But the warrior had underestimated the challenge before him, for when at last he opened the tome, he found himself unable to decipher the foreign language within. All seemed lost. He dropped to his knees, and his voice echoed to the heavens as he screamed, “I have not the power to conquer this exam!!!”
And as his voice rang out into the night, beneath his feet he felt the earth begin to rumble, as if God Himself had been awoken. The seas began to pitch and roll. Thunder and lightning crashed upon distant shores. The cries of falcons pierced the sky, and chaos ruled. But then, suddenly, all was still. And in that moment of perfect quietude, the heavens parted. A single ray of light shone down, and a great, sonorous voice spake thusly: “YOUR PRAYERS HAVE NOT GONE UNHEEDED. THERE IS A GREAT MYSTIC WHO MAY YET PROVIDE YOU WITH THE STRENGTH YOU NEED TO VANQUISH THE ECON MIDTERM. HE IS NAMED BRIAN OF LOS ANGELES, AND HE CAN SELL YOU ADDERALL REAL CHEAP. GO FIND THIS MYSTIC, AND TELL HIM JERRY SENT YOU.” And the voice spake no more, and the clouds settled.
So the warrior scoured the four corners of the Earth for Brian of Los Angeles, finally finding the great mystic in the caves of Stouffer-Mayer. After acquiring and imbibing the mystic’s stimulant, the warrior returned to his preparation with renewed vigor, wielding his yellow highlighter with the grace and power of a master swordsman.
At last, the day of reckoning came. Without a hint of trepidation, the warrior confronted the midterm with TI-84 in hand. A moment of silence as he stared into the depths of the exam, and then a burst of violence as he tore into it, methodically dismissing problem after problem. The midterm fought savagely, but ultimately the warrior dispatched the beast with enough time left over to do the extra credit. And when the midterm was finished, there was much rejoicing and drinking of ale, and the warrior boasted to the people how easy the midterm had been, and how little he had prepared for it.
But the warrior’s hubris was fleeting. After the Vernal Break, the warrior received a dispatch from the ruler of Econ 001, indicating that in actuality he had achieved the lowest score ever seen by the bare human eye, a score many had once believed impossible. Knowing that the legend of his failure would be passed down from generation to generation, the warrior fled the kingdom, never to be seen again. Today, he is but a faded memory, a shadow in the wind, but legend has it that those who seek the warrior may yet find him finishing his fifth year of school in the barren outlands of Drexel.