Local professor decides to conduct his class's midterm exam in ancient Norwegian "Just for fun"
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Local professor decides to conduct his class's midterm exam in ancient Norwegian "Just for fun"

Students' view of the cosmos completely shaken

Local professor decides to conduct his class's midterm exam in ancient Norwegian "Just for fun"

TUESDAY – Cracking his knuckles and chuckling silently in malicious glee, local professor of Whizbang University Dr. Ernest Burns announced to his devastated class that in addition to the cumulative exam on the Third Punic War between Rome and Carthage, which includes three in-class essays, a complete topographic recollection of the cities and towns in near-eastern Mesopotamia, and the recital of a primordial Egyptian poem, students will be expected to conduct the midterm in ancient Norwegian.

“I’m just looking for ways to make the exam more creative and interactive,” Dr. Burns reportedly said, after hitting “send” to the e-mail which dispelled the tragic news, casting the throngs of feeble, sleep-stricken students into yet unseen depths of despair. “I know that we haven’t even mentioned ancient Norwegian (which belongs in a completely different century) but, hey, a professor is entitled to a little fun every once and a while, isn’t he?”

“There’s no point in being a professor unless you get to be a little sadistic,” he added, jokingly.

Needless to say, the majority of Burns’s students were not in favor of the move.

“I can’t believe this is happening to me,” said sophomore Theodore Henley, shakily sipping his double-shot espresso and running his bony hands through his scraggly facial hair, which had become strewn with dirt, bracken, and cream-cheese bagel crumbs. “I mean, I had already memorized the name of every powerful political figure in the Middle East up to 120 B.C., and wrote a 10-page essay on nomadic dietary habits which was successfully published in a Yale periodical, but this…this is beyond human capacity.” His eyes wild and frantic, Henley informed reporters that Old Norse did not even appear "until the 2nd century A.D." Concluding that there was “no hope for humanity” Henley then proceeded to cover his body in sackcloth, rub ashes on his face, and peruse his 3-inch stack of flashcards on Nordic runes.

“Not all of us can be like Jordan,” the dejected sophomore added bitterly. His comment referred to the upperclassman Jordan Causeway, who, much to the class’s disgust, had already mastered the ancient dialect in a matter of days and was now securing a TA position with the hated professor for the following semester.

Henley’s fellow classmate Bridget Rubella was passed out cold on the floor during the time of the interview and had no additional comments.

Of course, there is little doubt that Dr. Burns did not intend to throw his class into existential despair. Or did he?

“At Whizbang, we like to tackle the big questions. Who are we? What is the meaning of life? Why would a loving God allow so much suffering? I think this assignment, which seems to have no apparent purpose whatsoever, will help foster that discussion,” said Burns, casually shaking off two students who had just wandered into his office, apparently in a trance, and were currently clinging to his ankles and begging for mercy.

“I can’t wait for finals to come around,” the professor concluded, before erupting into an uncontrollable fit of demonic laughter.

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