…Then Mark This One Wrong Too

I took loads of math tests in high school. At a minimum of two each term, three terms in a session, six sessions spent in high school, a conservative estimate would be 36 tests, not counting end-of-term exams, random quizzes and the like. One particular test stands out for me, not because of my score (quite frankly, I don’t even remember how I did), but because of what happened after we got our graded tests back.

One of my classmates was going through his when he came across a question he had gotten wrong. Now this would be fine, except… he noticed that another classmate had written the same answer, and the teacher had marked it as correct. So he took both test papers to the teacher at the front of the class to say “Excuse me, you made a mistake. We both wrote the same thing, and you marked it as wrong on mine, but as right on his.” Again, this wasn’t unusual. Teachers made those mistakes from time to time. However, it turned out that the answer they both wrote was indeed the wrong answer. 

Now this was where things started to get interesting. The teacher wouldn’t give him the points for the problem, since it actually was the wrong answer. If I remember correctly, he said it was just the other guy’s luck. So the dude starts to walk back to his desk, then he stops and tells the teacher “well then mark this one wrong too.”

I swear, you could feel the deathly stares of about the 40 high school boys in that class (myself included) aimed at that one dude.

It just wasn’t something you did. You accepted that you were unlucky, you accepted that the other dude was lucky, and you took your “misfortune” on the chin. At least that’s how I felt, until I was telling the story to a friend who was in another class later on.

That’s how I felt, until I grew up.

While it doesn’t solve anything (and hopefully it’s not something you dwell on for so long, that it stops you from being productive), I understand why we feel that way sometimes. I get why we look at God and think “Why does it feel like it’s only my test you’re marking wrong? If that’s really the wrong answer, then… mark this other one wrong too.”

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