Years ago I taught a young man that took great pride in the ability to fill up the space underneath any essay question.  He was going to be a great writer.  He told me his gift was this great ability.  Maybe he is a great writer…

I had pounded on the idea of exotic species for a week.  Don’t introduce them into an environment.  No natural predators.  I had great discussions with the entire classroom (except for the genius) about exotic species.  I even informed them that I would give them an essay question about the issue on the quiz.

Day of the test…

I passed out the test.  The gifted writer read the question. Then he started writing. He wrote and he wrote…he filled up a page with his answer.  I guess his thought was that if he filled up the page I would not read the answer.  Wrong.  I love to read.

The question dealt with zebra mussels coming into waterways attached to international ships.  His answer?  It went something like this..

Zebras do not need muscles.  Why are we allowing zebras to work out?  A page about zebra muscles.  His idea went along the lines of don’t put the zebras in the water, then they would not need to work out to get extra muscles.  Swear to goodness.  A whole page.

I passed back the quiz the following day and told him “I said RTQ (read the question).  But, from now on, you need to RTFQ”  The look on his face was priceless. 

I finally said “Read the full question. It explained the issue.”


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