A professor stood before his class of twenty senior organic biology students, about to hand out the final exam.
"I want to say that it's been a pleasure teaching you this semester. I know you've all worked extremely hard and many of you are off to medical school after summer. So that no one gets their GPA messed up because they might have been celebrating a bit too much this week, anyone who would like to opt out of the final exam today will receive a 'B' for the test."
There was much rejoicing in the class as students got up, walked to the front of the class, and took the professor up on his offer. As the last taker left the room, the professor looked out over the handful of remaining students and asked, "Anyone else? This is your last chance."
One final student rose up and opted out of the final.
The professor closed the door and took attendance of those students remaining. "I'm glad to see you believe in yourselves," he said. "You all get 'A's."
After raising four kids and losing one husband, I decided to return to college and get the degree I had started but never finished. And so, on my first day of college, eager with anticipation, and more than a little nervous, I took a front row seat in my first class in over 40 years ... a literature course.
The professor told us we would be responsible for reading five books over the course of the semester, and that he would provide us with a list of authors from which we could choose.
He ambled over to the lectern, took out a paper, and began: "Baker, Black, Brooks, Carter, Cook..."
I was working feverishly to get down all the names when I felt a tap on my shoulder. The student behind me whispered, "Slow down... he's just taking attendance."
In a very exclusive private school near California's Silicon Valley, a third-grade teacher was lecturing her upper high-class students about the less fortunate. She asked them each to write an essay about a poor family in the area.
One young girl's paper began:
"Once upon a time there was a poor family. The father was poor. The mother was poor. The children were poor. The nannies were poor. The pool man was poor. The personal trainer was poor. The gardeners were poor. This was a very poor family."