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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1902523
Phoenix takes his second neuropharmacology exam...and is thankful for the extra credit...
Phoenix had studied as much as he could.  He had no idea what was to be on the test.  Some of his fellow grad students tried to guess what to study and what not to for these exams.  It was a neuropharmacology exam given by a lecture professor that wrote the more important points on the board.  Phoenix assumed that meant he should study everything the man said.  The book was secondary.  Phoenix had learned that from years and years of different professor styles that he had experienced.  If the professor wrote his own tests and used the board to emphasize the more important points of his lecture, you had better know what the man said inside and out and be able to duplicate anything he drew or wrote on the board.  This particular professor drew many diagrams.  Many of Phoenix's classmates discounted these in favor of more complex diagrams in the book.  Phoenix, however, made sure he could replicate all of the professor's drawings.  That, Phoenix knew, was what the professor really wanted his students to know.

Time for the test.  The professor prefaced the test with the offer of extra credit for a PubMed article approved by him that each student was to find and write a review on.  Phoenix was relieved at the opportunity.  The professor handed out the tests.  Sure enough, Phoenix had plenty of drawing to do.  He also described the drawings in detail, but the drawings were exactly as the professor had drawn them on the board, and Phoenix made sure of it.  There were a few questions that Phoenix did not know, but for the most part, he had a good grasp of what the professor wanted.  After he got out of the classroom, he overheard some of the other students complaining about the test material.  Phoenix thought it was odd that they would pay the money for access to the material to learn, but fail to do the work to learn it.  He tried to reassure one of his friends that, even though she had not known many of the answers, she had learned a lot.  She looked at Phoenix as if he had killed her firstborn.  Phoenix did not understand why the goal had to be grades instead of knowledge.  Yes, they had to have a way to assess knowledge, and that happened to be grades, but the grades were not the point.  They should not have been, anyway, as Phoenix saw it.  Learning far surpassed the importance of grades in Phoenix's mind.  Phoenix loved to learn.  The grades would follow if the learning was taken care of properly.
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