Modesty, thy name is Cicada!

I have a lit class. Lit classes are very much not my specialty. We have a test tomorrow. Early last week, I knew that I wouldn't be prepared for the test without a lot of help, so I organized a big study group. The study group was very, very successful and the participants were very grateful for my role in organizing and conducting the study session. Little did they know that the whole time, I was merely leeching off of them to get their answers to the study questions.

Tonight, I received a phone call.

Caller: Hi, Cicada, this is fzzberfzzstenfzzz.

Me: I'm sorry. I didn't catch your name. Let me go outside to get better reception. [I go outside.]

Caller: Cicada, this is Professor BritLit.

Cicada: Oh! Uh... Hello!

BritLit: I was just calling to wish you luck on tomorrow's test and ask if there were any last-minute questions you had before you take the test tomorrow.

[Let's pause for a moment to admire this teacher. Has anyone ever heard of a professor who did something like this? It's not like he's new and ambitious, either. He's been teaching for a long, long time. He definitely scored major points with me and I'm sure every classmate tonight.]

Cicada: [laughing, because I still can't believe that my professor is calling about this] Actually, yes. Yes, I did have a question for you. Let me pull out my notes.

I proceeded to ask my question. He told me that it was an excellent question and he gave me his answer.

BritLit: I'm actually not so worried about how you'll do on the test tomorrow since your name has come up in several phone calls that I've made tonight. Thanks for putting together that study group. It sounds like you did a very thorough job.

Cicada: Oh, well, I just organized it, actually. Then I spent the rest of the time getting answers from everyone else while contributing absolutely nothing.

BritLit: [laughing] Oh, I'm sure that you contributed a lot more than you're letting on. Good luck on the test tomorrow. Have a good night.

So my honest confession of utter uselessness and parasidic feeding off others was mistaken for modesty! I ought to try that more often!


Master Fob said...

I think it's weird that a professor would call all his students the night before a test... or ever. I actually think it's moderately insane. You can tell him I said so. Modestly.

sakhmet said...

Bwah ha ha! Was that Steven Walker? B/c I took a modern Brit Lit class from him but I had to drop it before we got to the first exam (and Virgina. Sigh.) Not only did I discover how much I loathed Thomas Hardy, I was disappointed when Walker didn't bring the smack down on the morons in my class who asked questions like "Is the reason modern British Lit ended in 1950 because no one in England really wrote anything after that?" That's a direct quote. I was waay to impatient and snobby to stand for that AND Jude the Obscure.

daltongirl said...

I would have asked him why he was working on the sabbath. Because as nice as that was, he probably should have scheduled the test for a different day if he was going to call everyone.

Or, he may not have called everyone. Maybe he only called you, and lied about calling the others. Is he married? This is something to check into right away. If he is, I'd report him to the Honor Code office or something. If not, well then. Although I do not endorse dating a liar, he does have other qualities that make him infintely suitable to be your boyfriend.

Th. said...


Hooray for parasites!

Limon said...

You have really scored big on this one. Not only did you convince people that it would be mutually beneficial to "study" in a "group," but you also managed to wrestle in major points with the prof. You are a model for all us who seek to get something for nothing--or at least very little.

Cicada said...

No, the prof isn't Steven Walker. And I can tell you all that everyone in the class today was absolutely glowing when they saw the professor. I don't think that he was working on the Sabbath. I think that he was serving. It's kindof like raising the dead and stuff, performing miracles on the Sabbath and all. Anyway, not only did the prof call everyone the night before the test (and yes, he did call everyone, and yes, he is married) but he also brought us half-time refreshments! So half-way through the test, he gave us each a mint-chocolate truffle. Man, this guy's good. Seriously. So. Impressed.

Coop said...

That instructor calling you is almost enough to make me want to take a British Lit class. Well, maybe not almost, but it makes me at least want to have that prof. Well, to be honest, I'd switch my major to pre-med right now before taking a BritLit class. But that's awesome of the instructor to call--I'll have to remember that for when I'm an instructor.

daltongirl said...

Treats? TREATS?!? He's up to something. Be careful, I beg you.

amyjane said...

So, this summer I had to miss my school's Open House to attend little brother's wedding. My principal let me off the hook, on the condition that I call my whole class and set up another time to have an Open House. It was very interesting, first off, to talk to eleven year old's that I had never met but also made me feel like a strange pedophile person. It's a tragic society we live in that I felt that way but i did.

redlaw said...

I have a professor story that I will have to share at some point which may confirm Daltongirl's fears.

But I think that's awesome that your professor called everyone - what a great teacher - he gets that it isn't about the grades - it's about the knowledge.

AND, I love the leach picture - Can I have that as my profile pic? (what a leach)

Tolkien Boy said...

I need this teacher for a class next semester. Any class. I'll call him at midnight and ask him random questions (like, "What is a kumquat?").