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Pay Attention

Page history last edited by Mokona Go 14 years, 2 months ago

     Stacey was nervous. She was new to the medical school, and unsure about meeting her new teacher. All the other students rushed into the room, so Stacey took a deep breath, pushed open the door, and walked to an empty seat. As she sat down, the teacher walked in. The noise level in the room quieted down. 

     The teacher put down his bag and turned to the class. He began, "Welcome! I'm your chemistry teacher, Mr Spencer H. Ralpher." As he spoke, he wrote the words on the whiteboard behind him. Mr. Ralpher continued, " Congratulations on passing your entrance exams. You all must be brilliant students. But." the teacher puased and looked out at the class, "there are three things to remember if you want to become a doctor or a scientist. Pay close attention, listen carefully, and understand everything that you are told. Get it?"

     Everyone nodded, but there was nothing very important in this little speech. Only Stacey payed careful attention. She couldn't afford to miss anthing important so early in the school year, especially when she was on full scholarship

     "I am going to do a small experiment. You are to follow the three points and copy what I do. Understand?" More nodding followed. Again, nothing no one here couldn't do. Even though the rest of her colleagues thought there was nothing big about this test experiment, Stacey was skeptical. There had to be some sort of trick behind this. She resolved to watch carefully and see what she could spot. 

     "Charles, go and fetch the bucket on my office desk," Mr. Ralpher requested. Charles went to retrieve the bucket, Stacey noticed, with a faint smirk in his face.

     "Well, " continued the teacher once his helper had come back with a bucket full of clear liquid. "Watch carefully." Almost all the students were paying little more than minimum attention.

     Then Mr. Ralpher did something unusual. He dipped his finger in the liquid, then licked his finger. He smiled to the class and said, "Now it's your turn."

     One by one every member of the class walked up, dipped their finger in the clear liquid, and licked off the substance. Stacey shook her head as they all made the same mistake. (Can you figure out the riddle? What's their mistake? Try it before reading on) At last it was her turn.

     She walked up and did the small, seemingly inconsequential test differently then everyone else had done. Mr. Ralpher nodded his head as she walked by him.

     When she sat down, the teacher walked up and wrote on the white board:


Results of Experiment:

Pass- 1

Fail- 74


     Everyone looked around eagerly, trying to figure out who had succeeded where all others had failed. Once finshed, the teacher turned to the class and said, "Congratulations, Miss Khurana. Out of all 75 of you, so far only she knows how to pay close attention. After dipping my finger in the water- which, likely for you, was all that was in there, I didn't lick it. I dipped my first finger, but licked my middle finger. He turned to Stacey and praised, "So far, you are the only one with the qualities of a true scientist!"

     And suddenly, Stacey didn't feel so nervous of school any more.

Comments (1)

Ava Knight said

at 8:51 pm on Feb 1, 2010

My seventh grade Hindi teacher in India told us this story one day after we were being really roudy. I wrote it down, adding in my cousin as the student, because she was new to college right then. This story is dedicated to both of them.

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