It was the last day of final examination in an Easternuniversity.On the steps of one building, a group of engineeringseniorshuddled, discussing the exam due to begin in a few minutes.On theirfaces was confidence. This was their last exam — then ontocommencement and jobs.
Some talked of jobs they already had; others of jobs theywouldget. With all this assurance of four years of college, theyfeltready and able to conquer the world.
The approaching exam, they knew, would be a snap. Theprofessorhad said they could bring any books or notes theywanted.Requesting only that they did not talk to each other duringthetest.
Jubilantly they field into the classroom. The professor passedoutthe papers. And smiles broadened as the students noted therewereonly five essay-type questions.
Three hours passed. Then the professor began to collectthepapers. The students no longer looked confident. On their faceswasa frightened expression. No one spoke as, papers in hand,theprofessor faced the class.
He surveyed the worried faces before him, then asked: “Howmanycompleted all five questions?”
Not a hand was raised.
“How many answered four?”
Still no hands.
The students shifted restlessly in their seats.
“One, then? Certainly somebody finished one.”
But the class remained silent. The professor put down thepapers.“That is exactly what I expected,” he said.
“I just want to impress upon you that, even though youhavecompleted four years of engineering, there are still manythingsabout the subject you don’t know. These questions you couldnotanswer are relatively common in everyday practice.” Then,smiling,he added: “You will all pass this course, but remr — eventhoughyou are now college graduates, your education has justbegun.”
The years have obscured the name of this professor, but notthelesson he taught.