Cheat Sheets

I remember in high school and college the teachers would sometimes allow you to use a ‘cheat sheet’ for a test. There’d be certain specifications like it can only be on an index card or you can only use one side of the paper.  When those days came, I wrote in size 1 font. Maybe even smaller. It was minuscule.  I neglected to study because I thought what the hell. I’ll have the answers written right in front of me. I’m fairly certain the teachers know the students are going to write so small they won’t be able to read it. A cruel joke. I remember the test where I was allowed to use this glorious cheat sheet. I had spent the night before writing row after row in font that only an ant could read. Instead of actually studying, I wrote down everything from the study guide on the index card I was able to use. It was a chemistry test so this included a dumbed down version of the periodic table of elements. I was taking full advantage of this gift and milking it for all it was worth. Real Americium. The test begins. I look at the first question. True or False. ‘The Baumé scale is a measure of a solutions specific gravity, not its concentration. My body became extremely hot and I started sweating profusely. Imagine me just falling sideways out of the chair. Heat stroke.

WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT!? When did we talk about this? Was this on the study guide? Of course it wasn’t. Nothing from the study guide is ever on the test. I stared at the question for a good minute hoping that it would magically change right in front of me. As if the test said, “Oh don’t know? That’s no problem. Let me give you another one.”  I looked at my index card searching for the answer for an additional 15 minutes. I might as well had written everything in a different language because it was indecipherable.  I looked everywhere. I spent more time looking for the answer than anything. Stuck on question 1 and 29 more questions to go I moved on. Flash forward to the day we receive our grades back. I would get an A+ on that test and be informed that I could officially use the title Dr. Nallen. Officially.


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