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A professor’s odyssey: The search for missing grades

By Mihret Amdu Yirgeta, July 9 2021—

It has been a long time since our final grades for the winter semester were due but in PSYC 303, our grades have not made an appearance in our student portal. As I sat down to speak to Dr. Johnson, the professor in charge of the course, he relayed to me a most intriguing tale — a tale I will now share with you. Everything I am about to tell you, dear reader, I have been assured has actually happened.

The story starts, as with all others of the sort, in an office on a Thursday afternoon. Johnson was getting ready to submit our grades when all of a sudden he found himself in a desert along with several other random people. Understandably, he reported that he was confused, as were the others who were there with him. They all seemed to be of different ages and backgrounds — but just as baffled as he was. When he got up, he told me, a wall of text appeared before them. They were instructions. Apparently, they had been transported into a virtual world where they had to play an adventure-style game.

The instructions to this game were simple — follow the map to find the door that will lead them back to our world. Nobody thought that it would be a particularly difficult mission. They believed they would be done in just a few minutes. Oh, how wrong they were. The road was fraught with peril. At every checkpoint on the map, they would face an obstacle that was seemingly impossible to overcome. 

For the first few checkpoints, everyone found solutions to the problems they faced. However, Johnson told me, after the third day they all realized that it took too much time and that they should work together. This worked out better for them as they were clearing the obstacles in a fraction of the time it took them earlier. Bolstered by this development, they charged forward, determined to get to the door that would lead them home. 

As they reached the last checkpoint before the door, they met the final obstacle. The professor described it as a large, weird mix between a snake and a worm and he reports thinking, “So this is how we die.” Through sheer desperation and force of will — and possibly some deity’s timely interference — they managed to slay the large beast. When they finally opened the door a large gust of air whooshed out and an electronic voice called out, “Congratulations, you have completed the game. We hope you enjoyed your stay!”

As the “Game Over” text flashed above them, Johnson was suddenly thrown into a chair in a very different room. He said he realized that he was back in our world. However, when he checked the time, a month had gone by. What had felt like a few hours in the virtual world had equated to a month in our world. He says this is why our grades have not been submitted on time. He assured me that this outlandish tale is genuine and that our grades have been submitted now. I do not know about you, dear reader, but I am left with much to contemplate.

This article is part of our humour section.

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