WARNING!! ONE INSTANCE OF STRONG LANGUAGE FOLLOWS! NOT KIDDING! CAREFUL, MOM!
The introductory ethics course in which I’m a TA recently had an exam. As one of the students was leaving the exam, he hurriedly tossed a folded-up sheet of paper toward a female student sitting a few rows in front of where he had been sitting. Instead of dropping onto the female student’s desk, however, the folded-up sheet of paper fell back behind the male student and landed smack dab in the middle of the floor. The female student glanced up, looking genuinely uncertain of what had just happened, while the male student, presumably realizing that things had not gone according to plan—particularly as I was staring right at him—held my gaze and kept walking, as if nothing had happened. He left the room, and I let him go.
Naturally, my first thought was that the male student was attempting to help the female student cheat. I assumed that the folded-up sheet of paper would include an answer to one or more of the test questions. My only confusion was that the female student didn’t appear to anticipate receiving the piece of paper, nor did she seem at all concerned about the paper lying less than two feet from her desk. She did not appear desirous to get it into her hands, nor did she appear anxious that I might come forward and pick up the piece of paper. I went forward and picked up the piece of paper.
What I discovered was not an attempt at cheating at all … unless, perhaps, the male student is already in a committed relationship. Instead, the note was nothing more than the male student’s attempt at expressing terms of endearment to a girl who had smitten him. I felt kind of guilty keeping the note, but I didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to deliver it, being in a position of authority and all. (It seems to cross a boundary.) And yet I hate to see a love letter go to waste. And so, I’ll now share it with you. Here is a scan of the very note I picked up:
Regrettably, the female student may never know this about herself. And who knows, she may have looked at herself in the mirror that very morning and wondered if she fit this description, and wondered if any guy was ever going to think this of her or tell her this. For all I know, the male student could have been her soul mate, and this note could have been the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
Who says romance is dead?