Thursday, April 28, 2016

Human Chemistry....

Couple of comments on the blog recently have referenced one of my alma maters ( had a rather "multi-faceted and checkered" academic experience!) - Duke University.

Duke is of course famous for basketball, but also enjoys a national reputation for academics and medicine.  Duke considers the university to be one of the "Southern Ivys" - as in league not poison - and hosts a highly distinguished faculty.   

Duke lost one of those highly regarded faculty members recently.  Dr. James Bonk taught chemistry at Duke for over 43 years, to over 30,000 students. He was definitely in the "legendary" category - tough, effective, fair, loved his students.

Let's just say the "chemistry" was right...
Perhaps the most famous and frequently told story abut Dr. Bonk dealt with four students, a critical final exam, and an all-weekend road trip of "spirited revelry" gone awry.  A tale of an 8:00 am Monday morning exam and four students, returning Sunday - "midnight plus some" - thoroughly devastated by hangovers and youthful exuberance contracted at a distinguished "ladies only" college in nearby Virginia. 

Well, it was like this ....
The solution? Bright idea, let's call Doc Bonk and tell him we had a flat tire and ask to reschedule the final exam ! They called Dr. Bonk; he listened to their story and agreed to the delay.  The students rejoiced at their salvation ! 

The following Friday the four students arrived for the rescheduled final and were given the test paper and placed in four separate classrooms.
The first question representing 5% of the grade was a relatively easy, straight-forward chemical equation and all the students relaxed They had survived; they had "dodged the bullet" of their weekend madness !

They turned to the second page of the exam which had the second question which represented 95 % of the exam score.  The question from Dr. Bonk was...


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The NCUA has a flat tire. How soon can we obtain a replacement? We have been running on a flat tire a long time.