Sunday, December 14, 2008

Testing Testing 1-2-3

Since campus has been relatively quiet due to final exams, I thought I'd offer my top five memorable television and movie moments that involved a big test or some kind of academic hiccup.

These are all guilty pleasures (of course). When I flip across them on the tube, you can bet I won't touch the clicker until the show concludes.

I know there are other great moments that I left off the list, so please let me know in the comments section.

5. Necessary Roughness - Dean Elias does everything he can to end Texas State's football program after NCAA sanctions depleted the team, including trying to sabotage test scores before the Fightin' Armadillos final home game against the top-ranked Texas Colts. What happens? Elias is fired for tampering and Paul Blake leads State to a comeback victory with a last-second two-point conversion. Blake also gets the girl. Predictable ending? Of course.

Memorable quote: "I hope you stay tuned as the Texas State marching band does its salute to gun racks and open beverage containers; which is only legal in Texas." -- Chuck Neiderman

4. Saved by the Bell - If Zack's dad finds out about his failing grades, then Zack won't be able to go on the school ski trip. Principal Belding wants to talk to Zack's dad about the poor grades, but Zack instead hires James to play his father, which ultimately backfires and keeps Zack off the trip. This all leads to one of the greatest closing scenes in TV history.

Memorable quote while talking on his extremely large cell phone: "Is this the only way I can get through to you? " -- Zack to his workaholic father

3. 90210 - Squeaky-clean Donna won't get to graduate in the spring with her West Beverly High classmates because of an alcohol incident at senior prom. Brandon plans a school-wide walkout which ends at the school board's hearing. You know what happens from here.

Memorable quote: "Donna Martin graduates." (Duh) -- Entire student body

2. Back to School - Millionaire Thornton Melon goes back to school. Well, not any school.... it's his son's college. Melon lives the total campus experience and uses his resources (money) to hire professionals to write his papers. Dean Barbay discovers Melon's cheating, which leads to a final exam composed of one question... in 27 parts. Melon does the impossible and passes the test, and then does another impossible... He completes the “Triple Lindy,” to win the championship swim meet.

Memorable quote: Pretty much anything by Dangerfield or Kinison (which I can't reprint)

1. Summer School - "Mr. Shoop!" Freddy Shoop has to cancel his vacation to teach a summer school English class to a bunch of underachieving misfits. Vice-Principal Gills puts the heat on Shoop by promising to fire him if his students don't pass. Shoop uses a bunch of unorthodox teaching methods to help the kids learn. Not all the students pass the final, but their parents stand up for Shoop since the overall grades improved. Shoop keeps his job and we have another predictable (and happy) ending.

Memorable quote: "Hey, I remember you. Where have you been?" -- Shoop to the student that passed the final exam even though he left during the first day of class to use the bathroom and never returned.

Well, that wraps up my list.

Since we're on the topic of academics... Congrats to Josie Earnest (Bowling) and Cara Giordano (Lacrosse) for being named the December
Student-Athletes of the Month.

Here are their rituals before taking a big test:

Earnest: "I try to study a few days before the actual test and the night before get a good night's rest."

Giordano: "My ritual before a test is to study as much as I can the night before, get a decent night's rest and wake up early to get a coffee and study some more with a friend. It really helps the information sink in if I look over the material the morning of the test and if I talk out the information with someone else."


  1. Old School, The Waterboy, Road Trip, Blue Chips ("The SAT is culturally biased" - Neon Budreau)...

  2. good additions. it's funny how most of the movies have the same storyline: the main character has to overcome major odds to succeed... he fights to win the affection of the girl (over the bad guy)... and everything comes down to the big test.

    and since you mentioned Old School - "In this corner, weighing in at 110 pounds and pushing 89 years of age and the recent recipient of a brand new plastic hip, Joseph 'Blue' Polaski."

  3. Or when George Costanza takes the IQ test to impress girlfriend, gets Elaine to cheat for him, but she gets lower score. Of course he gets busted too. Classic!