Anthology of Cheating: 101 Ways to Ace your Final Exam and More

(Note: The following stories are fictional, and are meant for entertainment purposes only. Under no circumstance, neither when failing nor when passing a class, should there be any attempt to imitate them in real life.)

Doing nearly 14 years of school makes you a professional exam or test taker. I still remember my first attempt of sharing information, as it was yesterday. I was in first grade, and we were studying addition and subtraction during our math class. I and my bench friend (back home students sit two by two in benches) finished all of our “difficult” math problems; all except the last one. Oh, man, what could the result of eight minus five be? Aha, it’s three. We handed our papers, all excited. Waiting for our results, we were praising our superior intelligence. Next time it will take even less effort. The long awaited time for the results came. This would prove to us that we were way too advanced for the first grade, and that we need to be in university, studying rocket science or medicine. And then, our illusions were lost in the shock of the failing grade. How was this possible?  How could they have possibly known? Well, I guess first graders can’t really tell the difference between a number three and some kind of symbol that looked just like an inverted number three. What really happened is that one of us got the actual answer to the math question, but instead of writing it normally, the number was written as if viewed in a mirror. That was when I and my friend decided that we are not ready for university yet. There was still to be learned in the art of cheating exams.

As we would progress through classes, also our techniques would get more sophisticated. From using primitive tools and up to applying modern technology in practice, the cheating as an art evolved. A lot of methods were proven successful, and in this way they may work even nowadays. If one has to remember a lot of short pieces of information, like history dates. The way to do that was by writing them on a tissue, and act sick for that day. In this way, when you need to retrieve the information, you sneeze, pretend to clean your nose, read the cheat, and write it down. The bad thing here is that you can’t sneeze too much, and that the amount of information is limited.

Another method proven to be successful is to write short math formulas on your palm. If one decides to use this method, he/she should make sure that they don’t raise their “cheat hand” when asking the professor a question, in this way, giving away their secret, and failing the exam without even starting it.

If you are a girl, it’s nice if you wear a skirt that day. Writing cheats on your thighs and covering them with the skirt always works if you are brave enough. Scientific studies conducted so far show that there is no professor that will actually look for cheats inside your skirt.

On the other hand, studies have shown that certain techniques are not effective and wont work at all in cheating. One of the worst cheating ideas ever is the high-school sophomore one, where the entire class pretends that there is somebody’s birthday, and that there are free drinks for everyone, while teacher’s drink should contain valium. If you really try to do this, make sure that valium tablets are entirely dissolved in soda, and that there are no blue floating particles, otherwise, your teacher will politely decline, wish you a happy birthday, and continue with the exam. So long for the plan where you wait for five minutes for the teacher to fall asleep so you can copy your brain off.

There is a lot of theoretical work in the field called “steal the exam”, but there is no record of any success. Basically, you need a group of at least eight people composed of: a mastermind, a lock-picker, a computer hacker, a moral support person, a couple of guards, and of course a genius for that school subject you are trying to ace an exam. While the entire group is supposed to be able to brake in the professors office, hack his/her computer, and get out of there unnoticed, without leaving any trail, the genius has to spend at least two or three house figuring out the answers for all of the questions.

Having to go to school for more that 14 years has taught me the best techniques in the field of acing final exams. The technique is called “study hard” and was proved to be the most reliable and the safest in achieving best results with suffering the minimal consequences.  It was proven 100 percent fool proof, and results are guaranteed. Good luck with your exams!

An Innocent Insight into Forbidden Fruit in Liquid Form

(This article is “pure” “fiction”, and doesn’t portray opinions of Tower or its staff members, as such it holds only entertainment values, and under no circumstances should it be used for illegal instructive purposes of any kind)

It’s nearly approaching my second thanksgiving in America, and I’m still getting surprised from day to day by interesting things one sees and experiences here. One thing I always found intriguing but never quite understood is that nearly everybody (figuratively speaking) seems to drink regardless of the drinking age being 21. Furthermore, in spite of the fact that a big number of people drink, there still is a group of people who won’t admit that this kind of phenomenon even exists. Let’s hope that until the end of my college career, I will come with a satisfactory answer to my questions, but for the moment, I will just stick to the good old Galilean techniques, i.e. just observe and collect facts.

Since I just can’t resist making hypothesis, here are some concerned with the reasons why students drink (according to their academic status). Freshmen drink out of pressure for trying to be cool and blend in with the new environment. They try and earn upper classmen’s respect by showing them their drinking and puking abilities. Sophomores drink because after one year of college they changed, “broadening” their horizons in the way of seeing the world from different perspective. Here you will find people who were against alcohol all their lives, drinking a glass or two occasionally just for the sake of culture and customs. Juniors drink because of the stress they experience with their classes. “What other ways are there in a little place like this for stress relief during boring weekends?” is their motto. Seniors drink only because they were drinking throughout their entire college carrier, and now they can’t stop no matter what.

Somebody reading this article would ask: where do all these people drink then? Well, different people drink at different places. If you are 21 and/or over you drink at the Bar (which is always kind of fun, because you can enjoy getting into fights in which you rarely remember the motive that started them). On the other hand, people under 21 frequent different “houses” (we will talk about them in a moment). Then, there are streets of Lamoni, for those dumb enough to get caught by “Lamoni Law Enforcement Agency”. Risktakers prefer parking lots; while those who are brave enough drink in their dorm rooms. As they say: “when there’s a will, there’s always a way!”

I find it funny how people find different ways for entertainment in a place like this. Parties are generally held in private houses, which according to my observations, I would characterize in the following way. Party house is a place where all the girls you like hang out. Keg House is the one where there’s free beer from the keg for everyone. BOB House is the one where you have to bring your own beer. This one sucks for people who are used to drink for free. There’s no chance that you are going to get a drink, no matter how innocent and altruistic that one girl looks; nothing’s free nowadays. “Insert-name-of-the-sport” House is the one where athletes of a certain sport gather to drink their worries. Wannabe House is a new party place, still not popular enough for people to visit it regularly. Small Social Gathering House is the place where people who are not supposed to drink hang out.

Every house has different “rules” for entertainment while being drunk. Some keep track of drunken thoughts of their mates, compiling endless lists of their drunken quotes. Others play videogames when drunk; they say it’s a totally different experience. Others prefer to go and play drunken soccer or drunken golf, depending on the sport they fancy. Well, I must say that entertainment depends on which dunk stereotype category one falls into. There are philosophical drunks, who just like talking for hours about complex issues. Creative drunks are the ones who get inspired and write poems. Angry drunks are always ready for a fight. Funny drunks are just funny and they make fun of the “puke-all-over-the-place drunks”. Melancholy drunks are crying over their lost love, while miserable drunks are just depressing to be around. The last, but not the least, there is the designated driver, who just watches all these characters, and makes sure they arrive alive in their rooms. At least he/she is aware of is what really going on; what about you?

Midterm Report on a Sophomore’s Life

As a sophomore you come more prepared to college, thinking that you already know the ropes of the game, and that you are in great advantage compared to your new freshman roommate, (who, you think, should be scared to death). You are even a Senator, a part of house council; you have a power of authority with which you can order those little guys around, in your advantage. You dream of living like a king, since you now feel like home.

Unfortunately, reality is unkind. You come to the hall to find out that nearly all freshmen (except three or four) are football players. When I say football players, I mean real ones, tall, muscular, massive; the ones that when they walk on the hall, you put your head down in fear, and escape their sight. So long for the feeling of superiority and authority. And then, you think that you know the ropes, until you see a bunch of new people you never met. You feel exactly like a freshman, just stupider, because you were here for a year, and have no idea what’s going on.

You thought that you did excellent in your freshman year? Well, welcome to your sophomore year, (especially if you’re a pre-med kid) where organic chemistry is all about a bunch of triangles, rectangles and hexagons; mammalian anatomy consists of dissecting cute kitties; and humanities teach how crazy our world really is. Welcome, oh you brave kitty slayer, oh you master of geometric shapes symbolizing sugar, oh you rounded figure trying to understand art, literature, music and philosophy, welcome to your sophomore year! You thought that you could beat the system? You were wrong; you can never beat the system; the system is always ahead of you! (Dude, I sound like one of those Matrix characters!)

But you always feel better when you hear your House President complaining: “I am not running a summer camp here! This is college!” Yeah, that’s right freshman! Do your own laundry by yourself. Oh, whom am I kidding; I’m a sophomore and I still didn’t figure out the secrets of doing laundry. I never really understood how to read the instructions on the washers; it’s as if they are written in hieroglyphs. I don’t know how I am going to be a doctor if I can’t read a simple set of instructions.

You know, by sophomore year you start thinking more about your future. I personally have to make my mind up about being doctor and a writer. I think I will quit writing. It neither gets you paid nor laid, so what’s the use of it. There was a time it used to be cool, but I think it turned out to be a bad investment: nowadays kids only watch movies and play video games. Maybe, if we, community of writers, could sabotage the entire film and video game industry, we might have a chance of surviving. And I can finally take my revenge upon people who beat me up in that “Halo” game.

Anyhow, I think that it has been a productive year so far. I’m learning so much about American people and culture. One thing that I still don’t get is “your mom” jokes. But don’t worry; until I graduate (in three years or so) I will become a master of those jokes. I will be undefeatable! “Your Mom’s ‘undefeatable’! Ouuuuu!”

My Fuzzy Goatie

Couple of years ago, I and my uncle were sitting on back porch of his house on one hot summer afternoon as he said to me: “There are thee kinds of beards: beard of wisdom, beard of calling and beard of bullshit. In which category does yours fit in?” I kind of stood surprised, and asked him to explain his question. “You know, beard of wisdom is like when you’re a person with great life experience and knowledge; beard of calling when you’re a doctor, professor or some kind of president; and beard of bullshit is the one that doesn’t fall in any of the above mentioned categories, the one whose sole purpose is fashion.” Yes, I got his point, but despite this, for some weird reason, I still kept growing my beard.

The history of my beard goes way beck to the beginning of my puberty, when I first got my single facial hair on the apex of my chin. Even then I thought of it (my single hair) as something cool that other kids didn’t have. I kind of felt superior, in a way. I even started thinking of it as my “good luck talisman chin hair”. I really started to believe this, to the point where later in life I would get into arguments with my mother who would order me to always shave it. I got in troubles because of my beard even in my boarding school, which had strict discipline rules on these matters. The principal made me go shave every Monday. I was always absent for the first class of the week. This didn’t really help much; it made me more stubborn instead.

And then… I came to beard growing utopia called college life, where nobody tells you to shave every Monday, where people are free to grow their beards, and they even write newspaper articles about them. Yeah, I’m finally free…

My beard is my pride. We went through difficult times together, we endured repression, facial hair ‘discrimination’, sharp razors, severe weather, eating soups, and dripping ice-creams… For me, my beard is like a trade-mark, like a logo by which I am identified as myself. It’s like a magnet for girls, I must say, because no matter what you wear, or what kind of hair style you have, your beard will always get their attention first. It is your best companion. When it snows and icy Iowa winds blow right in your face, it keeps you warm. In summer, it serves as a natural air conditioner, you just keep it wet and it will serve as a sponge refreshing your face for hours as it evaporates.

The length of my beard, that I started growing for about a month now, reached little more than 1 ½ inches. A friend of mine just gave me a small comb, in this way I’m keeping it tidy. I guess I can use some of the waxy substance Salvatore Dali used to use on his mustaches, it I knew what it was.

Why does it mean so much for me? Well, if I can grow a long beard and not care what people are saying, I can achieve any other goals. It’s like a personal Space Race. It’s about me proving to myself that I can. What I need is a noble way of saying goodbye to my beard. I’m planning to grow it until the point where I can braid it, I guess couple of inches long, and then, in the end, shave it, and never worry about it anymore.

The Adventurous Traveler

Here I am, back to school, full of creative ideas and energy to make great changes. Well, I don’t know about energy, I feel like a ran-out battery after all that traveling I did these past three months (Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania and Prague, Czech Republic). Right now I am writing this article from the worst place in the world, and it’s worse than hell. I’m sitting in the shadiest corner of Vienna Airport, because that’s the only spot in the entire airport that has a power outlet in which I can plug in my lap-top. I had to stay and spend a night here, because my connecting flight was the next day in the morning. I am among people who traveled the most in order to arrive to U.S., and in the same time, I am among the people who did weirdest thing while waiting for their connecting flights.

You know, seducing women was my best quality once, but now, I can’t even manage to persuade the lady at the reception desk of “airport transit area hotel” to give me a free room for me and my friends. “So, do you want to come to my hotel room? Well, yeah, sure. Ah, yes, but there is a little problem, I don’t have a hotel room, you have to get me one, preferably free! And, yeah, I’ll have to invite my friends too.”

This part of my adventure I called “hunting for the power outlet”, and it consisted of guess what? I was fixated by this obsessive compulsive feeling which I acquired after running out of my two and a half hour lap-top battery in the middle of playing this very addictive video game. If you ask me now, I can name and locate you all of the 7 power-outlets in the transit section of Vienna Airport, and tell you which ones work and which ones don’t. The one I’m using right now is the one near the bathroom. It’s funny how people look at your maniac face as you wonder in the search of Holy Grail, in your crusade for finishing the level of an addictive game. The good thing is that I didn’t get beaten from the people for staring at weird places. What if I was indeed beaten? Maybe they have better power outlets in prison cells?

You have no idea how safe I feel when I fly, especially with all those security checks. Whenever I walk through one of many metal-detector-beeping-doors, I have to take off my belt. I do this so often, that I came up with a special routine and swift moves for doing it. I call it “the Security Striptease”. It never bothered me to impress the ladies around me with my special abilities. I only wish the sexy lady that’s in front of me gets the beep, and puts up a small performance! How come they always get away with it?

How come I never get lucky when I fly? In this trip, one of my friend’s tickets was mixed up, and she got a first class seat. Guess whom did I sit with. Beside me was a prominent politician, who at the moment was pissed off at the airline that gave him the wrong seat. At least he enjoyed the warm sandwich, while my friend was drinking champagne before the take off, and eating specialties in silverware. Do you know what my friend said? “Well, I missed that good sandwich they have in Economy Class!” Yeah, right, just a good euphemism of the statement: “Food sucks in Economy Class!”

Even when I travel by bus instead of flying, I am nonetheless unlucky. There is always an old lady sitting on my seat that I especially reserved two weeks in advance. Instead of enjoying sitting somewhere in the back, I have to go and argue with the driver, until the old lady moves somewhere else. Well, what can I say; life is difficult, especially if you’re sitting on my seat. Sorry lady, but I must at least enjoy the comfort of front row bus ride; I’m going to suffer enough in spending the night at Vienna Airport.

I was the one who though that flying was the best way of traveling. Look at me now, my back aches from trying to sleep on metal benches, my throat is sore because of air-condition, I didn’t sleep the entire night because passengers kept arriving, my laptop battery is empty and worst of all, I’m wearing Wall-Mart clothes that are so sticky from the week old sweat because people at JFK Airport screwed up my luggage.