"Harvard is noted for many things," Professor James J. Lingane told his Chemistry 40 class yesterday as a few students in the back of the room began to mumble about how they wished he would sit down and let them work on the surprise hour exam which was now in progress.
"Among these," he continued, "are its fine humor publications, of which this hour exam is one."
The class looked up in startled amazement as a plot which had been carried out by Harvard's insurgent humor magazine, the Gargoyle, was revealed. The problems with which they were now struggling, the students learned, were impossible to solve and had been prepared without the assistance of the course's staff.
On the day which the Gargoyle chose for the exam, fake blue books and mimeographed question sheets were distributed, the traditional errata was inscribed on the blackboard and non-science exam proctors--Sam R. Little '64 and James D. Parry '64--paced the lecture hall, offering convincing but completely inane answers to the students' questions.
Professor Lingane was handed a note explaining the situation as he entered the classroom. He was delayed for some ten minutes, after which he took the rostrum to expose the hoax. While he was making his announcement one of the "proctors" stood at the blackboard behind him marking off the time which remained for completing the exam.
"I am never surprised at what students do," the professor commented, leaving the room with two copies of the fake problem sheets.