Legal cheating I was never really good in Latin, although I had taken it for 5 years. The final exam was near and would decide whether I failed or passed the class. There were just 6 people and all the students were very smart and had an average of about 95%. I had a normal average of 86%. It would be very hard for me to pass the class. It was also hard because the first teacher we had in Latin was not strict: It was possible to talk during tests and nobody really learned from them.

The teacher we had now was very strict and I had to study very hard. Two days before the exam, our teacher gave us some unknown vocabulary and several strange forms of different verbs which we had to learn for the exam. At home I thought about what to study. I only knew about the vocabulary words and that the exam would be an unknown text from Ovid of 15 verses which we have to translate. Just practicing translating two days would not suffice.

Then an idea flashed through my mind. The next day I went to the library and borrowed the complete works of Ovid with translation. I thought that I perhaps would find the part with the given vocabulary. So I started to search for 15 verses in 500 pages of text. After 2 and a half hour I found 15 verse in context including the given vocabulary. I learned this part and the translation by heart.

But I was afraid there could be another piece with the given words, so I went on searching. Finally I got tired and stopped. I said to myself: All or nothing. On the day of the exam I was very excited. I could not sit quietly in my chair. Then the teacher came towards me and gave me my paper.

I looked at it and had to try hard not to scream because of my success. Now I had to be an actor. If I were to write the translation at once down, I would have been ready in 10 minutes and the teacher would perhaps had notice it. So, I stared on my paper and wrote every minute some words down One week later we got the results of the exam: I had 100% and passed the class!

After school the teacher asked me why I was suddenly so good. I answered that I had studied very hard the last two weeks because basically I liked Latin very much. I explained that Latin is attractive for me because it is a dead language and there was so much history behind it. I think my teacher was so amazed that he believed my story.