BERKELEY, Calif.– Much to the surprise of students enrolled in GLBL 187, “Bullshit Exams and their Cultural Heritage,” Friday the 12th presented an unexpected subversion of their education; rather than take an exam, Professor Cook (wearing a lime jersey and Nike socks) instead offered three penalty kicks on an aluminum-frame goal erected at the hall’s rear wall. 

“I have been reading your emails, students, and I sympathize with your concerns over fair expectations in this course,” Cook acknowledged, gazing at his hands as he calculatedly donned a pair of padded goalie gloves. “In fact, I especially want to consider the unique subject that this Special Topics course has covered, and the underlying ethos we have identified: tests are bullshit. So, I was talking with the GSIs and we devised an alternative ‘exam’ for any interested student. If you can score a single goal on either myself or your GSI, you will receive full marks.” Chuckling as he smeared greasepaint on the upper ledge of his cheekbones, Cook punctuated his thought with an avuncular “good luck, have fun, and make sure to use the side of your foot.” 

Although students expressed their initial skepticism, general consensus revealed the overall popularity of Cook’s athletic examination. Nadine Gribbons, a junior who chose the penalty kicks, recounted her final. 

“Naturally, none of us chose to kick on Cook. Our GSI Ben came dressed in athleisure, and Cook came to class dressed in Atletico Madrid” leisure. To be explicit, we’re pretty sure he didn’t tell Ben that he would be goaltending. It ended up being a very easy decision, all things considered. For one, Ben is a short king, so he can’t even defend the whole box – whereas I caught the surprisingly agile professor practicing dives in the Hearst Mining Circle all week.”

“I couldn’t have asked for a better final exam,” said senior Sophie F. Reshman Jr. with a wide grin. “Ben did not have the makings of a varsity athlete. Everybody in class took a shot on him. I think we only had one student who needed two tries, and that’s because she shot with a pointed toe – she forgot to use the side of her foot.” 

At press time, rumors reported that the Chancellor’s office was considering offering Professor Cook the position of coaching Cal Basketball. 

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