CB James

There was a process of correcting papers in our physics class that saved our teacher even the precious little effort required of her. We would take our tests, homework, or quizzes and pass them to a fellow student who would write CB -meaning 'Checked By'- and then their name at the top so there was a chain of custody so that if there was a mistake the offender could be sought out and beaten. Actually it was just a ruse on the part of our lazy teacher to scare us into honesty and it did not work on me. When I had not done homework I would pretend to pass my undone worksheet to the left and right and then switch my neighbor's papers and as she read the answers I would fill them in give myself a 100% and then write CB James at the top and turn it in with the rest. James had a well earned immaculate reputation and wholly unimpeachable character so that is why I employed his name in my ruse. It was the fact that I used James's name that ultimately foiled my plans for world domination. One day when our sluggard teacher was feeling particularly lazy she told us to read quietly while she talked on the phone in her office. She asked James to come up and take the huge pile of unrecorded homework and input it into the grading program because she had some urgent shirking to do before her dereliction appointment later that day. He must have been surprised to learn that he had corrected each and every one of my homework worksheets, returned a perfect score on each and then crudely forged his own name at the top after CB. He was so interested in this strange phenomenon that he brought it to our teacher's attention. She called me to the front of the class and asked how such a strange thing came to happen. It was one of those cases in which the idea of being caught never crossed my mind so when I was interrogated I went blank and was at a loss for words, which for me was a pretty big deal. The traitorous bullshit center of my brain displayed cowardice most unseemly and deserted in the face of the enemy leaving me to stammer something about it being a joke. She was mostly uninterested so she decided to give me a trial by ordeal to see if I had cheated and wrote three problems from the homework on the board and then asked me to work them in front of the class. Oh, the physics gods were kind that day and had muddled her mind into making a classic blunder, I loved nothing more than displaying my intelligence for an audience and you would not believe how hard it was to get a captive audience in the wild to observe physics and calculus. Chalk in hand I deftly worked every problem to perfection because I hated worksheets not physics and I had this stuff down cold. She was irritated that her plan didn't work and gave me credit for all my cheating which propelled me to the top five in the class. The lesson I learned here, years before Lance Armstrong made it popular was 'Cheat to Win'.