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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Rat-hat roonie: Students find new ways to cheat

With finals soon approaching, many of us are scrambling to prepare. Getting in some last-minute studying, meeting with professors and crying silently into our pillows late into yet another sleepless night means the days of reckoning are upon us. However, some have claimed that a recent rise in academic dishonesty calls into question the integrity of these end-of-semester exams. It was this fear that prompted the chancellor to host an impromptu conference to propose ideas to mitigate the threat of cheating students.

 “Students have been finding new and creative ways to cheat! To address this, I’m imposing a ban on all hats across campus,” said the chancellor. A man in the back of the room then asked the million-dollar question:

“Sir, you claim a direct correlation between hats and cheating. Are you suggesting that there could be something under these hats helping these students cheat? Is this a ‘Ratatouille’ situation? Are you suggesting there could be rats under students’ hats, pulling on their hair and helping them ace their exams?”

The elephant in the room had been addressed; the cat was out of the bag; the rat had been exposed.

“No! That would be lunacy,” spoke the chancellor, “I’m just saying that we can’t rule it out.”

I spent the rest of my day pondering the chancellor’s proposal. I mean, is it possible? Could there actually be rats under people’s hats helping them cheat? After all, “Ratatouille” is an amazing movie. The concept of a rat being able to cook is just as endearing as it is weird, but we aren’t talking about a kitchen—we’re talking about education. Apparently, not only can a rat make people chefs, but now can apparently get you an “A” in an upper-level macroeconomics course.

This opens up a potentially bottomless can of worms. Just how far does this logic extend? Can a rat make you a world-class chess player? Can a rat grant you the songwriting prowess of David Bowie? Can a rat make those around you treat you with the respect and dignity you rightfully deserve? You’re omnipotent!

With a rat in your hat, there’s nothing you can’t do. You become unstoppable; you become a god. Can those with hats even be trusted? Maybe Tom Brady’s been hiding a rat in his helmet all these years. Everyone was busy making a fuss about deflate-gate when what they should have been talking about was rat-gate.

It was nearly four in the morning by the time I realized just how far I had stumbled down the rat-hat rabbit hole. In terms of the chancellor’s proposed hat ban, I see two possibilities. The first is that his words signal the coming of an age in which humans and rats form a symbiotic bond, allowing us to reach levels of achievement beyond our wildest dreams. The second is that he’s crazy.

As I cry aggressively into my pillow, my mind wanders to the first possibility. I mean, I already have a hat and a quick stroll around the harbor walk trash cans couldn’t hurt. So, I kiss my academic anxieties goodnight, grab my hat and leap head first into the arms of hope. Whether I find a rat or heartbreak, I know one thing is certain: I’m absolutely out of my mind.

About the Contributor
Joe DiPersio, Humor Editor