Sicheng Wang / Daily Nexus

Morgan Sanders enjoyed her quarter in Italy so much that she didn’t bother checking any emails from her home university. She was too busy posting selfies from coliseums to see the hundreds of zesty fire memes from her peers. Sanders returned to the U.S. feeling enlightened and refreshed, but she would soon pay for her insolence.

On January 9, 2018, Sanders walked into Buchanan 1920, expecting to be welcomed to History 177: California History. She was surprised to find the lecture hall packed even though she arrived 15 minutes early.

“I remember a student next to me asked if I was nervous,” Sanders recalled. “I asked them if they thought it was going to be that difficult; I guess I should have clarified.”

The TAs then handed out the exams, and the professor wrote the time remaining on the board. Still, Sanders remained clueless.

“I thought they were the syllabi, and maybe the professor just knew how much we all wanted to leave.” It wasn’t until she began flipping through the exam that she started to suspect that something was wrong. The test included essays about required readings and a multiple-choice section on Homer’s The Odyssey.  

“That’s when I got up and ran. I’ve seen The Simpsons, so I know Homer is from Illinois and not California.”

Sanders hopes that by sharing her story, she will save others from enduring the same fate.


Emily Anne Williams is a third-year linguistics major that checks her umail religiously.