I completed my M.B.A. in 1981 at the Rotman School of Management (as it then was not known). During the course of my studies, I wrote a statistics mid-term and ended up getting quite concerned about it. I couldn’t understand many of the questions, let alone provide answers.
Prior to handing the mid-term exams back, the professor indicated a range of marks from, say, 95 to around 14, where the M.B.A. pass was 70. We all wondered who that poor soul could be with a mark of 14. We were soon to find out.
The professor handed the exams back in reverse numerical order, as soon became evident. I wondered when I would receive mine. I was soon to find out.
The professor had one exam left in his hand. I was the only student to not yet receive a paper. He let the paper fly through the air to my desk. As it landed, I jerked back. The cancer of failure. The public predicament of being The LOWest of THE LOW, with no way to fake it –“Yes I did poorly, but I certainly feel for that unknown person with the 14”. At the class break, people literally pointed in the hallway–“How did HE get in here?”
I stayed for the balance of the class, in a state of shock. When I got home, I did the most logical and understanding thing–blame my then girlfriend for my failure. She later became my ex-wife (“You haven’t changed!”). No surprises there.
My students never receive their exams in reverse numerical order. No surprises there.