I was a social science major in college.

All of my science-major friends used to complain about class averages on exams/midterms that were very low (like in the 40s or 50s – that’s 40 or 50%).

I never really thought much of it.

Here is my new theory: The way they bring down the curve is by mumbling. Since you can’t actually HEAR what they’re saying, only those who are practically touching the professor are privy to the valuable information s/he spews forth.

I mean, I’m only basing this on an n=2 (two courses), but so far it seems to be holding up. And, in fact, if asked to repeat himself (in my small class of 25 people) (as I do, on a very regular basis), the professor looks at you as if you’ve just asked him to kill his first-born child. It’s a very efficient facial expression – a mixture of horror, astonishment, and disbelief. The rest of the class (90% of whom have just finished their freshman year in college) shift uncomfortably in their seats and look down at their notes.

I know, I really push the envelope.

And, in fact, now that I’m really thinking about it, in that small classroom, only the PROFESSOR can actually see everything written on the board. That’s right, folks. There is ABSOLUTELY NOT ONE SINGLE SEAT in the entire classroom that has a birds-eye view of everything written on the board. To seal the deal, the professor STANDS IN FRONT OF THE BOARD, narrating in mumbles. Just in case you want to, you know, see it. You can’t.

That’s my theory. I’ll let you know in August if I was right.

P.S. This is a little bit tongue in cheek.  I realized just now that maybe it wasn’t clear.  I’m KIDDING (a little bit.  Although how on Earth does one process the mumbling?!?)