PRINCETON, NJ – Julian Davis ‘16 stunned both his fellow students and his professor Tuesday morning by winning his HIS 101 precept. Sources confirm that, when asked for general thoughts on the book his professor wrote, Davis posed a question so intellectual, thought-provoking and unquestionably correct that his professor was unable to muster a response. With no other recourse, his professor Bernard Kensington declared the precept won.
Experts confirmed that this was the first time in the long, storied history of the precept system that a student had emerged victorious from a discussion group.
“I didn’t even realize winning was possible,” preceptor Brendan Laurie ’11 admitted. “I’d always thought that the preceptorial system was conceived to facilitate discussion and understanding between students, but I guess this makes a lot more sense.”
A member of Davis’s precept, Dorothy Lin ’17, managed to jot down the following snippets of his winning question:
“I feel like—this is just my opinion—but the way I see it, I kind of think…”
“…[outside] of the book’s inherent flaws, I found the Oxford comma on page 49 quite offensive.”
“…a point that I’ll go back to after reciting [Plato’s] Allegory of the Cave.”
“Your book is wrong, Kensington.”
“As shocked as I am, I must respectfully concede that, despite my three degrees in History and [Davis’s] one year of college, I have been completely and utterly bested by my student,” Kensington said. “Never in my three decades of research had I even remotely considered any of the points he brought up.”
“Now that I think about it,” Kensington recalled, “his question was less a question than it was an all-encompassing statement of his intellectual superiority over everyone in the room. I believe at one point he blamed me for Apartheid while also taking credit for the invention of the internet.”
“I was bullied a lot in high school,” admitted Davis, “for being ‘pedantic’ and ‘trying too hard.’ Well, just look at me now, Marcus.”
Indeed, at press time, sources confirmed that Davis had received the numbers of no less than three girls. Davis plans to declare an English major in the spring.
- EYY ’17. Illustrated by KX ’16.