LET JIMMY GRADUATE!

A high school was just about to begin its graduation ceremonies at the end of the term.  The county’s school superintendent had just arrived to give a speech and hand out the degrees to the proud graduates.  When the time came to begin the principal and the superintendent walked out on the stage.  The principal walked to the podium and the superintendent waited to the side and a bit behind to take his turn.  As the principal began to speak the entire crowd erupted in a chant, “Let Jimmy graduate, let Jimmy graduate…” and on and on.

The superintendent stepped up to the podium and whispered to the principal, “Who is Jimmy?”

“He’s the best player on our football team, but he failed his math final and will have to go to summer school.”

“Let me take over for a moment and I’ll see if we can resolve this,” the superintendent replied.  The principal retreated and the superintendent moved behind the podium while the crowd’s chant continued.  The superintendent raised his hands and finally was able to bring the chant to a halt.  He leaned toward the microphone and spoke.  “Is Jimmy here?”  Getting no response he asked again.  After a moment a young man stood up.

“Are you Jimmy?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Please come up here for a moment.”  Jimmy walked to the side of the stage, ascended the stairs and walked to the podium.  The superintendent extended his hand and shook Jimmy’s hand.  “As superintendent I have authority to qualify you to graduate and I will do so if you can convince me that you actually understand your math principles.  Do you understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Okay, what is the square root of 49?”

“Ahhh … 98.”  A disappointed expression appeared on the superintendent’s face, but immediately the crowd erupted, “Give Jimmy another chance, give Jimmy another chance, give Jimmy another chance…”

“Once again the superintendent raised his hands and after about a minute the crowd finally quieted down.  Okay, Jimmy, I’m going to give you another chance.  What is the product of 9 times 14?”

“An apprehensive Jimmy thought for what seemed an eternity.  Ahhh … 140?”  Once again a disappointed expression appeared on the superintendent’s face, but again the crowd erupted, “Give Jimmy another chance, give Jimmy another chance, give Jimmy another chance…”

“Once again the superintendent raised his hands and after about a minute the crowd finally quieted down.  Okay, Jimmy, I’m going to give you one last chance.  That’s one last chance, Jimmy.  Okay, what is 17 minus 9?”

Jimmy thought for several long moments.  “Ahhh … 8?”  Immediately the crowd began another chant.  “Give Jimmy another chance, give Jimmy another chance, give Jimmy another chance…”

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