The story begins in 1982. A 19-year-old sophomore named Gregory Watson was taking a government class at UT Austin. For the class, he had to write a paper about a governmental process. So he went to the library and started poring over books about the U.S. Constitution — one of his favorite topics...And he did. Go read the story to find out what effort it took!
Gregory was intrigued. He decided to write his paper about the amendment and argue that it was still alive and could be ratified. He got to work, being very meticulous about citations and fonts and everything. He turned it in to the teaching assistant for his class -- and got it back with a C...
He appealed the grade to the professor, Sharon Waite.
“I kind of glanced at it, but I didn't see anything that was particularly outstanding about it and I thought the C was probably fine,” she recalls.
Most people would have just taken the grade and left it at that. Gregory is not most people.
“So I thought right then and there, ‘I'm going to get that thing ratified.’”
And with the benefit of hindsight, Sharon says, Gregory clearly doesn’t deserve that C she gave him.Isn't there a similar story about the man who founded FedEx? The answer is "maybe".
“Goodness, he certainly proved he knew how to work the Constitution and what it meant and how to be politically active,” she says. “So, yes, I think he deserves an A after that effort -- A+!”
And that’s exactly what happened.
This month, Sharon signed a form to officially change the grade. At the Pop-Up Magazine show at the Paramount Theatre in Austin on March 4, we brought Gregory up on stage to surprise him with the grade change.