As I drove my son to school for his New York State Chemistry Regent (for those of you not from New York, high school students here take Regents Exams to assess their mastery of New York State Learning Standards), I recalled my own chemistry regent, which was scheduled exactly 28 years ago today on June 20, 1989.
I woke up that bright sunny June morning to my radio alarm clock set to broadcast the Z Morning Zoo on Z-100. It was a zany morning talk show, that I loved listening to. That morning, the wacky DJs were talking about how the answers to that morning’s Chemistry regent were printed on the cover of the NY Post.
Naturally, I thought it was a hoax. Still, dreams do come true. I raced downstairs to tell my mother what I had heard. I expected her to denounce the news. Instead, she told me to quickly get ready for school, and run up the block to buy a newspaper. I think she wanted the paper, but I did what she instructed anyway.
Racing to the corner store (three blocks from my home), I eagerly found what I was looking for. Sure enough, the cover of the NY Post displayed the answers to the test! I was ready to burst! Some kids stole the regent and sold the answer key for $2,000. It was quite the scandal.
Dutifully, I dropped the newspaper off at home, and went to school for more information.
At school, my classmates were as excited as I was about the theft. Kids who always ran late were at school early. We all waited anxiously for someone to make the inevitable announcement. When it came, it was better than expected: The June 1989 Chemistry Regent was canceled! Not only that, all students scheduled to take the regent who had a passing grade in their chemistry class would not be required to take a make-up test. We were given full regents credit.
It was the greatest day in my regent taking experience. All these years later, I still delight in the fact that I didn’t have to take the test.
Good luck to all of those kids who had to take the regent today!