Jim Fleming (JF)
JF: School was out for two weeks all the telephone lines were down. I was at home with nothing to do. But I was a curious boy and I loved to learn, so I had brought my biology book home. I loved biology, I loved the animal kingdom. So during these two weeks, I memorized the animal kingdom: the order, and the genesis of the species, phylum, the whole deal. So I get back to school and it was time for exams. And the exam for biology said: write the animal kingdom. So I wrote like the dickens and finished it. Well, the next day when they were grading the papers I got called in to the principal’s office. and he said. ”Jimmy I’m sorry but you cheated. And we’re going to have to punish you.” I said, ”Well wait a minute now, I didn’t cheat, I know that.”
He said, ”Nobody knows that.” I said, ”Well I do.” And um he said, ”Well if you’re so smart you just sit down right there and let me see you do that.” So I sat down there and wrote the animal kingdom just like I had on the exam. Just exactly like it was. But here’s the corollary to that story. When I got to Vanderbilt, then, my freshman year we studied biology. When it came time for the final exam I sat down and there was one question, it said: write the animal kingdom. And I sat down and wrote that blue book, wrote it full. Couple of days later Dr. Ferrel called me in, said ”No one can write the animal kingdom like that, you copied it out of a book.” I said, ”No, Dr. Ferrel I did not.” So he says, ”Sit down right here and show me.”
So I wrote the animal kingdom. By that time, I knew it very well. When I got into practice, I got a call one night from the Vanderbilt emergency room. So I got over there and assessed. I saw this girl and said I need to take her to surgery. Nurse said, ”Well you need to talk to her father.” So I went out to talk to the father and there was Dr. Ferrel.
And he looked at me and then he said, ”Animal kindom aren’t you boy?” And I said, ”Yep, that’s me Dr. Ferrel.” And he said, ”You’re ok. You go ahead and operate on my daughter.”