A bold interpretation of his accounting professor’s instructions for an accounting test paid off for Elijah Bowen.

Reb Beatty, an assistant professor at Anne Arundel Community College, posted a photo on Instagram and Facebook on Tuesday of Bowen, one of his students, taking a test with a massive poster board-sized cheat sheet beneath his exam.

“First test day of the semester and as always, I allow a 3×5 notecard,” Beatty wrote in the caption. “Today, a student shows up with this. Sure enough, it is 3×5… feet.”

Rather than shut Bowen down or chew him out, Beatty took it as a sign that he just wasn’t specific enough with his instructions. “As precise as I am, apparently I never specified inches and therefore yes, it was allowed. Well played and lesson learned for me,” he wrote.

The internet loved the studious, if not Spicoli-esque scene. The post went viral on Facebook over the next three days, getting shared nearly 24,000 times as of Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Unsurprisingly, Bowen benefitted from receiving permission to use his massive cheat sheet. On the linked Instagram post, he wrote back to his professor with a message of thanks, then added in a subsequent comment, “if I failed the test you can have my skateboard.”

“I think your skateboard is safe,” Beatty replied. “I’ll try it out in the hall someday, though.”

Isn’t the internet great?

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...