Yesterday, I took my first physics exam, and left feeling a bit annoyed with one of my answers. It was bugging me because the answer I put didn't seem right, and I knew it was an easy question, but I wasn't sure how to get the correct answer. You know the story, because this sort of thing happens to everybody at one point or another. That being the case, you should know what happens next.
Because physics is my last class of the day, I walked out to my car right afterwards. As I touched the hot door handle, the light bulb above my head lit up, and I figured out how the problem should have been solved, and what the correct answer was. A huge wave of satisfaction hit me because everything was finally clear again. But, that feeling of triumph was almost immediately washed away by one of horror and disgust at my own stupidity.
I believe the question went something like this: "A man traveled 120 miles in one direction going 120 miles per hour, turned around, and came back going 60 miles per hour." Part c asked: What was the man's average speed? An easy question. Somehow, I came out with an answer of 240 miles per hour. That seemed like a lot, but my tired brain ignored the warning and gave up, rationalizing that he wouldn't get it done before the bell rang anyways. It wasn't until I was out in the parking lot that I realized all I had to do was take the total distance traveled and divide that by the total travel time.
240 miles per hour!? For his AVERAGE speed!?! That's ridiculous! The fastest he went was 120, so how could his average possibly be faster? GAH! What was I thinking? I'm an idiot! I now know that the correct answer is probably 80 miles per hour, which makes much more sense. But that doesn't matter now, oh no. Blast my stupid stupidity! If I could turn back time...