When Evan Colby walked into his AP Latin class at Ravenscroft School, his classmates applauded. Some asked for his autograph.
The fanfare was well-deserved. Colby, a 17-year-old senior at the Raleigh private school, was the only student in the world last year to earn a perfect score on the Advanced Placement Latin exam, the Raleigh News-Observer reports.
“It was kind of overwhelming,” Colby said of his accomplishment. “But it makes me feel like (doing well) on AP exams is doable.”
The College Board, an organization that oversees some standardized programs and tests for college readiness, also handles the AP Latin exam. The AP program gives high school students the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school.
Colby found out last summer that he scored a 5 — the highest score — on the Latin test, but he didn’t know he got a perfect score until last week.
More than 6,600 students took the AP Latin exam last year, according to the College Board. Only 828 students got a score of 5.
Colby expected to do well on the exam, he said, but he didn’t think he would earn a perfect score. As part of the test, students must write an essay in English that is based on Latin history. Colby’s essay was about the leadership tactics of Julius Caesar and Virgil.
Teacher Jonathan Avery, who has taught Colby for two years, said it’s not surprising the teen has become so successful in Latin studies. Ravenscroft students begin learning foreign languages in elementary school.
Still in Dixie, Landon Labuskes was a 14-year-old sophomore in Aldie, Va., when he took the AP exam that gauges performance in college-level calculus. Only nine other students in the U.S. achieved a perfect score.
For the record, A-E last achieved academic perfection in the first grade, when he scrawled his name correctly.
A heroic superstar passes
Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who became the sixth man on the moon when he and Alan Shepard helped NASA recover from Apollo 13’s ‘‘successful failure’’ and later devoted his life to exploring the mind, physics, and unexplained phenomena such as psychics and aliens, died recently in Florida. He was 85.
Dr. Mitchell, one of only 12 humans to set foot on the moon, was not a typical astronaut: he earned a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT.
More scientific excellence
A team of scientists announced they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prediction of Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. That faint rising tone, physicists say, is the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time that Einstein predicted a century ago, multiple news sources said.
Here‘s the amazing part of the story: The discovery completes Einstein’s vision of a universe in which space and time are interwoven and dynamic, able to stretch, shrink and jiggle. It’s also a ringing confirmation of the nature of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits from which not even light can escape, which were the most foreboding (and unwelcome) part of his theory.
Generally, the detection means that, a century of innovation, testing, questioning and plain hard work after Einstein imagined it on paper, scientists have finally tapped into the deepest register of physical reality with the weirdest and wildest implications of Einstein’s universe.
A-E’s first baseball mention of the year
Let’s say Theo Epstein’s Chicago Cubs win the World Series this fall for the first time since 1908. That would make Theo Epstein a Hall of Fame executive. To win three championships with two of the game’s most storied franchises, the Cubs and Red Sox, while ending epic title droughts would give Epstein, 42, a unique place in baseball history, the Boston Globe says.
Al Bruce writes a weekly column for The Evening Tribune.