Vous souvenez-vous notre amie Mme. Beurre-Noisette? She has been plugging happily along in the years since we saw her last, but this week she is scratching her head again about one of the students in her pastry class.
Madame always asks the students to choose something written by one of the field's leading lights as the basis of an assignment. She mixes it up from term to term-- sometimes they write a paper, sometimes they make a video. In a couple of recent classes the students were assigned to submit a 1000-word paper to her and then describe their findings briefly in an online forum for their fellow students.
In the most recent class, our heroine decided to condense the assignment. Just write a discussion post, she told her students. Make it about 700 words. One of the submissions, she was startled to discover, included a bonus 1000-word paper as well as a discussion post. It was almost as if...the student had been working from...a different set of instructions, one no longer available to current students.
Most of the students who attend L'Université des Patisseries et Fricatives are motivated students, eager to learn the difference between a pâte brisée and a pâte sablée. No one, though, in all the years she has been teaching at L'UdPeF, has ever written her a bonus 1000-word paper before. It is not a thing that happens.
The mystery deepens: the student's responses to questions in the discussion forum are, shall we say, unpersuasive. Inspection of the bonus paper's metadata reveals that it was apparently created and edited in the space of a minute: created at 4:14 the day before it was due, last modified at 4:15.
One could imagine explanations for all of these things. Perhaps the student was so gripped by the writings of Escoffier that she could not restrain herself from singing his praises, and felt confident that Mme. Beurre-Noisette would be equally enraptured. Perhaps she labored long over an online document in order to share it more easily with her peer editor, and downloaded a near-final version onto her computer. A fair amount of digging has failed to unearth a similar document produced in a previous semester and resubmitted under this current student's name.
And yet-- Mme. Beurre-Noisette cannot shake the feeling that this is a suspicious concatenation of events.