Back in my day, which coincided with Facebook’s Paleolithic Era—when Al Pacino graced the top-left hand corner and there were still those “GET RID OF THE NEWS FEED” groups with thousands of members— Ward Melville Senior High School seniors Jake Bryant and Kevin Xu started a weird little online phenomenon, inspired both by the recently released movie “300” and crippling boredom, says Andy Moore for The duo knew their AP exams were coming up, and that they were in for an arduous few hours highlighted by long and dull essays, flickering fluorescent lighting and those ever-present No. 2 pencil hand cramps. It was early 2008. Bryant and Xu had a plan to make their finals suck less. They had discovered that anything written in the AP booklets, and then crossed out, would not be graded. So, they thought, what if everyone in their high school paused halfway through their essays, wrote “THIS IS SPARTA!” in all caps, then crossed it all out with a single, thin line? And, what if a Facebook group was created that sent the message out to thousands of other high school seniors, who would also write the King Leonidas quote in their English Lit, World History and Music Theory exams? Would others go along with this? Would it add some levity to the stressful tests? Would it drive test graders to the point of insanity?

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staff and wire services reports