When I was working towards my Master's Degree (in Secondary Math Education) I took one class where we had to solve really difficult problems every week. Most of us - though we did get the answers - took a LONG time to find the solutions. We struggled and we worked very hard (this is why I tell the story. To emphasize that I am somewhat determined and persistent. But not especially bright).
But there was one guy - Johnny - in this class who was amazing. Every question the professor asked, Johnny knew the answer. He wasn't conceited or demonstrative of the fact that he was quicker than the rest of us. In fact, he usually WOULDN'T offer to answer any questions until the professor called on him. But EVERY time the professor did so, Johnny would calmly and modestly provide the correct answer. Very impressive!
Anyway, one week we got this really tough question. I think it might have been the following (though it may have had something to do with divisibility rules in bases other than 10):
Arrange the digits 0 to 9 such that the number formed by the first digit is divisible by 1, the number formed by the first two digits is divisible by 2, that formed by the first three digits divisible by 3, and so forth, thus the number formed by the first 9 digits will be divisible by 9 and that formed by all 10 digits divisible by 10.
(by the way, there is no advanced math required to answer this problem. YOU could answer it. Go for it! And don't bother impressing me with your Googling skills. Actually try it!)
I really struggled with this problem. I probably took about 5 hours total (over 3 or 4 days) to finally get the answer. I don't know - maybe it was even longer than that. It took me a LOOOONG time.
So I arrive at class the next week and - before class starts - a bunch of us are comparing answers. A few people never solved it at all. A few others did but - like me - took a very long time to do so. And probably a few others solved it in a shorter length of time (but still took multiple hours to solve it).
Class was just about to start and in saunters Johnny.
Me: Hey Johnny! Did you get the answer to that problem?
Johnny: What problem?
Me [horrified]: That problem about divisibility. It's due today!
Johnny [very calm]: Can you show me the question?
Me [frantic]: It's an epic problem, Johnny! It takes forever!
Johnny [exceedingly calm]: Hmmmm... tell Rina (our professor) that I am going to be a little late...
Johnny exits the room and class starts. Fifteen minutes - TWENTY MINUTES AT MOST!! - later, Johnny glides back into the room. I look over at him inquisitively and he gives me this little nod. "Yep, no problem. I got it."
HE ANSWERED THE ENTIRE QUESTION IN 20 MINUTES!!! How??!?!?
This is someone who is smart. I honestly feel that Johnny might be the smartest person (at least, in terms of mathematics) that I have ever come across in my life.
Now... are you ready for the surprise ending?!?
(here it comes...)
The guy who is filling in for me while I'm on paternity leave is Johnny!
Johnny is the guy who is filling in for me while I'm on paternity leave!
So, if you have been saving the EXTRA-HARD questions (in Math, in Pre-Calculus, in Calculus, undoubtedly in Computer Sciences...) this is your opportunity to get them answered.
Just remember: he's Johnny to me. He's Mr. Huynh to you. And he's one smart cookie!
(he's also a really nice guy)