Topic: "Grading on a Curve"
Frodo recalls one of those survey courses he took at the College of the Shire. He never knew why it was required, and he has certainly never applied anything he memorized in those days. When the first test scores came back, not a single Hobbit scored higher than "55." Frodo knows because he has often wondered who the alien was that did so well on something so virtually impossible. Fearing that his time as a student would be entirely preparatory for Basic Training in the Army of the Shire, Frodo was pleased to become acquainted with the concept of "grading on a curve."
George W. Bush is probably very familiar with the concept. In contrast to Frodo, the Leader of the Western World is applying it to real life. In his State of the Union Address, Volume VI, Sauron is going to announce a reduction in the number of Army Reserves and of National Guardsmen. He will, Frodo assumes, wrap this as if it is a reduction in troop committments to fight the Pre-Emptive War. He will also take credit for the cost savings to the taxpayers of Middle Earth.
What Sauron will neglect to mention is that he is unable to attract sufficient volunteers into either activity. All he is doing is reducing the "authorized" number down to the "actual" number. He will, of course, make this sound as if it is some sort of successful effort on his part, and proudly give himself an "A."
It is now clear to Frodo how he got through Yale.
Frodo might have deserved something below the "B" he got out of that survey course a long time ago. The curve may have helped keep him out of the rice paddies of Vietnam, but it may also have given some people the mistaken impression that Sauron experiences legitimate cognitive thought.
It probably also explains the whole idea of "No Child Left Behind."