The cell phone policy inside of Professor Stephen Barrows’ classroom, room 152 at Aquinas College is stern and effective. As an incentive to keep students’ phones from ringing in class, Barrows told his students they must answer incoming calls on speakerphone if they felt compelled to take a call in the middle of class.
Barrows got more than he bargained for in his Marco-Economics class on April 1. While he was attempting to prank the class with a pop quiz, Taylor Nefcy’s phone rang.
“I think that was the first time that somebody actually answered their phone when it was ringing,” Barrows said. “Most of the time students just reach down quickly and turn it off.”
Nefcy’s cell phone rang at 11 a.m. sharp on April Fools day, as according to plan. “It was nerve racking, we kept looking at the clock and looking at each other trying to be as normal as possible,” Nefcy said.
Nefcy answered the phone and on the other line was who the professor thought was Kevin from the Pregnancy Resource Center informing Nefcy her test results came back positive that she was pregnant. It was actually Nefcy’s friend.
“I felt awful,” said Abigal Lama, a student in class who had no idea of the prank. “I wasn’t sure what to say or do. I just sat there in shock like our professor did and couldn’t believe what was happening.”
“When I heard that, the first thing I thought was, ‘Did I hear what I think I heard!?” said Barrows.
In a state of shock, Barrows says in the video “Okay, you might want to shut that down” as he holds his papers over his face.
However, the conversation continued.
“I kept thinking why is she not shutting it off, I’m going to have to apologize,” said Barrows.
The conversation ends and Barrows immediately publicly apologizes during his class.
Nefcy responds in the video saying, “It’s okay, I’ve been expecting this and I already know what I’m going to name the baby. The first name will be April, middle name Fools.”
The classroom immediately bursts out in laughter.
“It was quite a relief at the moment,” Barrows said. “I thought she’s not humiliated, this is a joke and it’s all on me.”
“I was shaking, even after class I was shaking and sweating,” said Nefty. “It all came together perfectly.”
It took a couple of days for the video to surface on YouTube. It was originally meant for Aquinas students to pass around campus. However after a few days of thought, the professor changed his mind. “To be really complete and their creativity was so good, I just gave them the thumbs up.”
And three days later, the video has over 17 million views on YouTube. The feedback from across the globe is overwhelming.
“We’re getting a lot of comments a lot about Dr. Barrows about how much of a good sport he’s been, how an awesome professor he is, and how cool Aquinas is,” Nefcy said. “We have people saying you were all over the news in Australia, England, Ireland, Japan, Chile and Greece.”
“I’ve gotten emails from former military colleagues when I was in the air force,” Barrows said. “In fact, a person from high school I haven’t been in contact for years has contacted me. It’s pretty amazing how broad the feedback has been.”
Nefcy said that people have contacted her asking to buy the video off of her for thousands of dollars. Nefcy has declined all of those offers.