Some tests, Mark Jankowski knows, can explore a young man's heart, x-ray his soul.
That History of the Modern Middle East exam his senior year at Providence, as a for-instance.
"It was a requirement for my major,'' recalls the rangy centreman, involuntarily, almost imperceptibly recoiling at the memory. "And it was … tough. A tough class. History of the Modern Middle East. I mean, it even sounds tough.
"So I really had to focus, to buckle down, because I needed it to graduate.
"I remember the week leading up to writing it, I don't think I came out of my bedroom. Didn't get much sleep. I'm not sure I even ate.
"Just locked into my notes."
His current study habits are decidedly different. They involve every extra rep in the gym, each additional kilometre on the odometer while running, the pushing and prodding of his body to be bigger, faster, stronger, sharper.