My fellow Australians, make sure you're sitting before you read this story because I guarantee you will turn into the most patriotic Aussie ever when you hear what has just happened to a university student in the US.
Ashley Arnold is 27 years old and is currently studying an online course with Southern New Hampshire University.
She recently had to submit an assignment that involved comparing social norms in the US to that of another country and out of all the countries in the world, Ashley chose Australia.
The Idaho-based student decided to compare the use of social media in the US to the use of social media in Australia, which is a decent idea, but when she got her assignment back on the 1st of February, she discovered that she had been given an F grade by her professor.
Why? Because Australia is apparently not a country!
The professor had given Ashley a zero grade in multiple sections of the assignment because she said that Australia wasn't a country it was, in fact, a continent.
She told Buzzfeed News that at first, she just couldn't believe what she was reading:
“At first I thought it was a joke; This can’t be real. Then as I continued to read I realized she was for real.
"With her education levels, her expertise, who wouldn't know Australia is a country?
"If she's hesitating or questioning that, why wouldn't she just google that herself?"
Our thoughts exactly!
Ashley wanted to prove to her professor that she deserved a better grade because Australia is indeed a country populated by Australians, such as you lovely people reading this story right now, she wrote a lengthy letter to her professor explaining that Australia actually is an country AND a continent, because we're so cool:
"I believe I got zero or partial credit because the instructor said, 'Australia is a continent; not a country'.
"However, I believe that Australia is a country.
"The research starter on the SNHU’s Shapiro library written by John Pearson (2013) states, that Australia is the 'sixth-largest country in the world' (n.p.).
"The full name of the country is the Commonwealth of Australia, meaning Australia is both a continent and a country.
"Therefore, these sections of the rubric should be amended."
The professor replied to Ashley's letter soon after, but still didn't believe we Aussies lived in a country called Australia:
"I will gladly re-examine your week 2 milestone project report.
"But before I do I want you to understand that any error in a project can invalidate the entire research project.
"Research is like dominoes, if you accidentally knock over one piece the entire set will also fall.
"Australia is a continent; it is not a country. That error made it nearly impossible for you to accurately complete your week 2 research outline correctly.
"As I mentioned above I will look over your week two paper once again and see if you earned more credits than I gave you."
Ashley then replied to her professor, sending her a link to the 'About Australia' section of the Australian website, showing that Australia is definitely a country that is apart of The Commonwealth alongside Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and plenty more.
We even have our own versions of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Survivor, which are all huge shows in the US!
"Australia is both a country and a continent. It’s the only country that is both. I provided a resource in the first email that clarifies that for you.
"If you need further clarification google or the SNHU Shapiro Library has that information you.
"Again I mean no disrespect but my grade is affected by your assumption that Australia is not a country when it in fact is.
"Thank you and let me know if I need to provide further resources proving Australia is a country."
Finally, the professor replied to Ashley saying that she will do some "independent research" on the matter.
"Thank you for this web-address.
"After I do some independent research on the continent/country issue I will review your paper."
When the professor was doing their research, they no doubt would have discovered that Australia is a country with it's own flag:
And Olympic team, who we really hope will win heaps of medal at the upcoming Winter Olympics now, just to prove how awesome we are.:
Ashley eventually received a B+ on her assignment, with the professor saying that there was a "misunderstanding about the difference between Australia as a country and a continent" and asked her to "please make sure the date, the facts, and the information you provide in your report is about Australia the country and not Australia the continent".
Which is a bit icy...
As a very proud Australian, I do understand that yes, there could be a misunderstanding about our heritage, but we are a very significant country in the world and a simple Google search could have fixed this whole situation.
Australia is a country and a continent and without us, Kath And Kim wouldn't have been brought into the world.