Watson wrote his paper about the proposed amendment, noting that nobody had ever put a time limit on it, so technically, after nearly two centuries, it could still be ratified. The class TA gave him a C, insisting that nobody cared about an obscure old amendment proposal about congressional salaries and that the idea that it could still be ratified was crazy, no matter how much "evidence" he dug up. Watson appealed to his professor, who told him the same thing.
Now, a C grade is the kind of mark most of us aspire to see one day, but Watson took it as an insult. There was only one way to prove that he was right, and that was to ratify the hell out of that amendment. Watson began calling up state legislatures to convince them that the amendment was a good idea, and they turned out to be a lot more interested than his teachers had been. The first state Watson convinced was Maine, with others quickly following suit. In 1992, the amendment was ratified by the requisite three-fourths of states and officially became the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 202 years after it was presented to Congress.
Apparently, simply doing the extra credit work was asking too much.
When someone tracked down Watson's old professor to ask for her opinion, she said that she didn't even remember Watson, but was proud to have inspired him. "Inspired" isn't quite the right word, here. "Inspited" would be better. Somebody ask the Germans; we're sure they have a term for it already.