Friday, November 13, 2009

The what-meter

Students have their own creative way of passing time in classes, especially if it was boring. In those non-cell phone days, doodling, passing chits around, reading something else, playing some paper game or gazing out of the window (or at the opposite sex)  etc, and it still is! :-)

While doing my UG course, I had a Physics teacher, say X (no name out of respect), who had a quirky mannerism. X used to use the word 'what' in almost all spoken sentences. For example, You know Bose-Einstein statistics, what?, The equation for relating inductance and capacitance is what, inverse of 2 times PI root (LC) what. The relation between joule and watt is what ..., What are you doing there, what? etc

I used to be a quiet, attentive, "teacher fearing" lad and in the good books of most of the lecturers including X (was anonymous for the rest :-)). To get over boredom during X's lectures (each class period was around 50 or 55 minutes), used to divide that time into intervals of 10 minutes each on the notebook margins and measure some of X's most frequently used words like 'tell me', 'what' and generated statistics out of it as 'whats per minute', 'whats per hour', peak 'what' intervals, plot a running graph and see the shape of the 'what' curve. I called it the what-meter and shared it with close friends. It used to be fun doing it and the counting used to be on hand and then transferred to paper once the count gets to five. The margins of my lecture notes from X's classes would have lots of dashes and crosses.

Obviously when you do it more, your attention will be on the 'whats' and not on the class. One fine day, X was discussing some serious topic, quantum mechanics, I think and when someone in the class asked a question, X shot a volley of 'whats', like 'what what what what what what what, repeat it' or something like that. I just couldn't control my laughter and burst out laughing aloud. The whole class was stunned and X ordered me to get out of the class and not to get into any of X's future classes because of my lack of seriousness.

After the class ended, scared out of my wits at his outburst, went begging behind X saying sorry and making promises not to repeat it again. After walking behind X two floors down to X's desk, X said that it was not expected of a student like me to behave that way in class and I was pardoned and warned not to repeat it again.

And thus ended the saga of the what-meter!


PNA said...

the what, That was so funny. Just like some ppl add a 'no' to the end of all their sentences. My mom tells us abt her prof who was called Sir. Clear like ur Mr. What..

:)) Good day RamMmm

RamMmm said...

Willkommen PNA and a good day to you too. :) It was fun looking back at an episode long hidden in the memory maze.

You have some lovely snaps and short poems at your web-nest. Gosh! your desk snaps were amazing. :-)

Savitha said...

The idiosyncracies of college days! Sigh!!I could relate to this one,though!!

RamMmm said...

Bienvenue Savitha. I felt I had missed a lot at college. This was in hindsight, a lot of years after being out of college. But nevertheless, a lot of wonderful memories, which I try to jog into. A nice time to be a little carefree in life.

Uttara said...

:D, lol non cell phone days. You betcha