Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Is What...is what?

Once again I am volunteering as a note taker for a learning disabled friend in my school. Taking dictation on my laptop has never been a problem until yesterday.

The biology teacher had a beautiful thick Nigerian accent and even though his English was a bit stilted understanding him wasn't a problem. The problem was that he would pause and then interrupted each and every sentence with “is what …is what?” The lecture was on cytoplasms and it went like this: " Cytoplasm …is what…is what? A gelatinous, semi-transparent fluid that…is what…is what? fills most cells. Eukaryotic cells contain … is what..is what? a nucleus that is kept separate from the… is what… is what?... cytoplasm by a… is what… is what? double membrane layer."

Halfway through the lecture several of the students in the class were on the verge of tears due to their confusion. Hell he was confusing me and I had already taken the damn class. The level of frustration in the class was so tangible you smelled it in the air and it was making us have malevolent thoughts . Someone mentioned stuffing the syllabus up the professor’s ass. stuffing the syllabus in the professor’s mouth if he kept it up. Personally I wanted to wring his neck. My notes were making absolutely no sense. Yet I couldn’t raise my hand to tell him to cut the “ what is what is” crap out because as a note taker I am not allowed to participate in the class. WTF?! Are those the very first English words he learned? Is what? Is what? Or maybe it’s an OCD thing like touching a door knob 6 times before you open the door.

When he was done with the lecture he discussed the syllabus and the requirements for his class. "Attendance is what…is what? Mandatory…. Three absences…is what…is what? Automatic failure." Oh for the love of God! Imagine listening to that for 2 hrs. When the class ended I found myself talking to the student I was taking notes for and punctuating each sentence with…you guessed it “..is what..is what?” and having her respond in the same way but we weren’t the only ones. As we made out way into the hallway I heard several students repeating the same phrase. “…is what…is what?” Maybe it’s contagious.

I'll be really lucky if I still have my...is what...is what? sanity at the end of...is what..is what? this semester.

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