Saturday, June 27, 2009

Matter Cannot Be Created nor Destroyed

Another dangler story: In college, I had a physics lecture that had at least 250 students. The class was taught by an aging hippie who clearly loved making physics interesting and understandable to students who only took his class for three of the twelve science credits required for graduation. That’s why I took the class. That, and the fact that the required text, written by the professor, was titled Physics for Poets.
One day, the teacher began lecturing with an unignorable dangle of snot hanging from his nostril. I was sitting towards the back of the large lecture hall and even I couldn’t miss it. No one said anything, but no one participated in class either. We students were clearly trying to avoid even looking at the poor man.
Class ended, and surely he discovered the dangler later on—either through the comment of a kind friend, or when he eventually glanced in a mirror.
Things were never the same between us students and our professor. He entered the next day’s class embarrassed, less animated, never eliciting discussion as he always had before.
I wonder if anyone had seen him and his dangler before he entered our lecture hall—another professor, a teaching assistant, a passerby—who might have had one uncomfortable moment with him in order to save all of us from half a semester of discomfort. Seriously people: do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.