Monday, September 11, 2006

Which God of Laughter did I Please?

I enter the class room as part of a herd of nervous students. It is the second day of classes and for most of the people who surround me, the second day of university. I’m getting to be quite an old hat at this; for me, it’s just another day doing what I do best – being a student.

While I listened to the two boys behind me have a conversation regarding where one can purchase fake ID’s because they are too young to go out drinking, I realized that I’m getting up their. I’m not old, per se. but I am noticeably older than the majority of the classroom. Being confronted with ones actual age is a bit unnerving for that early in the day.

Mr. Um comes into the room, stands at the front of the class, and begins to lecture. Watching Mr. Um, a graduate student of some quality, talk was an insanely hilarious experience.

I call him Mr. Um because... um... precisely that. Um, ah, mm, let um, me, um mm, um let me um, give you, um, you an um example, um, accurate um, ah, um ... example. For every one word he managed to vocalize there were at least three non verbal utterances. Yes, Mr. Um (former communications director for some big companies in these parts I might add) was nervous, but this behaviour went far beyond any normal level of nerves.

It was so absurd, all I could do was keep from laughing. I stopped paying attention to his lecture and kept counting how long he could go without saying a real word. Only, I couldn’t laugh because he was trying so hard. It was very pathetic, but made even funnier for the wretchedness of the situation. It felt like a Monty Python sketch designed for my own personal amusement. And, what made it even better is listening to the other students in the class talk about how good he was – "like, I mean, he’s just so much better than Mr. B---- I had for high school math last spring."

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