Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Students Are a Bunch of Zombies


I teach in the summer. Of course my students are occasionally brain-dead and unmotivated. Sure, they're sometimes even a little hostile to me. All the same, I've never had a day like today before.

I always start my labs on time, so I was already talking when the majority of the class begins to shamble in at 2 o'clock. It's not my problem if another instructor keeps them late, so I just waved everyone to the front (spectrometers are best demonstrated when the students can see which bit I'm pointing at) and kept talking.

No one was hurrying, let me tell you. I started talking about how to calculate the angle of one's spectral lines correctly, an exercise that requires hand gestures.

And someone tried to bite my finger off.

He didn't get me, or I wouldn't be typing this right now. I jerked away from the kid (I think his name was Toby) and that's all that saved me from the one who was going for my neck.

Now I understand. Now I see why I hadn't been able to get into the prep room earlier - Bob, the technician, had barricaded the door and is probably still in there, safe and sound. Trust an engineer to know precisely how deal with the zombie apocalypse.

I managed to shove Toby into, um...her last name is Sandhu, but I can't remember her first name - and then I grabbed the overhead projector and brained both of them.

I feel bad for my timely students - they had their backs turned and thus, rather rapidly, became untimely. That kept most of the horde off me, however, although I couldn't make it past them to get to the exit.

Thank goodness I work in a physics lab. We warn the students about the high voltages in the discharge tubes and I already had one plugged in for the demonstration. I snatched it up and as zombie fingers reached toward me, they met the business end of the socket. Although this didn't kill the shamblers, it made them temporarily uncoordinated and also set a few on fire. Apparently even zombies find that distracting.

I also had the class set of ten digital calipers. If you've never seen a pair of calipers before, they resemble a slide rule with a set of metal jaws on one end. If wielded like a hammer, they do a lot of damage. I soon had about eight blind zombies. Blind zombies are very ineffective zombies.

That left five effective zombies and these, unfortunately, had realised I was a problem that needed to be dealt with prior to feasting on the flesh of their dead classmates.

However, I was unstoppable. You think I've never considered how to kill my students before? Please; I've been teaching for ten years already. I was in my element.

I danced by the shamblers, hopped up on the side counter and - Bob is going to kill me for this, because he only just installed the new monitors yesterday - I started flinging computers and cathode ray tubes around.

I'm now locked in the physics lab with a lot of zombie corpses, and no, there isn't any food in here, but there is clean water, electricity, and lots and lots of geektastic school property just begging to be inventively turned into weapons.

Really, I haven't had this much fun in years. You all knew physicists were a little bit crazy, didn't you? This is great. I've already rewired the van der Graff generator.

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