Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

The joys of teaching

I was marking lab notebooks this evening when this bit of paper fell out of one of them.

Click to embiggen to readable size

A tiny, pedantic part of me was annoyed because it's Allen key, not alan key. A larger part of me was giggling over his love for his ruler. But the biggest portion of me was bemused because his lab partner fell only slightly to the right of his lukewarm feeling for a bit of curly wurly. I'm sorry, what? His lab partner is a rather attractive redhead, where "rather attractive" is just this side of "Pond in a short skirt". (I hasten to add that the young lady in question was always appropriately attired for laboratory activities, e.g. not in a sexy policewoman outfit. I also hasten to add that the students' appearances have no bearing upon my marking. I am fair and objective in intellectual matters.) She was quite a good experimentalist, too. I'm dying to ask him about this carefully constructed graph, but unfortunately I'm afraid we will have rather a lot of other things to talk about in his interview, such as a certain absence of observational data having to do with the actual experiment.

Then again, I may have just hit upon the explanation for that.

I leave you with a couple of jokes from the Kohn Award lecture delivered by Lord Martin Rees, Master of Trinity College at Cambridge University and Astronomer Royal, at Imperial last night.

Joke 1: A member of the audience asked Lord Rees how long it might be before humans can develop beings that are more intelligent than we are. The postdoc sitting next to me leaned over and muttered wryly, "About nine months."

Joke 2: Lord Rees displayed a diagram of an Ouroboros with the size scale of the universe from micro- to macroscopic arranged around its body. He then said there was another scale on which "99% of scientists and all biologists" work, which is that of complexity.

(Joke 2 might only be funny if you're not a biologist. In fact, it might only be funny if you're a scientist. On further consideration, it's probably only funny if you're a cosmologist with a superiority complex.)
Tags: geek, imperial, science, teaching

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