What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm sure it'll be fine (part three)

Continued from part two.

I'd chewed through an entire set of fingernails and worn my F5 button into the keyboard by the time I received an email from Dr. Zoloft. I really wanted to get into his class! In his email he invited me to his office. He and I, like Bush and O'Bama, were to have a private meeting, the contents of which I would then leak to the FCN readers - also like O'Bama. I was giddy with excitement and checked the comment section for input. Tim wrote saying that the right answer was "a = 0 or a = Pi/x." I had zero inkling what that meant or how I could go about interpreting it but, like a good student, I memorized it for later regurgitation.

Dr. Zoloft answered his door at the first knock, revealing an unruly stack of handwritten notes covering his already cluttered desk. Several empty disposable coffee cups overflowed his three-gallon trashcan and lay like spilled paperclips on the dark industrial carpet. At least one of the cups had not been completely empty when it departed Dr. Zoloft's desk and had missed the trash can. A dark stain extended from the cup's separated lid and I sniffed for the smell of French Roast.

"Young man." They were the first clear words Dr. Zoloft had ever uttered in my presence and I stood at attention. I didn't understand anything he said after that. Zoloft bolted around the room like an untrained child, motioning frantically and drawing diagram after diagram on the already well chalked blackboard. Sometimes he pulled pages off of his desk, seemingly at random, to demonstrate in graphite what he had already shown me in limestone and calcite.

Dr. Zoloft motioned toward a collection of journals. I gathered he thought my innovative answer could be published in one of those. Never had I known a "No Solution" to be so profound. I tried to correct Dr. Zoloft by saying that "a = 0 or a = Pi/x," but the faculty member looked at me with an offended "are you serious" look, before pulling a textbook off of his shelf, showing me a problem that loooked very similar to the one I'd bluffed through a few days earlier, muttered something that sounded very obscene in a foreign language and tore out several pages from the text.

My prospective professor then handed me an add form. I reached for the page in relief, glad that I had persuaded him to let me skip the prerequisite, when I noticed that the form was not for the basic, bonehead math I had originally requested, but rather Calculus III. I shook my head frantically. I hardly knew the definition of a derivate; how could I be expected to pass Calc 3?! But Dr. Zoloft would have none of it. He returned my head shake with a vigorous twist of his own and leaned forward suddenly to kiss me on each cheek. He had the proud look of the father of the bride and I think I saw a tear forming in his eye as he patted my back and sent me out the door.

He was Abraham, I was Isaac and we were headed toward the altar for a sacrifice. I could only hope that God would provide someone other than me as the sacrifice.

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