Saturday, June 24, 2006

Return of "Machine Gun"

In my undergraduate days, there was a plant biology class that was co-taught by a grad student. She was from Eastern Europe and spoke with a heavy accent*. She also spoke very quickly and it was an ordeal trying to take notes and keep up. We called her "Machine Gun", her lectures were so rapid fire and haphazard.

One morning, while sitting front row-centre, I was fed up with the frenetic pace and my inability to keep pace. So I dramatically slammed my book shut and threw my pen across the room. I could (and still do) blame my hissy fit on my mood swings generated by elevated blood sugar levels in the lead-up to my diabetic diagnosis. Still, not my proudest moment as a scholar.

Shelley and I attended the wedding of a friend and colleague from university (who's also now on a tenure track in Windsor), and I was not sure that we'd know anyone there besides the groom. At the reception, I overheard some introductions and sure enough, Machine Gun was there. I was still too embarrassed to introduce myself, but was intrigued to learn that she married the professor of that course.

*I've recently been informed that linguistically, there is no such thing as "speaking with an accent"; however, lacking alternative means of conveying my intent, this inaccuracy will have to do.

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