A friend in London picked up a link I posted and riffed on it, which included this little aside that he’d read recently, and felt worthy of a lecturer he had known.

A professor told her class that an assignments would be due on the given date and no excuses would be accepted short of a family bereavement.

“What about extreme sexual exhaustion?” enquired one student, smirking.

The professor waited for the laughter to die down before replying:

“No, you’ll just have to learn to write with your other hand.”

And that, as the echoes of the blogosphere die away, reminded me of elementary histology in what I think was my second ever physiology practical class. We were to examine cells scraped from our cheeks. There was one extremely sweet and naive young woman in the class, who the bad young men had already picked on mercilessly. One of them went downstairs and created a slide that he substituted on her microscope stage after a suitable diversion.

“Please,” she asked the demonstrator, “what are these things wiggling on my slide?”

“Oh dear,” he replied. “who didn’t brush her teeth this morning?”

It was unkind, and I wasn’t directly involved, honest, but it was funny, and I admire the demonstrator’s wit to this day. Had he any previous experience? I wish I’d thought to ask at the time.

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