Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When Nerds Get Married

When Nerds Get Married

Tonight I was sitting on the floor grading a stack of labs at the coffee table while Ryan rubbed the last twelve hours of carrying around a twelve pound fetus out of my shoulders. I had just graded two or three flagrantly awful assignments in a row (No names on papers! Half completed reports! Totally half-assed I know you know better short answer questions!) and was feeling punchy.

I mused aloud "I wonder if our ME [mechanical engineering, both of our undergrads] professors graded papers in their living room, in their pajamas, periodically yelling out "WTH?!" or "'Short answer' does NOT mean THREE WORDS WITH NO PUNCTUATION!"

We both immediately thought of my absolute favorite professor who once went through a stack of assignments shouting "YOU FIRED!" in his Iranian accent as he slammed each one onto the table. Every once in a while he would stop and hold one up gently with thumb and forefinger and say "This! This is engineer!" and pause a minute to bask in its glory before returning to the stack.

"YOU FIRED, YOU FIRED, YOU FIRED, I don't drive on the bridge you build, YOU FIRED."

Ryan and I still say "YOU FIRED" to each other once in a while.

Then we talked about the "Purple Shaft Award" which was given by the student honor society to the professor they deemed the worst one in the department every semester. During the nominations one semester a guy Ryan knew, who had very recently severed his index finger in an accident, raised his hand and said he had asked one professor if he could type a problem set because of his injury (instead of writing it out longhand, probably at least ten pages) and the professor responded "We all have our challenges." That professor won handily that semester. It really makes me wonder what my unfailingly polite in class students are saying about me once they leave the building!

We laughed about the time Ryan went somewhere for a minute while we were studying together and I filled his textbook with amusing post-it notes for him to find during the rest of the semester. He found the first one over Thanksgiving Break and called me, hysterical. I had written "I'll show YOU a free-body diagram!" Oh my gosh we were such NERDS. It's no wonder Charlie is so apprehensive about team sports.

I wouldn't have had it any other way and I'm so glad Ryan was there with me the whole time. And not just because he took all the same classes a year ahead and then shared his textbooks and superior intelligence with me!

10 comments:

sarah said...

"I don't drive on bridge you build!" Funniest. Line. Ever.

this whole post had me laughing hysterically. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thats so funny because I had a Diff Eq prof who hated when you got positive/negative wrong and would bark "Sign wrong!! Bridge fall down!!" at you.
Also do you have duplicate textbooks from classes you both took? Because we...um... don't...
-gm

Rima said...

You guys are awesome. And "When Nerds Get Married" sounds like a really good name for a TV show.

Eve said...

I feel the same way you do about grading... I mean really, short answer isn't 1 sentence, and oy the handwriting I have to decipher. I have to close my office door when I grade so as not to let the profanity in leak out into the school!

Anonymous said...

My engineer friends always used to say, "Bridge fall down, no partial credit!" when we half-assed something. Still makes me laugh, and I'm an English Prof.

AJU5's Mom said...

I have moments like that grading. The best are the ones with so many grammatical mistakes that it is hard to read. I wish my husband could joke with me about it though...

brooke said...

Adorable. The nerdy romance part, not the grading papers part. I have to say that I'm looking at the stack of 28 4-page essays in front of me, though, and envying your short-answer questions...

Anonymous said...

Ha! I'm reading this as I'm taking a break from grading; a student wrote down, "Idon'tknownium" for his answer on a chemical reaction product. Had me rollin'! I've even gotten a "WTF" as a product. SOOOO hard not to laugh when those get handed back! Sometimes I just can't help it...

I think I'll try the "you're fired" line, though. Heather

Nora said...

Love this. Nerds uniting is clearly good for the world.

LL said...

I completely love this. So sweet and hilarious - you two are a match made in engineering heaven :)