This post was written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge, which was to write between 33 and 333 words including the word “grasp”, using the definition ‘to lay hold of with the mind – comprehend’ …
“Chalk and Walk”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
“… and if we recall the coefficient of Ro Lambda is substituted, the equation simplifies.” Professor Heidenheim started to erase the leftmost of the three blackboards that had all become filled with formulas. A collective groan from the slower note takers showed their progress had not been fast enough to capture the equations that had just been wiped out.
“Professor, could you clarify the part were you reduce the wave form? Please?” I had hoped to buy my fellow students some time, but had genuinely been unable to grasp that part. Most of my colleagues just wrote madly, like rabbits in the headlights of a car, not even trying to understand any of it during the lecture. I suspected some didn’t even try afterwards.
To my horror the Professor contemplated the middle board, then proceeded to wipe that out too. Looks of hate were flicked my way from sections of the auditorium. Heidenheim then reproduced verbatim the incomprehensible wall of mathematics he had just performed. He turned round, a genuine grin on his face, like this repetition would be sufficient to raise the curtain of ignorance. It was still just a wall of chalk that might as well have been hieroglyphics. It was too much. I snapped.
“Could you… er… wait for a moment?” I asked politely, then jumped up on the long shelf in front of my seat, which served the row as somewhere to write notes. Passing out sideways was impossible. The room was one of the old fashioned theatres students had to shuffle into sideways. So, I neatly jumped from row to row amidst curses from those in front of me. Finally, I jumped down in front of the startled lecturer walked past him and left the auditorium.
Once outside I screamed loudly in frustration, took a breath, then walked back in to a sea of laughter from a cohort who shared my confusion. They cheered as I hopped back to my seat.
“Sorry. Please carry on Professor.”