Nov. 23rd, 2010

grahamb: (Default)

"Oh, Clive. Come in. So, uh, what can I do for you?"

"Uh, Dr. Gopnik, I believe the results of Physics Mid-Term were unjust.

"Uh-huh, how so?

"I received an unsatisfactory grade. In fact: F, the failing grade."

"Uh, yes. You failed the mid-term. That's accurate."

"Yes, but this is not just. I was unaware to be examined on the mathematics."

"Well-you can't do physics without mathematics, really, can you."

"If I receive failing grade I lose my scholarship, and feel shame. I understand the physics. I understand the dead cat."

"You understand the dead cat?"


"But... you... you can't really understand the physics without understanding the math. The math tells how it really works. That's the real thing; the stories I give you in class are just illustrative; they're like, fables, say, to help give you a picture. An imperfect model. I mean-even I don't understand the dead cat. The math is how it really works."

"Very difficult... very difficult..."

"Well, I... I'm sorry, but I... what do you propose?"

"Passing grade."

"No no, I-"

"Or perhaps I can take the mid-term again. Now I know it covers mathematics."

"Well, the other students wouldn't like that, would they. If one student gets to retake the test til he gets a grade he likes."

"Secret test."

"No, I'm afraid-"


"No, that's just not workable. I'm afraid we'll just have to bite the bullet on this thing, CLIVE, and-"

"Very troubling. Very troubling..."

Sy Ableman !? )

November 2010

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