I now have just the one course left to take to finish up my Masters Degree in chemistry, and it’s a math course.  Combinatorics.  The Professor who’s teaching it is an interesting fellow.  He’s Russian.  VERY Russian.  His class notes are all in Cyrillic, which I happened to see on my way into the classroom Friday morning.  Since he’s not a native speaker, he has to stop every now and then to reorganize his grammar and make sure everything comes out in the right order.

The accent’s a bit of a laugh, too.  He spent a good bit of time at the end of class on Friday setting up a problem dealing with inclusion/exclusion principles and derangements, and he had us all thoroughy confused.  We were trying to figure out what “attacking and non-attacking rocks” had to do with the grid he’d drawn and the placements on it of the “rocks” he was attempting to diagram.  It was only when he surveyed the class and saw blank looks directed back at him that he paused.

Prof:  “You understand so far?”
Class:  ???
Prof:  “Rocks, rocks!  The thing, the castle!” 
Class:  ?????
Prof:  “Attack like this!”  *incomprehensible gestures with chalk*
Class:  ???????
Prof:  “Rocks!!  Oh.  Wait.  Rooks?  Is that how you say?  Rooks?”
Class:  !!!

For all the annoyance of having to go through all this again, in a way it’s kind of nice to be back in class again.  I’d forgotten how uproariously funny learning from foreign profs can be.

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One thought on “

  1. *bursts out laughing*
    I guess in retrospect the ‘incomprehensible gestures with chalk’ were easier to make sense of? I have this vivid mental image of little prof waving both arms to mimic an attacking rook now…

    Like

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