It was a dreary Tuesday afternoon. It was just one of those days. Those days where you question the point of attending class and the transience of life. It was one of those days which never seemed to end whilst wishing it hadn’t ever started. The killjoy “teacher” insisted on making an afternoon class worse by putting a ban on smiling in her class. Psh, as if she’s a bundle of sunshine on a rainy day. She droned on about calculating n of some tool workpiece combination; I wasn’t really paying attention. It was like those background scores in movies which someone took the pains to make and is apparently very important but no one seems to give an honest crap about it. “So what is L?”. “Your mom is L”, came the swift reply from the guy next to me who strayed away from writing to wisecrack. There was a natural lull in the lecture and everyone paid rapt attention, maybe that’s overselling it. They acknowledged that the teacher had stopped talking which usually indicated that somebody going to get hurt real bad tonight.
The college has apparently adopted a kindergarten disciplinary regime whereby we are awarded stars but in this dystopian mini-universe, stars are a bad thing. Our names will be put on the board and we shall be persecuted as wanted criminals. That, however, didn’t produce the intended effect as the class went back to exactly what it was doing. This was a mechanical class. A mechanical class is rampant with sexual innuendos. Probably because majority of the class was filled with testosterone-fuelled college boys. “The drill goes in, pulls out, goes in and pulls out…”. She went on to show us a visual presentation of a imaginary drill going in and out of a hole she put together between her thumb and index finger, as if the sentence wasn’t simple enough to understand as is. “…we do this so that the tool doesn’t break. This can be done for multiple holes.” Chuckle chuckle. What would the world be like if I didn’t have a dirty mind. The need for distraction became top priority. This is a universal rule. The world’s entropy is constantly increasing and therefore it is in our nature to seek out and add to the randomness and chaos of the universe. Trust me, I’m an engineer. There is a common phenomenon wherein a student while listening intently to a lecture with his head resting on his hands, there is a tendency for the palm to become the softest pillow in the universe at that moment, causing said student to spontaneously fall asleep. There was one such display of this phenomenon in the bench across. This was brought to my attention by a fellow brother in the foxhole. We didn’t even have to speak out as I tore piece of paper; he readied the cannon and we waited patiently for the teacher to glance away for a precious few seconds to….a deep bellowing voice rang in my head HEADSHOT.
This was well received as it was followed by him showing us the middle one of his fingers five. “Chips from a conveyor belt is collected in a bin and removed periodically”, she stopped there. She went out of her way to describe something so pointless, so it probably wasn’t pointless after all. So, why stop there? What happens to the chips after they’re moved? Do they survive? Do they find happiness? Does Collin Ferrum finally profess his love to Cynthia Carbide? Will they all still be loved? Or are they simply cast away (haha pun) to fend for themselves living off scraps (double pun) in this big cold metallic jungle, we will never know. This teacher is a heartless bitch. You can begin to fathom the extent of my boredom at this point. Much like Lois Lane in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel who not only pops up without logic but also conveniently to fill gaps in the story plot, this woman’s voice randomly centres the spotlight of my attention. “It can be done between faceplate or in the tailstock or on the mandril between centres…”. Yeah, I bet it can. I tuned out of radio boring FM 94.zzz.
My partner in crime has fallen. Fallen in the Battle of Boredom. He suffered extensive sleepiness and succumbed to the same. The firing of the first paper bullet across the border had instigated an impromptu war. Paper balls were flying around. I started this war so I have to continue it. God, I love the smell of napalm–well, paper, in the morning–well, afternoon. I took aim at my choice of victim and threw shrapnel of processed cellulose only to miss and strike an innocent bystander. I quickly hid among the crowd and convinced myself that it was collateral damage and these things happen, but I couldn’t help myself. I broke into a muffled laughter which I barely contained. That was funny. The teacher caught me smiling despite my best efforts and shot me a barrage of eye daggers.
The lecture found itself back in the spotlight. “The quill of the tailstock is a programmable hydraulic unit…”. What about the quills of the tailstock that don’t want to be programmable hydraulic units? What if they wanted to be unprogrammable aerial units capable of free will? “The quill of the tailstock who loved…”. I bet this cheesy book will be published as the new Stephenie Meyer book trilogy. Scratch that. That woman is not capable of writing anything remotely intelligent. “If I have a 7 inch block of material should I discard it? No.”; that was dirty and humane at the same time. Does she have a heart after all? “If I need to get a 6 inch block I will just grind this one down”. You cold, calculating, emasculating bit– I grimaced as I looked away and around at the class. Everyone was asleep or just lying in wait for their inevitable end, praying for salvation. Hope seemed to be merely an idea and when all seemed to be lost, the sudden sound of the bell (that was awful lot like the alarms they ring in mental asylums when a patient is on the loose, but two years in this place I’ve become accustomed to this) was heard. But this was like music to our ears as it shook us all up to a new life. The regime had fallen. Viva La Revolución! The tyrant walked out of class and there were smiles all around. It was time for peace, now. But history, as they say, repeats itself and so does this class tomorrow at 11.45. Sigh.