Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mistaken Identity

Imagination Station:

“Oh my God, Professor Tia Meloni? Oh thank goodness I found you,” a nerdy boy asks me, patting his gel clogged black hair. “I’ve been looking everywhere, from the dorms to the laboratory. Goodness gracious, I was panicked cubed.”

“Cubed?” I respond. I ain’t Professor Tia Meloni. I’m Sandy Delmont and I’m not a professor or a college grad or college student or high school grad.

“Ha ha ha ha,” nerd boy snorts, pushing up his think black framed glasses with his index finger. “You’re a real riot Professor Meloni. It means to the third power, but you already knew that.”

“But I’m not Pro…”

“Now Professor, we have absolutely no time to dilly dally whatsoever.”

“But I’m not who you think I am.”

“Look, obviously you are middle aged, possibly having some form of a mid-life crisis, but we have no time for such silly things,” nerd boy pushes me down the hall, towards a set of large oak wood doors.

I’m not middle aged. I’m 25. Bastard.

“What do I teach?”

“You teach a pathology class silly. Aren’t you just a little Miss Giggles?”

“Call me Miss Giggles again, and I’ll give you a wedgie and stuff you in a locker. What, pathology? What’s that?”

“The study and diagnosis of disease.”

“Thanks, Webster.”

“Ah ha ha ha. Like the dictionary man. Real clever. You throw me into a fit of chuckles,” he opens the door, still laughing and snorting. What a nerd.

As I look into the classroom, I discover it is a lecture hall… a real big lecture hall. Like epically huge. And filled with male and female clones of nerd boy.

McFudgenuggets. This is going to be bad.

“Good morning Professor Meloni,” all the nerds chant in unison.

Diseases. Think disease. And coughing and sneezing and itchyness and medicine. How bad could this be?

“Professor, do you mind if we open with the question and answer portion of the lecture today? I read the textbook last night and I just have so many questions to pose,” a nerd girl begs.

“Ok,” I try on a scholar type voice. Think smart old person. Big words Sandy, big words. More than two syllables. You got this.

“Can you tell me a bit more about Mucopolysaccharidosis type II?”

“Ummm… can you tell me the more common name of that disease?”

“Hunter’s syndrome.”

“Well, that one’s obviously obvious.”

“How so?”

“Well, there was this hunter who had a syndrome.”

“Well, isn’t it an inherited disorder in which an enzyme, iduronate-2-sulfatase (I2S), is deficient? I2S is involved in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates called mucopolysaccharides. Without enough I2S, partially broken-down mucopolysaccharides accumulate in the organs and tissues of the body and become toxic.”

“…yes. Next question?”

“Oh oh, pick me, pick me, pick me,” the nerd boy from the hallway urgently flails his hand around.

“Yeah, you.”

“What’s the cause of Takayasu arteritis?”


“Well, I’m sure there are some theories out there. What would you say is one of the more plausible theories?

“Well, the answer is in the words. A guy named Yasu had some bad take out and then he looked at some art and this all lead to pain in his itis.”

“What’s an itis?”

“It’s a small bone in the um… it’s in the nose. It’s a small bone in the nose.”

“But isn’t the nose made out of cartilage?”

“Cartilage, bone, same dif. Tomato, Tomahto.”

“But they aren’t the same.”

“Oh, would you look at the time. Class is over.”

“A five minute class?”

“Well, nerdette over here read the textbook. Do the same. Class dismissed.”

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