Truly Shocking

| Learning | May 19, 2017

(I am in a physics lab, ninth grade, partnered with my brother and another student, who is at least 16. We are working on a lab assignment when the student picks up a device with long narrow metal prongs, I think part of a multimeter or something similar, holds up one of the prongs and says:)

Student: “Hey, I wonder what’ll happen if I stick this in the power socket.” *there is one right by our table*

(My brother and I politely laugh, thinking he’s joking… until we look at him and realize he’s actually serious.)

Me: “Uh, no.”

Brother: “Don’t do that.”

Student: “Why?”

Me & Brother: “You’ll be electrocuted!”

Student: “But I wanna know what happens!”

(My brother continues desperately trying to get the student to see reason, while I at this point have already deemed said student dumber than a bucket of rocks, and am looking around the room for something non-conductive to beat the idiot away from the socket when he inevitably starts shocking himself. Sure enough, fifteen seconds later, the student sticks the metal lightly into the socket. He doesn’t hurt himself, but sparks fly everywhere, naturally causing our teacher to come over.)

Teacher: “Uh, what are you doing?”

Student: “I stuck this metal into the socket here.”

Teacher: “…why?”

Student: “I wanted to see what would happen!”

Me: “We tried to stop him, really.”

(The teacher just gave him a long “I just lost all faith in humanity” look and walked away. For the record, the student didn’t seem developmentally challenged in any way, just… really dense. Or a mad scientist in the making. One or the other.)

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