Your Behavior Is On The Wire

, , , , | Learning | June 13, 2017

(Most of the science teachers at my high school are awesome and well-liked by the students. One, however, is not. She is harsh, rude, and disliked by all of her students as well as the other science teachers. She teaches an “Introduction to Physics” class that you take for half your freshman year; the other half of the year, you take “Introduction to Chemistry.” After the first few weeks of the semester — plenty of time for all of us to develop our hate for her — she’s giving us the safety lecture before we do our first lab.)

Teacher: “Remember, safety is very important. If you follow the proper procedures, you’ll have nothing to worry about when working with even the most dangerous materials. Let me give you an example.”

(She pours some kind of black powder on her table, then sets a thick wire about a foot away from the pile of powder. The wire has a frayed end that is glowing noticeably.)

Teacher: “Now, this wire currently has a live electrical current running through it, and this powder is very electrically conductive. I need both of these for this experiment, but I must never let the two touch directly. But it’s all right to have them both on the table, because I’m trained in proper lab safety and am keeping them apart from each other.”

(Less than a minute later, she’s reaching down the table to grab a flask. On the way back, her arm brushes the wire, dragging it into the pile of black powder. There’s a flash, a loud BANG, all the lights in the room go off, and the teacher falls to the floor like a sack of cement, hidden from our view by her table. The entire class sits there in stunned silence for several seconds. Eventually, a friend of mine turns to me.)

Friend: “Did she just blow out the room’s fuses?”

Me: “I think so.”

(The teacher is still on the floor. After almost a minute, she finally staggers to her feet.)

Teacher: “What happened?”

Entire Class: “You let the wire touch the powder.”

(We all hated her so much that we had simply continued to sit there in the dark, not one of us wanting to go check on her.)

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