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A part of me was sure that I was simply going crazy.

I was sitting deep in the bowels of the Leacock building, at the front of the cavernous Room 132, one of (if not the) largest lecture theatre on campus.

“I’m sure,” said one half of my brain, “that I am indoors right now.”

“Nay, we must be outdoors” said the other half, “for I can clearly hear that it’s raining right here around me.”

And it was true. I was sure I could hear it raining in the room. Best not to dwell upon it, I thought. Far better to pay attention to the class. The prof was throwing out a few depressingly canonical moral dilemmas for us. Roughly:

Five people are tied to train tracks with no hope of escape. A train is barrelling down on them, meaning they will most assuredly die. However, you have the power to flip a switch and divert the train onto a different track, where only one person is tied. Do you sacrifice the one to save five? What if you can’t divert the train, but rather must throw something heavy in front of the train to stop it? Unfortunately, the only heavy thing you have around is a sumo wrestler. Should you throw him in front of the train to save the five?

My only response was, “What would Jack Bauer do?” The answer, of course, depends on who knows where the bomb is.

Regardless, it was still raining. With the lecture material largely trivial at this stage in the game, I focused everything on the source of that pitter patter of rain. It came to me rather quickly then.

Laptops.

More to the point, keyboards.

Dozens upon dozens of keyboards.

Each little keystroke on those little laptop keys would otherwise be unnoticeable in such a large room, just a proverbial pin dropping. But dozens of people dropping hundreds of pins a minute becomes a quiet cacophony at the edge of perception. It’s there just below the whispering and lecturing, drilling away at my consciousness. Pitter patter, pitter patter.

I don’t know whether to blame “kids today” for their fancy technology or “artsie fartsies” for their need to express notes in actual sentences rather than simple equations, but if I start to go mad in a few weeks time, showing signs of schizophrenia, and freaking out at the sound of someone typing, it’s this class that did it.

Random FAQ Comments (1)

One Response to “Pitter patter”

  1. Anita says:

    “What would Jack Bauer do?” … Catchy! And the perfect solution to any moral dilemma.

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