Tall, Dark, and Mysterious


Gripes inspired by a visit to the optician

File under: Sound And Fury, Know Thyself. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 5:07 pm.
  1. Is there a research grant available for the development of a mirror of variable curvature that would allow people who aren’t wearing their old glasses to see what they’d look like in new glasses? And don’t anyone bother suggesting contact lenses, or friends with good taste. We deserve better than that. Didn’t we put men on the moon so that we could insist upon such ostensibly-simple-but-as-yet-nonexistent advances in technology?
  2. Not that I was going to get new frames anyway, as a) my current ones are still functional; b) my insurance won’t cover much more than the cost of the lenses; and, most importantly, c) the invisible hand governing trends in eyewear has decreed that peripheral vision is for nerds and old people, and hence, all of the trendy, cutting-edge glasses are basically the ocular equivalent of bikini tops that cover only the nipples. The eighties and early nineties got a lot wrong, I’ll grant, but to their credit, they did give rise to eyewear that allowed people to look up, down, or askance without twisting their necks.
  3. Not a gripe, but because there is magic in threes: I spent my entire life, until two weeks ago, without polarizing sunglasses. I don’t know how I did it. It was certainly easier when I didn’t live near large bodies of light-reflecting water.

Someone else field this one

File under: Righteous Indignation, Those Who Can't. Posted by Moebius Stripper at 4:23 pm.

Dear Moebius Stripper,

I don’t understand why you won’t just give me the mark that I want in the course whose exam I missed for legitimate reasons, even though you have explained it to me twice already. Other students might make up excuses for missing their exams, but not me! I can even provide a note explaining my absence. I think you’re being very mean. If I were making up an excuse for missing the exam, then I could understand why you’d be giving me an incomplete in the course and making me go through the ordeal of setting up an appointment, at my convenience, basically anytime during the next five weeks to write it. But since I’m honest, and going through some difficulties in my personal life, I think you should just give me the mark I want.

Obviously you don’t understand how hard my life is right now. I paid for a tutor to help me do better in this class of yours that I’m paying for, and I did okay on the rather easy last test. This should be enough to convince you that I don’t need to take the final exam to prove that I have learned the first two months’ worth of material, can deal with problems out of context - or even that I still know the concepts that I hastily committed to memory back in late March. Please understand that it would really cramp my style to have to actually write the exam in the next month, because I was counting on not having to write it and so I stopped studying three weeks ago and have forgotten everything I learned. See how desperate I am, telling you that in writing! If that doesn’t convince you that I deserve to be exempted, then you either don’t get it or don’t care.

All of my other professors are nicer than you. Could you please reconsider your decision? I know that you said that me writing the exam - which I even said I’d do last week, before I broke my appointment with you on two hours’ notice! - was “nonnegotiable”, but I suspect that when you said that, you just didn’t realize how much I was counting on taking advantage of what seemed to be a gaping loophole in the system.

My Life Is Hard, And So Is Math