y'know that feeling you get when you wear a new shirt? it's a clean, crisp feel. my lab partner Melissa even complimented me on my new shirt. but the feeling disappeared halfway through class.
we had the weekly quiz, but it was set up like the practical exam is; 25 stations with a question at each station. we took a minute for each question, rotating when the professor called out "switch!" (reader will note that the word 'professor' is used very loosely here, because the 24-year old who wears the lab coat teaches the information, but doesn't know a thing about classroom conduct. or the rules of taking tests. like the no-talking-rule for one thing...)
at one station, there was no question, but my 'professor' said to each student there:
"give me five and you get a free point"
would i get away with not having to slap his hand? no such luck, he did it to each student. and when Melissa forgot to slap his hand he made her come back and do it. it's not that people are not understanding, it's just awkward all around. Tracy looked at me sympathetically, as if reading my thoughts. (I'd had a whole discussion with her in the previous lab about negiah, she knew about it even though she isn't religious)
in my head, i started running through the explanations i had for this occasion. i practiced it in my head as i got closer and closer to the table.
"fcg! give me five and you get a free point"
"uh...sorry i can't. religious reasons"
"oh...uh, OK sorry. you get the point anyway"
a tip for the future: don't wear new shirts when you might have to dissect a sheep's heart that comes dripping out of a barrel of formaldehyde...