Frumgirl 4:

The first time I felt like an alien was about three weeks into the semester.

There I was in bio lab squinting through a microscope, trying to figure out if I was seeing bacteria or lens scratches. The next group over was having trouble with their slide too, and called the professor to help. He fiddled with their microscope a bit and made a dramatic gesture: “There you go! That’s Patrick.”

“That’s Patrick?” the students asked, looking through the oculars.

“That’s Patrick,” he repeated.

Who is Patrick? I wondered. And how is he on a slide? I waited for an explanation. But nobody else seemed to need one.

“That doesn’t look like Patrick at all!” a student protested.

“It’s Patrick when he was a baby,” the professor explained.

“What slide are they looking at?” I asked my partner, hoping to dispel some of the mystery. I was pretty sure nobody had named the malariae I was looking at “Patrick.”

“Star fish,” my partner replied.

“Sea star,” the professor corrected. “When Patrick was a baby, he looked like that, but we couldn’t see him because he was microscopic. Patrick as we know him is grown up.”

Everyone was nodding and smiling. I couldn’t stand it any more.

“Who is Patrick?” I asked.

Heads swiveled. Mouths gaped.

“Patrick – you know, Patrick – the sea star from Spongebob Squarepants.”

Ooooh. Wouldn’t have guessed in a million years.

“Oh, yeah…” I said lamely. Everyone went back to work, but I felt like I’d let my antennaes show.

Published in: on March 20, 2008 at 11:03 PM  Comments (1)  

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  1. And you call y/s worldly…
    j/k. That’s what happens when sheltered touronicks find themselves in the real world.
    Better than my situation: they were referring to an STD (sexually transmitted disease) that I hadn’t heard of. Yeah.

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