Every quarter lab books must be presented
natural order is restored
the staff grade us.
pass judgement on the judges.
Like all magistrates some are liberal
Returned books are collected casually
indifference must surmount apprehension
it is in the rules
to do otherwise could be mistaken for earnestness.
That would be uncool.
Downcast eyes scan furtively thumbed pages
grades can be revealed – comments never – another rule.
In our class that rarest of species
a genuine eccentric
at the sentenced pile
pretending to be alone
he slowly recites.
“Lack …. of… rigorous … hypothesis.”
“Poor …. experimental ….. design.”
“Insufficient …. analysis …. of results.”
“Badly …. reasoned ….. conclusion.”
He makes eye contact
“I wonder if it ever occurs to them
I might be plain bloody thick.”