Photo: The Daily Pennsylvanian
Risks are inherent in asking a question during a crowded lecture. Your voice can crack, someone may have already asked your question, or a third bad thing could happen. Last Thursday, Jeremy Kleinbahn (E ’20) became acquainted with one of those risks.
After raising his hand and clearing his throat, Kleinbahn articulated his question with finesse. But the worst happened—his professor misinterpreted and subsequently provided an insufficient answer, so, desperate to shirk attention from himself, Kleinbahn had no choice but to resort to his mediocre acting capabilities and feign an understanding of the misled response.
"I panicked," he said. "About ten words in I could tell my professor completely misunderstood what I had asked, but it was too late. I couldn't be the guy who repeats his question—that's worse than asking a question with two parts."
Instead of attempting to clear up any confusion, Kleinbahn put on a tour-de-force performance, nodding his head with vigor and repeating “uh huh” and “yeah, ok” for the duration of his professor's answer. He prayed that no one would pick up on the discrepancy between his question and the reply, but ultimately felt that some definitely knew what was up.
A classmate present during the affair said he caught on at Kleinbahn's eighth "Oh, I see," recalling, "At first I wondered if I misunderstood the material, but soon recognized that guy's bullshitting."
Kleinbahn attempted to revisit the topic during office hours, but his voice cracked and he dropped the class.