Monday, February 8, 2010

Dr. Evil and Mr. Hyde!

You are probably thinking right now, “It’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!” I used Dr Evil for a purpose. I want to talk about one of my professors this semester and that is the name I gave him. It is not because he is mean-- He is in fact a really nice guy with a great sense of humor-- but rather because of something he wrote in his class syllabus. Some of my classmates are in the same class with me and will know exactly whom I am talking about.

His syllabus is one of the longest and at the same time funniest I have ever read! In fact I’ve enjoyed it so much that I let my friends read it for fun! Today I had two of my friends, Tamsin and Karen, come over for a cup of coffee and homemade sticky buns. After a while I took out the syllabus, already ragged looking from all the handling, and started going over my favorite parts. My friends have a healthy sense of humor and enjoyed it just as much as I did. But there was one part that made us double over with laughter. It was under “Request for Quiz Reset.” It reads, “If you lost your internet connection during a quiz, contact your internet provider and find out why. You are paying for reliable service. Make them do their job.” It was a sore subject to Karen for she was 1 hour late in coming because she was waiting for someone to show up and fix her internet that’s been down for 10 days now.

What we found particularly funny is that in Malawi you can never get any answers! You can never get to the bottom of a problem. If our power goes out and you call ESCOM, our electric company, to tell them that we don’t have it, they will say, “Are you sure you don’t have it?” Hello! I’m over here with the kerosene lamps going! Sure I’m sure! If you call the internet company and ask them what is going on, the answer would be, “I don’t know! I’m not the one!” That particular comment made Tamsin remember something one of her friends told her one day.

This friend was trying to get a hold of a guy in some company. He called the place and asked for this man. He got a reply, “He is not on his seat!” Meaning, he is not at his desk. The friend kept calling and calling day after day getting the same exact answer every single time. Finally he got fed up and yelled at the person who was answering the phone,

“What do you mean, not on his seat? Where is he then? I have been calling for a week now!”

The man answered, “At a funeral.”

Friend, “Whose funeral?”

The man, “His own!”

In reply to Dr. Evil’s advice on how to handle the internet provider, here is what I will do! I will go to Burco, my internet provider, and read them that very paragraph and then time their laughter so that I can report back to my teacher!


  1. This was a great entry! I'd love to read this syllabus that you speak of. Your life in Malawi is very interesting and I appreciate your blog updates!

  2. I was thinking that it was the the other class we share together this semester, but i couldn't find the statement. But the professor does make a valid point. This winter, my internet due to the snow and ice has been inconsistent and after my repeated phone calls, i did get a credit on my bill.

  3. Yes, we share two classes this semester. As for internet, here one just needs to be glad to have any service to begin with!