“So…”–gigantic, and I mean huge, pause for emphasis here–“how do we know what we know?”
The question hung in the air, and this professor, for one, would’ve left it hanging there (probably indefinitely) but an elderly chap sitting next to me raised his hand and spoke up.
He said something full of dadblamery, so I had to raise my hand and say:
“We know what we know because we know it.”
A just answer. Maybe a bit oblique, but then again, so was the question. I leaned back like a conqueror, thinking that I had won, and that it was over.
But a war was coming.
The chap teaching the class shook his head.
“No, no, you can’t answer that way,” he said. “They were the words I used in my question.”
“Quite right,” I said, “that’s why I rearranged them for my answer.”
“No.” He was a bit stern here, I must admit. Hands on hips, chin jutting out in my direction like a stag beetle with it’s great big jaws. “You don’t get it.”
“Oh I get it.”
Of course, this professor didn’t mean to be spicy at all, but the other students laughed here a bit, bits, and little bits.
“You. Don’t. Get It,” he repeated. “I want you to use your own words to answer the question.”
And then this professor spied something on his shoulder, and I knew I’d won.
“They became my own words once I rearranged them, see. And furthermore, double see, is that a hornet on your shoulder?”
He screamed, everyone laughed, and this professor–shiny, cunning beast that he is–won.