Cat in George
Midterm

There’s four sections in this room and none of us are missing a student. Apparently everybody got the message about the location. Once the students are working, we divide proctoring duty, so we can all do the test as well. That saves time with grading and the occasional panic with an error in the exam. I got so angry about that stupid minus sign last year. Check your test before you inflict it. Though I’ve got to admit that afterwards we had some fun among the TAs with a lot of awful puns on imaginary flows.

After about fifteen minutes, a guy on the right signals he has a question. That’s in my half.

He asks, “How many inches are there in a mile?”

“I’m sorry, I’m not allowed to tell you during the test.” He’s panicking, so I add, “If you can’t remember, just skip the question and do the other problems.”

He nods.

Half an hour later, there’s a sudden “Yes!”

Everybody is looking at him. The TA who is proctoring there now tells him to be quiet. He nods, then makes eye contact with me and gives me a defiant look. So you remembered. I’m happy.

Chard's picture
Need to add a "to":

"Though I’ve got to admit that afterwards"

"He nods, then makes eye contact with me and gives me a defiant look." Did you mean to use defiant? Is he challenging Cat for telling him to skip it?

Also, why are you showing Cat and George having the same interaction? They both offer pretty much the same advice, just in slightly different forms.
George: "Try to calm down. You have plenty of time left. Close your eyes and think of something else for a bit. Something you like."
Cat: “If you can’t remember, just skip the question and do the other problems.”

Also, George notes the guy is happy. Cat says "I'm happy." (Is she being sarcastic or sincere?) What is the point of this difference?
Rob's picture
Missing word added.

Yes, defiant is intentional. As you say, "TA told me I couldn't do it, but I got it anyway." And CiG is sincere. The reverse psychology wasn't intentional, but if it works, it works.

As for why, I've observed that in such situations how what you say is received depends heavily on your gender and I wanted to play with that a little. So I guess from one point of view the idea is exactly in the slightly different forms CiG and GiC use.