Thursday, June 24, 2010

You. Will. Be. Cancelled!

The words popped up every few sentences, turning the already repetitive lecture into a free-form poem of dullness. The comptroller missed no opportunity to remind students — in broken English — that there would be consequences for missed late payments, including cancellation and late fees. He loved to use the phrase "It's gonna cost ya!" to emphasize that the comptroller's office would be more than happy to take your money.

The USF comptroller's presentation dragged on for an eternal fifteen minutes before the incident. The comptroller asked a simple question about the repercussions of a missed deadline, expecting to answer it a second later. Instead, a student in the balcony shouted "You. Will. Be. Cancelled!" and laughter rippled through the auditorium.

Suddenly, the atmosphere of the lecture changed completely. When the comptroller concluded the answer to his own question with "You might be cancelled," the audience burst into laughter. He immediately recognized his newfound catchphrase and began using it to spice up his presentation. He loosened up, and the students began listening intently to wait for the next catchphrase. When he concluded his presentation with "Don't get cancelled!" the entire audience applauded loudly.

In my opinion, this dynamic lecture was the highlight of the whole orientation.