Friday, February 24, 2006

Around the apartment

INT. APARTMENT — EVENING

MENTAT CHEMIST FRIEND and a few other people are over at THE TEACHING ASSISTANT's apartment. Mentat Chemist Friend starts doing the exact same thing that Theta does whenever she is in anyone else's home: performing an in-depth psychological analysis of the host by examining the host's bookshelves. She peruses the area where titles in linguistics, teaching methodology, humor, and literary criticism, along with the shrine to Theta's most favorite fantasy authors, are displayed.

MENTAT CHEMIST FRIEND
(signaling a few French titles)
Have you read all of those?

THE TEACHING ASSISTANT
Not exactly. I can't do a whole lot with French. I've read all three Chroniques de Narnia that I have, Harry Potter et l'Ordre du Phénix — that was the first book I ever read in the language, took me forever — and parts of the first three French books in that series, but I got distracted and didn't finish them. I can get the gist of what happens in a story or an article, but don't ask me to translate a conjugated verb for you into English, because I get the forms confused.

MENTAT CHEMIST FRIEND
(continues scanning the bookshelves)
I think you read more French than you say you do. Two or three books in another language might be a coincidence, but not with as many as you've got.




UPDATE: I've decided to slightly alter my friend's pseudonym, only because I thought of a better one. It will change from CHEMIST FRIEND to MENTAT CHEMIST FRIEND. This is because I've been thinking a lot about the Dune books lately, and my friend — well, she has several qualities that remind me of a Mentat. In a completely good way. If you aren't familiar with those novels of Frank Herbert's, here's the context you need to understand: "Mentats are humans trained to be able to mimic computers: human minds developed to staggering heights of cognitive and analytical ability." "Mentats are able to sift large volumes of data and devise concise analyses in a process that goes far beyond logical deduction" (see Wikipedia for more).