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Daily Exam; Oneshot.
Topic Started: May 11 2012, 05:58 AM (1,221 Views)
Violent-Medic
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((Joe Carrasco continued from Blood Spilled, Blood Bound.))

White blood cells extracted from microbats, megabats and lemurs are used in karyotypeanalysis. Cells are chemically frozen in metaphase of mitosis, and then...

Joe frowned and chewed on the end of his pencil. He was a chronic pencil chomper. Every pencil he owned was covered in tooth marks near the end. It had always been a habit, especially when stressing over schoolwork, but it had gotten a lot worse since he started smoking with Travis. Maybe he was hoping for some sort of placebo effect if he stuck something similar enough to a joint in his mouth.

Chromosome homologous pairs are identified by examining the length of chromosomes, position of centromere, and positions of bandings. Homosapien pairs are arranged on a page from largest to smallest...

"Crap," Joe muttered, realising that he'd written homosapien instead of homologous. How'd he even manage that? He rubbed out the word and corrected it. He glanced at the clock sitting on his desk. Were it a day where he was allowed to go outside the house for a while, he'd currently be engaged in nonsensical conversation with Travis.

He then realised he'd forgotten to tell Travis he couldn't do anything that day. Come to think of it, he'd forgotten to reply to whatever message Travis sent him earlier that day when he was talking to Marcus.

Joe took his phone out of his pocket and checked the message Travis had sent him.

"Hey Joe! toke later, bro?"

Joe had been about to type a response, but the door slammed open.

"GAH!" Joe flinched and his mobile slipped out of his hands as he did so, clattering onto the desk. He didn't dare look at the doorway, where he knew his father would be standing. Already, he could hear the irritable stream of Spanish.

"Are you using your phone to procrastinate?" Papa walked in and picked the phone up from Joe's desk. "Don't waste your time. Use every minute unless you already have the skills to pull off a hundred percent score on your exams. Which, judging by your recent results, I doubt."

"Sorry," Joe muttered to his feet. "I was just--"

"Wasting time. You better not have been playing Tetris..." There was a short pause. Joe chanced a look up to see that his father was reading the message Travis had sent him. Oh dear God no. Joe shut his eyes and prepared for an explosion.

"What on earth is a... toke?"

Thank the lord for his father's bad grasp of English colloquialisms.

"Uhmmm... it's..." Joe's mind went horribly blank for a moment, before he blurted out, "it's a board game! With lots of tokens that... mean things... and such... You know... toke, tokens... That's where the... the name comes from and stuff. Sometimes I play it with Travis."

"Hm. I see," Papa grunted, before scratching his chin and staring down at Joe again. "Travis is the weird boy who always whistles, isn't he?"

"Yes."

Papa let out an irritating sigh before abruptly switching to English. "Why is barium sulfate powder added when testing soil pH?"

Joe was not too thrown off by Papa's sudden change of subject. It was regular for him to start pop questions in the middle of an otherwise unrelated conversation, and him switching from Spanish to English was always a sure sign that it was about to happen. It did little good for Joe to know the Spanish answers but not the English versions.

It was a good time for an interruption anyway. If Papa kept prodding at Joe's lie about toking being a board game then he'd probably slip up and accidentally reveal what he did with Travis when they hung out.

"Uh..." Joe shut his eyes for a moment, trying to recall. "It... it absorbs soil moisture and... and so it'll show the indicator colour?"

Papa didn't say anything positive. He just moved onto the next question. That was the more positive reaction.

More questions got thrown at him for the next few minutes. Sometimes Joe had to pause at a question for a little while before figuring out the answer, or in the case of some of the trickier ones he had to puzzle out the question on paper. But he got them right. Finally...

"What are the symptoms of Meniere's disease?"

"Uh... um..." Joe couldn't remember what Meniere's disease was, although he knew he'd read about it recently. The name was familiar, but he couldn't remember...

Papa stood there, staring at him and waiting expectantly for an answer.

"Ummmm... uh... Idunnmembr..." Joe mumbled, sliding into barely comprehensible mumbling.

There was a long stretch of silence. After a while, his father frowned and slapped his hand against the desk, causing Joe to yelp.

"That's a simple question! Honestly, Joe, do you think this'll be acceptable when you're doing your pre-meds? When you're trying for your degree? When a patient's life is lying in your hands?"

Joe stayed silent, staring at his shoes. Although there was a niggling feeling in the back of his head that was going 'whatever Meniere's disease is isn't that lethal...'

"Forgetting the stages of lung cancer was bad enough, but this? Not being able to memorize three little symptoms? When I was--"

It clicked. He remembered. "Tinnitus, fluctuating or impaired hearing and vertigo," Joe said, interrupting his father's lecture.

"What?"

"That's the answer, isn't... isn't it?"

"Ah. ...Yes."
His father seemed a bit disorientated for a moment after being cut off mid-rant. "Yes, well... you should know these things off the top of your head, you shouldn't have to think for so long."

"Also, I spent a lot of today trying to memorize the signs of lung cancer that I forgot... I think I managed it."

"You think?"

"I mean... I did manage it."

"Recite it."


Joe rattled off the difference between stages 3a and 3b that he'd been trying to memorize earlier that day. He fumbled over them a couple of times, but managed to correct himself whenever he did. There was no answer, just a small nod before Papa moved onto the next topic.

"Did you get any homework back today?" his father finally asked.

"Yes. Chemistry."

Papa held out his hand expectantly, and Joe handed over the sheets. Papa scanned it, looking for red marks that meant he'd messed up. Joe was at least grateful that he'd gotten high marks this time. Papa had started to work up steam during that last rant. If Joe had gotten a B, he would have exploded into an angry lecture again and it would have gone on for hours.

It was dead silent as Papa went over the homework. Could have heard a pin drop. Finally, Papa dropped the homework back on the desk. Joe chanced a look up, but it was difficult for him to maintain eye contact so he just ended up staring over his father's shoulder.

More silence, and then... "Good. You can have some free time tomorrow."

Relief coursed through Joe, along with a small surge of pride at the fact that Papa had actually said 'good.' "Thank you."

"But your answers could be much faster. Work on it."

"I... I will."
Joe fiddled with his fingers for a moment, before asking, "Can I have my phone back?"

Papa considered it for a few moments. "I suppose. But if I come back and you're playing Tetris on it, then it's going in the trash and you're staying in your room for a week."

"Okay."


As soon as his father left, Joe breathed a long sigh of relief. All in all, that was one of the better daily tests that his father threw at him, apart from that slip-up near the end. He quickly sent a message back to Travis before getting back to his homework.

"Tomorrow."

((Joe Carrasco continued in First They Smoked And Pondered Pastries...))
Edited by Violent-Medic, May 16 2012, 01:09 AM.
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