Title: Giles Baker's Midterm
Author: Live2TiVo/ Musical Junkie/ Tally
Feedback: is like Gnomes. Fun to have lots of, and it makes me happy.
Word Count: 1256 (without this chart thingy at the top)
Rating: T (PG-13)
Summary: Charlie and Amita are grading midterms, and one student's test causes all sorts of problems.
Notes: Set in season one. Charlie is still Amita's thesis adviser.
Special Thanks: To Biz, for getting me TOTALLY addicted to Charlie/Amita
Warnings: Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals will rot your soul. Also, this is the result of tuning out both my APUSH teacher and Driver's Ed instructor.
Disclaimer: If I said I owned it, you'd think I was crazy. I also am not crazy enough to say that I own "Math Prof Rock Star".
Charlie looked at the stacks and stacks of papers in front of him and sighed. For all the perks that came with being a professor (summers off, tenure, complete control over his student's futures), having to grade midterms was not one of them. The twenty page exams were piled high, full of numbers and letters that Charlie was not looking forward to deciphering (especially the test of one Giles Baker, who was infamous among the math department for his horrendous penmanship).
He grabbed the first test and groaned as he saw the name Becky Austin. Becky, while highly intelligent, had an annoying habit of dotting all of her "I"s with hearts. But, despite her love struck I's, Becky did have neat, clear handwriting and did all of her work in an orderly fashion, making it easy for Charlie to spot her one mistake on page twelve and give her a 92 before moving on the next paper.
After about seven more exams, Charlie found himself getting bored. To combat the monotony, he turned on a CD Amita had made him full of songs about math and numbers. While some of the songs (such as "50 Ways to Leave your Lover" and "The Clapping Song") kind of stretched the theme a bit, Charlie listened to the CD all the time.
There were quite a few Broadway songs in the mix, which had surprised Charlie when he first played the CD, but Amita told him later that her Broadway-obsessed roommate had helped her and insisted on including "Seasons of Love" ("I don't see what the problem is. The whole song is about measuring stuff. That's math related.")
Track eight quickly became his favorite, though. Amita had somehow stumbled upon a song called "Math Prof Rock Star" by Jim's Big Ego. The first time he heard it, he laughed so loudly that the teacher in the next room had to come in and ask if he was alright.
He nodded in time and mouthed the lyrics as he graded Alysandra Nett's midterm.
All the girls in the classroom, they think he's hot.
He comes in wearing the sandals with the white socks.
He was so absorbed in the song and Alysandra (who for some odd reason, insisted on being called "Sassy")'s test that he didn't notice Amita enter the room.
He was voted most unlikely ever to become a Math Prof Rock Star
"Hey, Charlie!" Amita called out over the music.
Charlie was so surprised by Amita that he accidentally drew a red line across "Sassy's" test.
"Amita. What are you doing here?"
"I was just going to see if you needed any help grading."
"Yes. Thank God. I don't think I could survive reading through all of these. Why did I ever agree to teach so many classes this semester?"
"Because you like teaching?"
"Teaching, yes. Grading, no."
"Well, at least you're dressed appropriately for the occasion."
Charlie had to look down to figure out what Amita meant. He was wearing a t-shirt with a lowercase "I" crossed out, bearing the words "Keeping it Real". Amita had given him the shirt for his birthday.
"So are you," Charlie said pointing towards Amita's shirt that proclaimed her love of nerds. "But you do realize that mathematicians are geeks, right?"
"Who said I like any mathematicians, huh?"
"Can't argue with that." Charlie handed Amita a stack of tests. "Here. You can do Giles'."
"Why do I have to do Giles? He's your student."
"You offered to help."
Amita groaned and moved Giles' paper to the bottom of the stack, hoping that she'd run out of time before she had to grade it. She opened Adam Mackenzie's midterm and grabbed a red pen, which, knowing Adam, she was definitely going to need.
After about four hours, Charlie and Amita were down to one exam: Giles Baker.
"I'm not doing it," Amita said indignantly.
"I've already graded way more papers than you."
"Why don't you do the first half and I'll do the rest."
Charlie pick up the test. "Good lord. Is that an A, 9, or 0?"
Amita glanced at the page. "That's an S"
"I say we just decipher his answers and screw partial credit."
"I like that idea."
Charlie flipped through the booklet. "He missed one. That's an 87."
"We should write his grade in messy handwriting so he has to decipher it."
"Why, Amita! I'm shocked. I am a tenured professor. I can't just torture my students for having bad penmanship." He paused. "You do it."
Amita put the pen in her left hand, closed her eyes and scribbled 87 on the paper. "How'd I do?"
"It looks like he got a G2."
Amita opened her eyes. "Excellent."
They sat in silence for a few brief moments until Amita started laughing. Charlie soon joined her. Sure their little joke was hardly funny, the pair had gone a little stir crazy stuck in the classroom for so long.
They made quite a sight. A tenured professor and his thesis student laughing their asses off at practically nothing.
And that's exactly the scene Larry happened upon when he came to ask Charlie to help him with something.
"Charles? May I inquire as to what has amused you so much?"
"We were just… Giles… Amita's idea." Was all Charlie could get out between laughs.
"Would you mind repeating that?"
Amita handed him Giles' midterm.
"Oh, Mr. Baker." He turned to Charlie and Amita. "What did you do?"
Amita pointed to the grade.
"While humorous in theory, if such a small thing has amused you two this much, you may need to get out of this classroom."
Charlie breathed slowly to calm himself down. "I think you're right." He turned to Amita and offered her his arm. "Shall we?"
"Larry, would you care to join us?"
"No thank you. I have to grade midterms tonight."
Larry left and Charlie and Amita cracked up again. Amita clung to Charlie's arm to keep from falling down.
"We really need to get out of here." Amita said as she struggled to breathe.
Charlie turned off his CD player, which had been repeating for the past six hours.
"Charlie! You just turned it off in the middle of 'The Actuary Song'!"
"Which you've listened to at least four times today. Besides, I didn't think you liked Broadway. You said you only put those songs on there because your roommate made you."
"I Love You Because is an Off-Broadway show."
"Oh, well, if it's Off-Broadway…"
"Just keep walking, Professor."
Amita leaned back against the wall, waiting for Charlie to gather all of his stuff. She tapped her foot impatiently.
When Charlie was finally ready, he stopped right in front of her.
"You're blocking the light switch."
"Oh." Amita moved slightly to the left, giving Charlie just enough room to reach over her shoulder and turn off the light.
Suddenly the fact that it was long past sundown became increasingly evident. The pair were engulfed in darkness.
Charlie's arm was still draped over Amita's shoulder. The small amount of light coming off of Charlie's computer was enough for him to see the smile on Amita's face. Neither one moved. They stood there, frozen, until they simultaneously leaned into each other.
Maybe staying in Charlie's office isn't such a bad idea after all. Amita thought. Tomorrow, I'm going out and buying an "I love geeks" T-Shirt… and a thank you card for Giles Baker and his illegible midterm.