Power of Nine - Existing in Time 

At MarshMallow Junior College, Professor Squared had a traffic court date that required him to be absent from his math lecture at MM, JC.

He had arranged for Professor L’esprit, from the Philosophy Department, who taught French Philosophy as a visiting professor to be a substitute in his absence.

Professor Esprit possessed a French lilt, that always held his student’s attention during lectures.

At the O’clock sharp hour, he started his lesson. The students were surprised that he did not take attendance.

He wrote on the board.

2 x 9 = 18_ _1 + 8 = 9 _ _ _ _ _ 9 x 9 = 81 _ _ 8 + 1 = 9

As he was writing, one of the students mumbled, “If I knew he wasn’t going to take attendance, I would’ve skipped class.”

Without turning around, Professor Esprit in his French flavored English, said, "I heard that."

The student slumped in his chair, trying not to stand out in case the professor turned around.

Professor Esprit began, “We are going to be looking at patterns that can be made using the number 9. Set your books on the `etage, er, I mean the floor, and place a single sheet of papier on your desk.”

He continued, “I am sure that everyone has heard the Greek Legend about Zeus and his nine daughters, collectively called the Muses.”

Most smiled and nodded their heads in agreement. The Professor stated, "According to Hesiod’s account (c. 600 BCE), the Nine Muses were the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne.”

Now, on your papier, write the following set of numbers that you see on the tableau noir. Excusez-moi, I mean the chalk board.”

2 x 9 = 18_ _1 + 8 = 9 _ _ _ _ _ 9 x 9 = 81 _ _ 8 + 1 = 9

Professor Esprit tapped the board loudly making white commas near the numbers 18 and 27.”

Professor Esprit stepped back and looked at the board while he waited for the students to write on their papers.

He took a deep breath. He looked at the board and rubbed his Gotee with his thumb and index finger. The Professor turned around quickly, threw his arms in the air, and looked like an animated letter Y, he began swaying and singing, Y - M - C - A.

After singing a couple of YMCAs' he shouted, "Do you see what I see?"

The students had no idea what point the Professor was trying to make.

He went to the board and circled the numbers, 18, and 81. The Professor asked, "If we place 18 and 81 side by side and write it as 1881, what do we have?"

A couple of minutes of silence filled the lecture hall. A quiet response from the top of the lecture seats, was heard, "A palindrome?”

“Veareee, veareee goood. When you place a set of numbers in a line, and read them from left to right or right to left, the numbers are always in the same order.

Billy raised his hand and asked, “Professor, your number presentation is, shall we say,  ’esprit, but, what does it have to do with the nine daughters of Zeus?”

Professor Esprit slowly stroked his goatee and looked up to the ceiling.

He looked at Billy and wildly waved his hands in the air. With an animated smile, he shouted, “Absolutely Nothing.” 

Everybody laughed and Billy asked, "Absolutely Nothing? Come on Professor, there you go pulling our legs. We are getting taller, inch by inch.”

Professor Esprit smiled and replied, “Mon ami, please Excusez-moi, I could not resist the temptation to practice my sarcasme.”

Everybody chuckled as the Professor said, "If there is anybody wanting to change their major to Philosophy, my office number and hours can be found somewhere on Google."

©️ LuMar Lee 2023,
all rights reserved

Next Story

Looking For a Pearl
William received an empty poke and was assured that it was filled with words.
2-minute 18-second read time

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