BY ANIME HAIR: NEWS EDITOR
Dr. Amrit Patel, 67, is wellknown among both high scientific circles and the Rutgers student body. Every semester, he teaches Organic Chemistry II to about three- to four-hundred students. But Dr. Patel has recently debated whether to make a career switch.
“Every semester, since I started teaching the course, it’s always been the same,” says the Nobel Prize candidate, “I’d make a pun or a joke about chemical structures and at least half the class would laugh uproariously.”
The professor, with his notoriously difficult weekly quizzes and unforgiving curves, gives us a typical example of his class and all the mirth it brings. His day begins with office hours from 6:30-7:30 am, usually filled with eager students. “They’re always telling me stuff like, ‘You’re so funny, professor. Tell another joke!’ and, ‘Are you sure I failed this, can you check it again?’” Patel reminisces.
The class—or as Patel believes it is known, ‘Comedy Hour’—itself begins at 8:40 am. The Medium reports that although the students could be described as “tired,” “bored,” and “miserable,” much of the class indeed laughed every time Patel brought up a pun over Mercedes-Benzines or a seemingly inside joke. After class was over, many students would approach in order to laugh at more jokes and maybe see if he could adjust the curve a little bit.
Patel’s comedy success with the class has prompted him to attempt a new career as a stand-up comedian. “I’ve done this science stuff for too long,” he said with a wave of his hand, “it’s time for a change to something I truly excel at.” Dr. Patel will be performing this coming Wednesday afternoon at the New Brunswick Stress Factory. He described his routine as “educational, but of course, filled with funny scientific puns.” He is confident that a good portion of his class will attend. The Medium is prone to agree; Thursday is the day his students receive their exam grades.