According to The Quadrangle’s sources, area intern Ethan Baker, a rising sophomore at Brown University, is currently nodding his head in an affirmative manner despite understanding none of the information being presented to him.
The biotechnology firm GeneX hired Baker, 20, as an intern earlier this summer. On his first day at work, he arrived carrying a notebook and pencil, with which he planned to take detailed notes. However, Baker quickly became overwhelmed by the volume of instructions that he was required to instantaneously commit to memory and abandoned his note-taking technique in favor of what onlookers later described as “desperate listening.”
Witnesses maintain that Baker’s steadily increasing anxiety only worsened the situation, until his ability to process complicated instructions dropped to exactly zero. Baker spent the remainder of the morning nodding vigorously in a paranoid haze of confusion.
“Ethan’s a good kid,” explained co-worker and yeast specialist Denise Williams. “But when he muttered ‘got it’ while [our supervisor] Dr. Ruben explained how to empty the autoclave without burning yourself, you could tell Ethan was still trying to remember which refrigerator was for laboratory samples and which was safe for his lunch.”
“It’s unfortunate,” Williams added, “because I’m pretty sure his turkey sandwich is toxic now.”
Despite his nodding motions, Baker did not process how to login to the computer, nor where the fire extinguishers are located, nor the exact structure of glutamic acid. He could only focus on his crippling fear of asking dumb questions and the fact that he could not remember 70% of the facts presented to him in the last hour.
At press time, Dr. Ruben was shouting “call me if you have any questions!” as he left for lunch, and Ethan was trying to remember his mom’s cell phone number so he could call her and cry in the bathroom.