GTKY? A true story nontheless

There are some equations you just can't forget.

Groupwork is something you would probably rather not deal with in college, but it's a necessary evil when incoming freshmen are forced to take one natural science course and the lab space doesn't allow people to work alone. (The one common thread to unite lower and higher education systems is that you have to deal with people that you dislike on a fairly regular basis.)

When I was one of said incoming freshmen, on the second week of class we were doing a lab assignment to approximate the gravitational constant, g, by rolling a baseball-sized smooth rubber ball down a ramp angled at 45 degrees.
By slightly manipulating the kinematics equations for a vector, one could approximate the constant.

"..or, we could just write down 9.8 m/sec^2 and be done with it," added unproductive lab partner number one. "I'm a philosophy major," he added helpfully, stretching out the word philosophy as long as possible, as if the additional length of the word gave his choice of major more credibility.

"Physics is pretty cool, though, man," my other lab partner said. His bony, pale fingers curled around the ball as he gripped it on the flameproof tabletop. His gaze was pensive and vaguely threatening, as if the fate of the world rested upon his ability to roll the lime green ball to its full extent.

I didn't care enough to intervene, so instead I opted to focus my energy on looking busy by reading the prelab.

"Seriously though - this is bullshit. Physics is bullshit."

"I wasn't aware all philosophy majors were so insightful." (with obligatory mocking emphasis on the word philosophy, of course)

"..kinematics is bullshit," he continued.

Through the corner of my eye, I saw the ball float through the air and interrupt his rant by impacting with his forehead and bouncing unceremoniously under a stool. There was an awkward pause as he was cut off mid-sentence, and the two freshmen looked at each other for a brief moment. The first looked on incredulously as the second knelt down to retrieve the ball, before standing back up and stating, "V equals V-O plus A-T. can we roll the damn ball now?"

..and we did.