Wednesdays have been my busiest days, class-wise, all term; I've had a quantum mechanics lecture (to attend) at 12:30, followed immediately by first-year physics lab that I'm teaching. I live on campus, so it's a short walk to class; therefore I'm frequently leaving my place at the latest possible time.

Being a grad student, I don't feel the need to shave very much. Rampant stubble seems to be an accurate mark of grad students around the department; the profs have more responsibilities and either have to shave regularly or grow beards, but people expect grads to look scruffy. I prefer to teach clean-shaven, though, so at 12:15 last Wednesday I decided I had time to shave before class. After I'd done all of my right cheek, my trusty electric razor just stopped, dead.

I tried to get it to work some more; I flipped it on and off, cleaned the inside, checked the power outlet, all to no avail. It showed no signs at all of ever having been an animate (albeit mechanical) object. At this point I was a little panicky; I looked silly and didn't feel like facing a class that way. At this point, I remembered that my office-mates had all sorts of crazy stuff around, and that a razor didn't seem terribly out of the question.

So I phoned my office-mate Scott on my cellphone. I'd half asked him about a razor before I remembered: the last time Scott shaved was in January. Needless to say, he had no razor, and neither did anyone else at my office. So I was left with the possibility of running to the little campus drugstore, shaving at the physics building, and being late for class.

It was at this point I realised that the cellphone covered almost the entire shaven region, so I wouldn't look so silly while I was out and about. So I walked down to the drugstore (away from the physics building), inert cellphone to my ear, and bought a package of cheap disposable razors and some shaving cream.

At this point, I was already late for class, and it was a five-minute walk to the physics building. When I got there, I searched around for a washroom with a pluggable sink, since a basin of water is more convenient for rinsing than the silly taps found in the public washrooms of UBC's sixty-year-old physics building. Having concluded that that was not to be found, I came to my next problem; I'd never used an ordinary bladed razor before.

Now it really isn't that hard to learn, but unlike an electric razor it's not too hard to cut yourself. I made it to class 20 minutes late, with a couple bloody spots on my chin and a small constellation of red spots across my neck, but still, ready to teach.