by Christine Politte
TAPER HALL — Sociology student Raymond Edwards held an entire 30-person lecture hostage for a solid 20 minutes on Monday as he read from the textbook, setting a record for the slowest in-class reading to date.
“I should have known it was going to end badly when he was so eager to participate,” sighed Professor James Finnegan. “It’s an 8 a.m. class. No one is ever that excited.”
Eyewitnesses report that the first half of class went smoothly, with several students reading their sections without incident. The situation went awry, however, when the professor made the mistake of calling on Edwards to read one single page supplementing the material on cultural norms.
“I commute on the 405 twice-weekly, and I’ve watched 2001: A Space Odyssey in its entirety, without bathroom breaks, twice,” said classmate Leslie Frazier as she wiped tears of boredom from her eyes. “But this was like nothing I’d ever experienced.”
Even as he tripped over two-syllable words, Edwards soldiered on, completely oblivious to his classmates’ murderous stares.
“The worst part wasn’t the painstakingly slow enunciation,” said student Joseph Sanchez. “It was the pauses, just long enough to give you hope that it was over, but then he’d start reading again. It was like Chinese water torture.”
Edwards defends his actions, claiming that he was just trying to help the class get the most out of the material.
“People don’t read clearly enough these days,” she explained. “I wanted to make sure they would hold onto every single word.”
A representative from the Guinness Book of World Records was unable to verify the record because he fell asleep during the reading.