General, Pets, School

Choose the best answer.

07.21.06 | 1 Comment

Which of the following would you prefer while taking a timed practice MCAT online?

I. A sharp-nailed cat making biscuits on your bare legs
II. A fur-slinging cat dancing across your computer keyboard, thwapping your face with her tail
III. Shrill, demanding barking at the back door

A. I and II only
B. I and III only
C. II and III only
D. I, II, and III

The best answer is A. The main principle used to determine the answer is to minimize the amount of muderous rage (Rm), a measurable quantity obtained by multiplying (annoyance caused by the activity) x (the duration of the activity):

Rm = ad

Sophie’s activities, while annoying and painful, do not last that long, and she eventually settles into my lap, serving to keep me at the computer and focused. Sarge wants constant attention and potty breaks. Chief, by comparison, is an angel. He only gets riled up when Sarge bites on him. I took those assholes on a long walk last night, hoping to tire them into being quiet while I took the last half of my practice test, but I swear they were worse for it.

In biochemistry when we learned about enzyme inhibitors, my pets were actually helpful as a sort of mnemonic. Cats are competitive inhibitors – they sit directly on the book you’re studying. Dogs (and sometimes husbands) are generally noncompetitive inhibitors, in that they keep you from studying, but their distraction is more indirect. And now look – I’m not studying, and they’re sleeping. I better take advantage of this.

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