By Graham von Carlowitz, Columnist

A few days ago, my professor struck me with a fun fact too good to be true. Really? The celibate lady in charge of organizing masses at my church back home is really a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist? And one who poked fun at the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal?

No. It had to be a coincidence, like the time I met a real-life Bruce Wayne. That abomination of a man was too fat, too ungroomed, too proud of wearing Winnie-the-Pooh slippers in public to be the man in the mask. I know it wasn’t him because he joked with the bank teller that she ought to “make it snappy” because he had “another bank to rescue in Gotham.” No way. The real Batman would never insist that someone “make it snappy.” This guy was just a bozo with a cool name.

In the case of Maureen Dowd, the church lady, I never found out that day if she was another Bruce Feign Wayne, never got to ask. For that injustice, I have distracting laptop screens to blame.

Mine has been in the computer hospital for the past few days and I’m still trying to solve the riddle of the splintered screen. Either it came from the four or six times I sat on it, mistaking my computer of three years for a seat cushion, or I damaged it that time I tapped on the screen to encourage a faster download. Only the PC-surgeons know for sure.

Without a laptop for self-induced distraction, I sat and flailed my legs like a six-year-old waiting for his favorite dragon-themed roller coaster to get going already. Having gone through that dream enough times, I decided to check on my neighbor’s screen just as the Maureen Dowd topic came to an end.

This girl was doing nothing special, just texting and fielding a Facebook demand to join that one game with the virtual vegetables. Nothing more. My eavesdrop left me stupefied and wondering why I bothered glancing.

But there is a reason: hope.

Later that week, I scored a satisfying glimpse of a student’s search of leprosy. The images were appalling, disturbing and worth the distraction. You see, that’s quality distraction time spent well. I was in chemistry and nowhere to be seen in my notes on isotopes were instructions to Google leprosy.

This lad should be an example for all -— bold in his distraction material, unwavering in his woolgathering during class, and not a
texting tab in sight.

This does not only go for that one girl; I believe all students typing away in class should be more considerate of their neighbors in their screens’ displays. Let it be worth our glance.

As noted, I’d prefer something bemusing — something that I could not only write home about, as my daily tribulations with spilling coffee suffice there. No, I want some eye-stupefying magic that I can dazzle home with, something like image results for “the plague.”

Or, for those interested in less gruesome distractions, maybe google piñata party gone wrong and hope for magic.

I know that Maureen Dowd of my hometown had nothing to do with ripping on Bill Clinton’s unfortunate lack of self-control — I googled it later that day.

But that is not something I would take the time to look up in class. I know from experience that, if my keyboard is to resonate clacking and whacking sounds, the result displayed has to be worth my distracted classmates’ while. If it’s lame, I plop my butt on my laptop and focus my eyes on the teacher.