Sunday, June 21, 2009

Snippets from Crazyland, Academia

I met with my full thesis committee last week for the first time in over two years. The players:

Me: Eternal student, trying to get back on track.
Lady S: My long-suffering supervisor.
CM1: Committee member 1, another long-suffering mentor who I adore, even if we don't always agree.
CM2: New committee member, a recent hire.

What follows are some of my favourite excepts:


Lady S to CM1 and CM2: I've been getting regular updates on her draft. My last email to Bridget was last Monday, titled, "Where is it?"

Me: Was that the one that I responded to you with song lyrics?

Lady S: Yep.

Me (thoughtfully): It was a good song.


Lady S (digging through her file cabinet): Why can't I find your folder?

Me: I don't know, they should be easy to spot, you have, like, 7 years of them now.

CM2: She has seven years of folders on you?

Me: Or is it eight?


CM1 (looking over my CV): You spelled "assisstant" (sic.) with one too many S's on the top of page 6.

CM2: And two lines below that, I guess that's a copy-paste?

Me: Actually, I was going to say that was me being as "ass," but yes. And oh look, here's the same typo again! And again! Joy.


CM1 (looking at a journal citation on my CV): Shouldn't this title be italicized and not in quotes? Since it's a special volume?

Me: You know, I specifically checked the Chicago Manual of Style on that one and apparently, this is how they do it.

CM1 (once an editor always an editor): I don't know about that...

Me (once a typesetter always a typesetter): I'd be happy to send you the reference to the page in Chicago or bring it in...

CM1: That won't be necessary. *pause* Besides, we don't use Chicago style...

We continue to nag each other for a couple more minutes about editorial minutae.

CM2: I would be very surprised if anyone else ever noticed the difference.

Me: True. And we can continue to argue about italics and quotes later.

Lady S (ever patiently): Yes, thank you.


Lady S: So, what day shall we set for you to turn in the draft?

Me (firmly): This coming Monday.

CM1: Are you sure? Will you be able to finish it by then, do you think?

Me (grinning): Well, since you're giving me the option, how about the following Monday?

Lady S: If we give her another week now we'll have to pry it out of her hands in two weeks.

Me: Without a doubt. This coming Monday, then?


Miraculously, I'm not only still a graduate student, but apparently things are going okay.

PS: Note to self, do not open and look at your previous semester's teaching evaluations from your students while working in the department four hours prior to your long-dreaded committee meeting, for which you are not yet ready. Save it for when there's wine, and possibly fire.

PPS: Monday approaches, and the draft is not yet ready.

No comments: