Friday, 22 February 2008

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I'm a Self-Important Prick, I Know, I Know Tomemos sent me an email yesterday saying I had a package waiting for me in front of the departmental mailboxes. Given that I've checked my box once in the past three months, this comes as no surprise. He also told me it was "accumulating jokes," which, sincere fool I am, I'd looked forward to reading. The first two cracked me up: "Recommended to publish, conditional on addition of more emoticons." — A. Winter, Review Board "Nice article thanks for sharing." — Buy Prescriptions Now The third one, however, struck me somewhat differently: "You're a self-important prick, we know, we know, so pick up you're [sic] mail already, ass." — The Department I've a feeling "The Department" ain't coterminous with my department, but that someone would be possessed to write that, even jokingly, disturbs me. I know you're tired of hearing about how I don't consider myself any great shakes ... how I think I've been artificially elevated to some undeserved position on the beastly two-head back of some horny undergrads ... how I'm likely as not to be a nobody two years from now no matter what others think. But my stomach turns when I hear that people think me self-important. Have they not read a thing I've written or listened to a word I've said? Do they assume it's all an act? That in private I puff my chest in pride of all I've not-yet-but-will-one-day-surely accomplish? I'm at a loss. If you know me and think my insecurities obscure an inner braggart, I don't think you know me as well as you think you do. I'm not more; and if it's what I do that defines me, let the record show I'm well-nigh amorphous.
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My First Chapter? Eaten by a Cylon, Thank You Very Much "Scott's Dissertation" is the name of a folder on my desktop. Has been for the past three years. When I migrated my files from my laptop, I copied "Scott's Dissertation" to the external hard drive (a.k.a.); then I copied it from the external hard drive (a.k.a.) to my my new desktop. I assumed my new "Scott's Dissertation" folder would contain all the files and folders housed in the old one. It doesn't. The "Chapter One - Introduction" folder is missing. It's not on the desktop. It's not on the external hard drive (a.k.a.). It's not on the laptop. I had no choice. The folder must've disappeared when I was migrating files. I had to consult the Cylon: What can I do you for? Remember that folder on the laptop with my first chapter in it? Yes. Any idea where it went? I ate it. You ate it? Did you need it for something? Hope not because I ate it. Why would you eat it? It was there so I ate it. And this was a good idea? Probably not. But it was there so I ate it. You would eat it too if it was there. I wouldn't. You would. Also: Bird. Bird? I look out my window and see the Cylon is correct. Atop my air conditioner sit two turtledoves. Their feathers are ruffled and they are looking directly at me. One cocks its head and charges. It pecks the window and looks to its left. The rails of my porch are obscured by a mob of irate turtledoves. You want to eat bird. No. You want to eat bird like I ate chapter. I don't. You lie. Turn in bird instead of chapter. I need chapters not birds. I can't turn in a bird. Why not? Advisers don't accept birds. They want chapters. Search committees don't consider birds. Jobs are not won on the strength of birds. I can't turn in a bird. Too bad. You go to war with the dissertation you have, not the dissertation you want.

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