Saturday, March 20, 2004

another year, another $12.49

(Tax form for my dissertation royalties. Astute, Jeremy-knowledgeable readers will note that I have whited my middle name out in this scan. Yes, I'm still contemplating legally changing my name to remove it.)

My dissertation has been on my webpage since my first semester here. Still, however, every year there are 4-8 suckers out there somewhere who decide that they need to buy my dissertation from the dissertation printing mill at the University of Michigan, and as a result each year I get this little royalty form that I'm supposed to include with my taxes.

Who are these people? Why do they buy it? What are they hoping for? What do they think of what they get? Do they think the terse acknowledgments section is okay, or that I come off as insufficiently grateful and should have been more effusive? Do they recognize the pluck it took to use a font other than Times New Roman or Courier New? Do they recognize that I could have written somewhat more clever and pretty prose if my dissertation committee* hadn't reined in my textual charms? Do they find the secret messages that are hidden as the last letters of successive sentences in various passages? Do they notice the paragraph that is actually a non-rhyming sonnet, perfect iambic pentameter and all that? Do they recognize the parts that I wrote directly at the keyboard, the parts that I wrote on legal pads, and the parts that I drafted completely in Crayola on drool-drenched paper while monotonically repeating "the best dissertation is a done dissertation, the best dissertation is a done dissertation" over and over again?

* Don't get me wrong: good folks, all.

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