Tuesday, August 02, 2005

christmas in august

Remember that song "Do they know it's Christmas?" that was recorded by a bunch of British artists to benefit the starving of Africa? While the motivation was admirable, I always thought it was a little bit of a strange song, given that there are a such a large number of non-Christians in Africa that they answer for many would be "no" to the question even in a situation of plenty. Then I learned that if you take the part of the song that goes "FEED THE WOR-R-RLD... let them know it's Christmas time" and run it through one of those hypersubsonic disaggregators, it turns out somebody subliminally inserted "[and convert them to Christianity, if necessary]" in the middle. Once again, JFW: your best source for fake-o music trivia.

Anyway, I digress. I was thinking of that song this morning because of the lyric:
the Christmas bells that ring there
are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them
instead of you
Substitute "exam" for "Christmas" and "today" for "tonight", and you get my feeling the last couple days as various graduate students here have been chained to computers doing their Ph.D. qualifying exams. There are few things in this world I'm more pleased to have far receded in my biographical rear view mirror.

(Of course, I hope everything is going well for everyone who is taking them, and that the end result will be success!)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

AAAUUGGHH!!! I FAILED!!!

dorotha said...

my mom got mad at me once and said, "poop on your head, dorotha harried, poop on your head!" part of me wishes that she demanded pooping on your head.

maybe i shouldn't have read your blog during the break.

sep said...

thanks for the well wishes! I'm done and you know a good prelim is a finished one! :)

jeremy said...

Oops, I thought nobody would read my post until it was over. I forgot about the possibility of people taking it today reading my blog during the break.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

I can't remember the last time I had this much shoulder tension pain.

Also, I know people survive flunking and all, but I don't think that I personally have the psychic fortitude for it, and if I don't pass, I am going to Arizona to live in a van. Just so you know.

Agee said...

Am I a tool? I loved taking my qualifying exam! It's my dissertation that's turning me into a shriveled mass of...I don't know what.

Anonymous said...

Rachael, I don't know you and I don't know what graduate program you're attending, but anybody at UW who said that they loved taking their prelims would be considered the tooliest tool that ever tooled. Also, if you're serious, I want to tranfer to your school.

RWS, is there room for me in that van? Can we park it down by the river?
-Jessie J.

Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Jessie, that might not be a good idea. Most of the time in Arizona, "the river" means "that place where there are a few green things in a ditch," and for a couple of months in the summer, it's "the flash flood plain." :p

Agee said...

Jessie: Graduate school was in Hoosier-land (a.k.a. Indiana). It's like the end of the rainbow. As I'm sure Jeremy would agree.

Yeah, I'm the tooliest tool that ever tooled.

jeremy said...

In my opinion, Indiana's exam system was WAY better than Wisconsin's. Indiana has a single exam, instead of two; it's a 72-hour take home, instead of a 6-hour closed book; and it's based on a specific reading list developed by the student, instead of no official reading list.

From the faculty side, it was more work per student, to the point where it probably wouldn't be practicable with the grad student to faculty ratio we have at Wisconsin. Still, I would personally much like it if the department changed to an open-book, longer-time format.

Agee said...

All my sympathies go to the Wisconsin folk. I would rather eat tripe than sit through a six-hour closed-book exam. (And I consider tripe to be about the most disgusting thing one could ever even think of consuming...)

Anonymous said...

Indiana had a six hour sit-down exam format well into the 1990s. Not fun.

Anonymous said...

Oddly, they eat a lot of tripe down in Arizona. It's the special ingredient in menudo. Along with Ricky Martin.