Monday, January 10, 2005

What's up, PhDoc?

I heard this from a math professor of mine during a discussion of graduate school...

Once upon a time a rabbit sat in the woods near a cave doing some of his work. The rabbit was spotted by a hungry wolf who headed toward the rabbit intending to eat him. The wolf announced his presence, "Hey Rabbit, I'm here to eat you. But before I do, I'm curious... what are you doing? I'm still going to eat you, but I just want to know."

The rabbit responds, "Well, I'm just working on my dissertation."

"Ah," the wolf says, "what is it about?"

"Well, why don't I show you. Come into this cave." And so the rabbit and the wolf go into the cave together. The wolf finds out that unfortunately there is a lion in the cave who has no problem with eating a wolf, and thus the wolf's life ends and the rabbit survives and returns to his stump outside the cave to continue working.

At some point, a coyote comes by the rabbit in a similar manner as the wolf. He says, "Rabbit, I have come to eat you. However, before I make a dinner out of you, I'd like to know what you're doing."

"I'm working on my dissertation," responds the rabbit, once again.

"Ah," says coyote, "what is it about?"

"Come into this cave. I'll show you." And so the same sequence of events occurs again. The coyote meets the lion, and the rabbit survives another day.

For the rest of the time the rabbit worked on his dissertation, many other predators came by and had the same fate.

So what is the moral of this story?

The subject of your dissertation is hardly as important as having a lion of an adviser in your corner. With a good adviser, survival is ensured.

So I thought that was cute.

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