Sunday, April 23, 2006

I am a pack of cigarettes

I'm on campus this morning preparing for the resumption of my usual Sunday code review meetings. A few minutes ago as I sat trying to put together a coherent picture of the code we want to produce I began seeing the objections that will be raised and the arguments we'll have this afternoon. On some of them I can see who will be on each side of the argument and how this pits me against my advisor and with the nuclear engineering profs at times. Then my imagination started going and I envisioned one debate becoming so intense that I was traded by my advisor to one of the NUEN profs in one of those, "If you two agree so well, fine. He's your student now." moments.

It was then that I realized that grad students are similar to the Hollywood ideal of packs of cigarettes in a prison. We're traded as currency amongst the professors. Not usually in the "he's your student now" sense, though that does happen occasionally, but in the "I've got a student I can make work on this project if you'll give me some of the grant money" sense. Grad students are thus shuffled around from project to project, losing little bits of themselves along the way. In the end, when they are used up, wrinkled and hollow they are tossed aside for a new pack of smokes.

The interesting bit of this is that once the discarded packs hit the floor they are swept into the garbage bin of industry research and incinerated, or they are instantly reincarnated into prisoners themselves working to secure their own carton of cigarettes. I think once I'm used up I'll wind up in the garbage bin of industrial research. If I am by chance reincarnated into a prisoner I'll try to be a little kinder to any smokes that may come my way.

I think I need to go outside now.

2 Comments:

Blogger katielady said...

Wow, Timmie. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Bubba's Sis said...

::Cough!:: ::Cough!::

12:32 AM  

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