… when I read George Eliot, I read her for the descriptions of weather. Perhaps that’s the wrong way to read George Eliot, but how comforting, the way she describes light moving over trees and lying on a bench and somebody’s foot there … I…
Q: Do I have to kill the snake? A: University guidelines state that you have to “defeat” the snake. There are many ways to accomplish this. Lots of students choose to wrestle the snake. Some construct decoys and elaborate traps to confuse and then ensnare the snake. One student brought a flute and played a song to lull the snake to sleep. Then he threw the snake out a window.
Q: Does everyone fight the same snake? A: No. You will fight one of the many snakes that are kept on campus by the facilities department.
Q: Are the snakes big? A: We have lots of different snakes. The quality of your work determines which snake you will fight. The better your thesis is, the smaller the snake will be.
Q: Does my thesis adviser pick the snake? A: No. Your adviser just tells the guy who picks the snakes how good your thesis was.
Q: What does it mean if I get a small snake that is also very strong? A: Snake-picking is not an exact science. The size of the snake is the main factor. The snake may be very strong, or it may be very weak. It may be of Asian, African, or South American origin. It may constrict its victims and then swallow them whole, or it may use venom to blind and/or paralyze its prey. You shouldn’t read too much into these other characteristics. Although if you get a poisonous snake, it often means that there was a problem with the formatting of your bibliography.
Q: When and where do I fight the snake? Does the school have some kind of pit or arena for snake fights? A: You fight the snake in the room you have reserved for your defense. The fight generally starts after you have finished answering questions about your thesis. However, the snake will be lurking in the room the whole time and it can strike at any point. If the snake attacks prematurely it’s obviously better to defeat it and get back to the rest of your defense as quickly as possible.
Q: Would someone who wrote a bad thesis and defeated a large snake get the same grade as someone who wrote a good thesis and defeated a small snake? A: Yes.
Q: So then couldn’t you just fight a snake in lieu of actually writing a thesis? A: Technically, yes. But in that case the snake would be very big. Very big, indeed.
Q: Could the snake kill me? A: That almost never happens. But if you’re worried, just make sure that you write a good thesis.
Q: Why do I have to do this? A: Snake fighting is one of the great traditions of higher education. It may seem somewhat antiquated and silly, like the robes we wear at graduation, but fighting a snake is an important part of the history and culture of every reputable university. Almost everyone with an advanced degree has gone through this process. Notable figures such as John Foster Dulles, Philip Roth, and Doris Kearns Goodwin (to name but a few) have all had to defeat at least one snake in single combat.
Q: This whole snake thing is just a metaphor, right? A: I assure you, the snakes are very real.
#mary shelley #this quote though #it’s all kinds of wonderful #hey remember that time one asswipe was like you have 30 seconds to name something invented by a woman… #…and Mary was like SCIENCE FICTION MOTHERFUCKERS #that was awesome #thanks Mary Shelley (via snappily)
And the next time someone starts claiming that teenage girls have ruined the horror genre with romance or whatever you can be like, hey dicksmack, teenage girls and romance built your genre so sit the fuck down.
Mary Shelley fucking invented your favourite genre motherfuckers. You owe her Kirk and Vader and every goddamned Joss has ever done that’s made you cream your pants. Created when she was a teenager cause, hey, that’s how she rolled. She took love and showed it as the powerful, terrifying, all-encompassing, ruthless, wrathful thing it is.
“When gays get so angry about a chicken sandwich, it is because Chick-fil-A has given around $5 million to fight to discriminate against us. When we praise brave Eagle Scouts who give up their badges in protest of the Boy Scouts of America’s prejudice, it’s not about scoring political points; it’s because there are kids in dens who are being taught to believe that they are less than equal. When we rant about the pastor who preaches that gays should be thrown into a concentration camp, we scream out of fear. And our fears are justified — in the last seven days, a lesbian in Nebraska was carved with a knife, a gay man in Oklahoma was firebombed, and a girl in Kentucky was kicked and beaten — her jaw broken and her teeth knocked out — while her assailants allegedly hurled anti-gay slurs at her.”—Conor Gaughan - Huffington Post (via rosietheriotgrrrl)
“The rules seem to be these: if you have written a successful novel, everyone invites you to write short stories. If you have written some good short stories, everyone wants you to write a novel. But nobody wants anything until you have already proved yourself by being published somewhere else.”—James Michener (via amandaonwriting)
“Ever since puberty, ever since I was 11 or 12, I’ve had cyclical depression. That’s something that has been a defining feature of my life as an adult. It’s manageable. But it’s real. And it doesn’t take away from my joy or my work or my energy, but coping with depression is something that is part of the everyday way that I live and have lived for as long as I can remember. … Depression for me, you can’t distract your way out of it. … When you are depressed, it’s like the rest of the world is the mother ship, and you’re out there on a little pod and your line gets cut and you don’t connect with anything. You sort of disappear. And so it’s not something you can talk-therapy out of. It’s really a chemical thing. You get adrenaline from work, but adrenaline is not a cure.”—Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview : NPR (via sayyestotreats)
Yes, I know it’s a lovely day. Yes, I know the birds are singing. In fact, yes, I am happy. I’m not smiling because this is my safety face. You may not be aware that women have a safety face. It’s the face…
“True gender equality is actually perceived as inequality. A group that is made up of 50% women is perceived as being mostly women. A situation that is perfectly equal between men and women is perceived as being biased in favor of women.
And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never been a married woman who kept her family name. I have had students hold that up as proof of my “sexism.”
My own brother told me that he could never marry a woman who kept her name because “everyone would know who ruled that relationship.” Perfect equality – my husband keeps his name and I keep mine – is held as a statement of superiority on my part.”—