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Has it been that long?

Has it really been that long since I last went to uni? There were three new people in my office and a few people had moved out. Today, I went into uni armed with a list of things I needed to be at uni today. I cleared the list, even if I did have to reconcile myself to catching the 6:53PM bus, which gets in at about 8:30PM.

It was a surprisingly productive day, even if I did spend a little long on the requisite small talk and chats with people I hadn't seen for ages.

Anyway, the bus is rolling on and still has some time to go before it gets to Ballarat, so I thought I may tell a story. The only problem is that I am running low on inspiration. Having spent so much time recently away from the sort of activities which really stimulate my brain, it is hard to come up with any new stories.

I must confess; I have never read any Dickens (of any spelling). So instead I bring you: A Thesis Carol based on the movies rather than the book. By the way, while I have described Scrooge as a revolutionary who fought to be free from the confines of society's expectations and regulations as to which religion's festivals he had to observe, and had his spirit crushed under the burden of the masses, this is a more classicly viewed Scrooge.

The masters was submitted to begin with. While we're at it, I think I might write Tiny Tim out of the story. I will do what Scrooge couldn't: Make him die and decrease the surplus population.

Bob was an old PhD student who was approaching completion of his thesis. It was the night before Bob and the other postgraduates were to give a big presentation as part of their degree. Bob asked his supervisor, Prof Scrooge, if they could have the evening off because they had the presentation. Scrooge was initially hesitant, until Bob reminded Scrooge that the computer system was due to be shut down and they would risk losing data if they didn't shut down properly.

That night, when Scrooge went to bed, he was greeted by the ghost of his old thesis supervisor. He warned Scrooge that, during the night, Scrooge would be visited by three ghosts.

Sure enough, an hour later Scrooge was visited by the Ghost of Thesis Passed. This ghost took Scrooge through lots of fuzzy-edged flashback scenes of when Scrooge was doing his thesis. Scrooge was reminded of his transition from an energetic, enthusiastic student in the first year through to an insecure, depressed mid-candidature student, and finally on to his time writing up. He was shown how much he hated the long nights, the unrewarded toil and the thankless slog. Finally, he was shown how happy he was when his thesis was finally passed. Then the ghost was gone.

An hour later, he met with the Ghost of Thesis Presented. He was taken through scenes of how he had helped his fellow group members when he was a post-doc, and how he had celebrated with the post-grads when they submitted their theses. The ghost then showed him how he had overworked his students once he had students of his own, and how, when they gave him drafts of their work, be they a paper or their thesis, he sat on it for months before even reading through them. Finally, the ghost took Scrooge to see his current students, who were having drinks to celebrate one of the students passing their thesis. The new doctor gave a toast to Scrooge, thanking him for helping him through some difficult times. When his group-mates looked at him quizzically, he told them, "If he hadn't been such a prick, I wouldn't have worked to finish so quickly so that I could get away from him, and I might have been tempted to take an academic post rather than actually getting paid!" Then the ghost was gone and Scrooge was again by himself.

An hour later, Scroge was visitted by the Ghost of Thesis Future. He showed Scrooge how, when he dies, his former students all loathed him, even rejoicing that he would no longer torment any post-grads. Then the ghost was gone and Scrooge was again by himself.

The next morning, Scrooge went into the labs and told all his students to gt to work. They can do 3 hours work before their talks. "Work on your thesis, each and every one."


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