Two Cliches, As Applied to My Life

  1. The Blind Men and the Elephant.

    I have this new project, which I am super-duper excited about – to the point where I was utterly unable to get any of my other work done last night until I’d spent more than two hours banging my head on background material, and another hour daydreaming about potential outcomes (see counting chickens, below). The reason I’m so excited about it is that I have absolutely no idea what it is. I used to have an idea, but then I started telling people about it:

    “A tree!” cried the Committee Chair. “You should determine the depth of its roots.”
    “A spear!” cried the First Advisor. “You should model the pointiness of its tip.”
    “A rope!” cried the Second Advisor. “You should take this rope-o-meter to the boating supply store.”

    In the usual version of this parable, I’d be the visionary (har de har har!) who can see the elephant’s true nature. But in the science version, the grad student is not only blind, but deaf and mute as well, and expected to ride the elephant off to war in a few months.

  2. Chicken-counting, Hatching, and the Chronology Thereof

    You must trust me when I tell you that the chickens I’ve been counting for this project are as beautiful as they are numerous – they have sleek red feathers, gracefully curved tails, and when their heads bobble as they walk it is with pride, not with silliness as is the case with most chickens. When they cluck, it is the clucking of a choir of angels.

    So I hope you’ll excuse me if I seem a bit distracted; I’m trying to demonstrate the theoretical plausibility of the existence of eggs.


  1. Andrew Ironwood wrote:

    Just be careful when you go to war not to drive your elephant and chickens on a long march *into* the sea (been there, done that — but then, I was just an advisor [*paid*] on that particular science project/thesis debacle, so at least I had some hard currency at its end…)

  2. sciencewoman wrote:

    Sounds potentially exciting. Good luck.

  3. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Just remember your current level of excitement in a few years, when you prove that the eggs were laid by elephants, and the chickens have bird flu.

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