Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Truths and Lies in the Ivory Tower

Truth is strange as fiction. And no where else do lies and truths inextricably comingle than in the hallowed halls of academe. Big thanks to super Vispoetess and prose spinner Melissa, aka Windspirit Girl, who honored me with the Bald-faced Liar Award. You can tell six outrageous lies and one truth, or six outrageous truths and one lie. I'm mixing it up a bit -- all seven are truths, but six belong to myself -- or to Dr. Benjamin Carandini, my PURE MC. You might remember him -- he's the dude whose mice commit hari-kari after ingesting investigational drug JM-25. Can you pin the truths on the right academic?

1/ The day before my wedding, a graduate student presents me with a bouquet of roses -- thorns picked off. Later that night I find a large serrated knife buried among the stems.

2/ Three fellow graduate students die in a single year -- two from the same rare cancer and the third from self-inflicted gunshot.

3/ A colleague hurls epithets and a textbook at me at a faculty meeting.

4/ Not one but two graduate student friends get 'A's and pregnant by the same (married) professor.

5/ The day the World Trade Towers collapse, a colleague says with a smile, "At last, the chickens have come home to roost."

6/ A supervisor fails to give me a raise because I am "too happy" every morning when I "sing coming out of the elevator."

7/ A 'mentor' refuses to provide a letter of reference for a grant proposal unless I switch advisors and sleep with the mentor.

I'll drop by a few blogs and pay it forward later this week -- seems everyone's gotten dubbed.

And from Paige in Paradise Valley, warm fuzzies. Send some her way -- she needs some extra loving... damn economy.

Live hard, write harder... Peace, Linda


  1. Ah man! Paige beat me to it. I was going to give you the Creative Blogger Award (I still will) when I posted about the award next week.

    Congratulations anyway! You certainly deserve the award.


  2. Writers are awesome. Grant writers are gods. I'm just saying....

    Came by via Paige. She told me I needed to read you.

  3. Ah thanks Jai! and I was going to nom you. I had four folks picked out and ran out of time (the kids, you know).

    Thank you for visiting Bee. Any friend of Paige's is a friend of mine. And for your pleasure, the word verification = veryb! Peace, Linda

  4. Hmmm, some interesting stuff here. As much as I like number one (creepy as heck) I'm going to go with number seven as the truth (also creepy as heck).

  5. omg. these are so out there they have to be true. what is it with academics and the constant party they seem to have in their pants? as for the textbook hurling colleague, perhaps all he wanted was a better explanation of occam's razor??? you need to join the real workforce where disgruntled colleagues just shoot people.

  6. Ah! I think #7 is your MC's experience; I seem to recall that story...

  7. What a great twist on the award! Wow, being in the world of the academy, none of these is unbelievable, especially, as Michael puts it, "the constant party in their pants" with its abuse of power. That, and explosive departmental politics (where ANYTHING can be used as a pretext not to get raises, etc.). Well, if 6 truths are your MC's, I'm saying #7 is your truth (it reminds me of the situation in "Silver Bullet" some). If 6 truths are yours, and only one is your MC's, I'm saying #1 or #2 is not yours. Congrats on the award again. :)

  8. Wait, are six truths yours, or six truths are Ben's? I'm confused, lol. But I LOVE this game.

    I am going to guess that #6 belongs to Ben. And maybe #7.

    A lot of them sound so crazy they have to be true.

    Please tell us!

  9. Ha, your guesses are all so excellent! MJ, you haven't been reading the national media -- Dr. Amy Bishop? Real job? Come on?!

    I'll give y'all a hint -- 6 of these lovelies are my truths. Cackle-cackle-cackle... Peace, Linda

  10. Congrats! What a nice twist, having your answers be that of the MC. :)

  11. Okay then I stand by my guess that #6 is Ben's, and the rest are yours. This is so fun but OMG those are some awful truths, whichever six are the right ones!

    But maybe #7 is Ben's. Can't decide!

  12. Ah, Tony cheated! Not really, but he is correcto mundo -- the first 6 truths all belonged to me and Ben gets the 7th.

    Thanks for playing, folks... Peace, Linda