Here's a parody I wrote for University of Toronto's Computer Science Department's 1989 winter solstice party. [Ric Hehner and Ken Sevcik administer the graduate program in our department. Derek Corneil is Dept. Chair. NSERC is Canada's NSF.] Have you ever wondered why graduate students stick around so long? Why they stand the long hours and sleepless nights? Why they don't simply take a decent-paying job somewhere? Here's a little insight into the thought processes of an n'th year grad contemplating giving up the good life of a student. The Tragedy of the Computer Science Graduate Student Year 'n'; checkpoint 'i'. Avi Naiman firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (C) 1989 To be a graduate student or not, that is the question: Whether 'tis easier in the mind to suffer The lines and arrows of outrageous graphs Or to take arms against C and Turing And by debugging end them. To quit: to sleep. No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural blocks That code is heir to: 'tis a permutation Devoutly to be wish'd. To quit: to sleep. To sleep? perchance to dream. Ay, there's the rubout; For in that sleep of life what jobs may come, When we have shuffled off this graduate soil, Must give us pause. There's the respect That makes calamity of so long a student life; For who would bear the Rics and Kens, Th' professor's wrongs, the committee's disinterest, The supervisor's delay, the pangs of rejected chapters, The spurns of NSERC that penniless does us make, And the insolence of shared offices, When he himself might his quietus make with a bare resignation? Who would grading bear, To grunt and sweat 'neath piles of exam papers, But that the dread of something after school, The undiscover'd 9-to-5 life from whose world No student returns, puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others we know not of? Thus, customer support doth make cowards of us all, And thus, the native hue of high-resolution graphics, does bind us tightly to our program, with artificial visions of what may come; And so we spend another year, exploring research problems of great import. Soft you now; the Chair Corneilia doth remind us that in that future world of deadlines we shall have no time to consider Computer Science's most troubling vexation: P or NP, that is the question.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)