(I wrote this myself while lamenting the plight of the pitiful graduate student that I am. Thus, it is original and, alas, is all the research I have managed to do this summer. Sara Duncan firstname.lastname@example.org) The Pedagological Tribal System of Primitive Cultures of the Scientific Research Community This study deals with a pedagological tribal system with definite, almost overwhelming paternalistic mores and codes. I had had some difficulty studying these tribes because they are quite fierce and often impossible to communicate with except in their own languages, which are diverse and may have roots in latin. (I, however, tend to hold that these languages are a development of the tribes themselves and are a major contributory factor in their continued isolation from the global community.) In general, members also appear to have little ability to learn new languages. To overcome these barriers, I am attempting to infiltrate a tribe and become a full-fledged member of it. I am currently undergoing initiation rites in a southeastern tribe called "Physiology and Pharmacology". This is a preliminary report of my current findings. The adult males of any of the tribes which can be grouped under the broad designation "researchers" are called "professors" and sometimes "doctors". The terms are not entirely interchangeable as the higher ranking males are always referred to as "doctor" whereas "professor" is a more generic term for all adult males who have completed any variation of the initiation process which is called "graduate school". There are two groups of females in this culture, one group is granted low ranking status as a quasi-male with responsibilities similar to the very low-ranking males. They are referred to as "professors" also, but are never actually allowed to progress beyond certain set heirarchial levels. This group is not often granted reproductive status. The second group of females could be classified as sub-adult, as they are never granted any of the rights of the full adult, which is, of course, always male or quasi-male. They are termed "professor's wives" and may only assume any status through the male to whom they are attached and by telephone calls to secretaries. The phone calling privilege is unique to the "professor's wife" and is never usurped. Interestingly, offspring of these unions are not acknowledged within the culture and leave the tribe upon reaching adolescence. Reproduction is quite unusual and very interesting! The tribes call this "recruitment". Several select members of the tribe, usually middle-ranking males and even a few quasi-male females travel to distant tribes called "undergraduate colleges" where they put on quite lovely displays and make generous offers to the neonates from the "undergraduate colleges". This is similar to courtship in some cultures, but is directed at procuring neonates. The neonates put on a secondary display for the professors of their choosen tribe, wherein they accept the wonderous offers. These are very intricate dances, and only the best research tribes and neonates are successful. Once the new tribe members have arrived at their new tribe, however, initiation may take anywhere from four to seven years. I have seen examples of initiates being subjected to trials for eight years! This does vary somewhat, but the general rule is an extrordinarily long and quite demanding set of incomprehensible tests that the candidates for initiation must perform well on. These are similar to the tribes of Africa who have to walk on hot coals in bare feet or draw elaborate scars on all parts of their bodies. The actual trials are called "preliminary exams" "qualifying exams" and, of course the dreaded "dissertation defense" rite. Unfortunatly, I have not yet been made privy to all the inuendos of this final rite. Although I have been allowed to watch during several. I was actually required to watch this horrible test of human ability to withstand the agony of hours of questions in very highly ceremonial language, many words of which I am not yet informed. The medicine man of the tribe changes for each different initiate. He is called the "major professor", possibly referring to his power during the rite of passage. The power of the medicine man is reflected on the initiate and will follow him through his entire adult life. These tribes have not yet been well characterized. This is understandable in light of the extreme reclusivity and exclusivity of all of the research tribes I have encountered. Yet this should not preclude further in-depth analysis of a truly unique way of life. I shall continue work within my present tribe in hopes of becoming a full fledged member, as it were, and of coming to full understanding of this culture.
(From the "Rest" of RHF)