Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lord of the Rings is Based on Grad School - Who Knew?

Pretty apt description of the PhD experience. LOLZ.


Lord of the Rings: an allegory of the PhD?

The story starts with Frodo: a young hobbit, quite bright, a bit dissatisfied with what he's learnt so far and with his mates back home who just seem to want to get jobs and settle down and drink beer. He's also very much in awe of his tutor and mentor, the very senior professor Gandalf, so when Gandalf suggests he take on a short project for him (carrying the Ring to Rivendell), he agrees.

Frodo very quickly encounters the shadowy forces of fear and despair which will haunt the rest of his journey and leave permanent scars on his psyche, but he also makes some useful friends. In particular, he spends an evening down the pub with Aragorn, who has been wandering the world for many years as Gandalf's postdoc and becomes his adviser when Gandalf isn't around.

After Frodo has completed his first project, Gandalf (along with head of department Elrond) proposes that the work should be extended. He assembles a large research group, including visiting students Gimli and Legolas, the foreign postdoc Boromir, and several of Frodo's own friends from his undergraduate days. Frodo agrees to tackle this larger project, though he has mixed feelings about it. ("'I will take the Ring', he said, 'although I do not know the way.'")

Very rapidly, things go wrong. First, Gandalf disappears and has no more interaction with Frodo until everything is over. (Frodo assumes his supervisor is dead: in fact, he's simply found a more interesting topic and is working on that instead.) At his first international conference in Lorien, Frodo is cross-questioned terrifyingly by Galadriel, and betrayed by Boromir, who is anxious to get the credit for the work himself. Frodo cuts himself off from the rest of his team: from now on, he will only discuss his work with Sam, an old friend who doesn't really understand what it's all about, but in any case is prepared to give Frodo credit for being rather cleverer than he is. Then he sets out towards Mordor.

The last and darkest period of Frodo's journey clearly represents the writing-up stage, as he struggles towards Mount Doom (submission), finding his burden growing heavier and heavier yet more and more a part of himself; more and more terrified of failure; plagued by the figure of Gollum, the student who carried the Ring before him but never wrote up and still hangs around as a burnt-out, jealous shadow; talking less and less even to Sam. When he submits the Ring to the fire, it is in desperate confusion rather than with confidence, and for a while the world seems empty.

Eventually it is over: the Ring is gone, everyone congratulates him, and for a few days he can convince himself that his troubles are over. But there is one more obstacle to overcome: months later, back in the Shire, he must confront the external examiner Saruman, an old enemy of Gandalf, who seeks to humiliate and destroy his rival's protege. With the help of his friends and colleagues, Frodo passes through this ordeal, but discovers at the end that victory has no value left for him. While his friends return to settling down and finding jobs and starting families, Frodo remains in limbo; finally, along with Gandalf, Elrond and many others, he joins the brain drain across the Western ocean to the new land beyond.


8 comments:

The Doc said...

Haha - I had forgotten seeing that at the beginning of my Ph.D. and laughing it off.

It's frightningly accurate, at least in sentiment. ESPECIALLY the handing in of the thesis, and the examination at the end.

Anonymous said...

You guys NAILED it!

That's why I am so obsessed about the story - because it feels too much like my life right now...

Anonymous said...

All I can say is nothing because your blog is not interesting to read.

Unknown said...

Jaipur escort= 9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escorts =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escort service =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escoFCrts services =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur call girl =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur call girls =9571777714 or 7726861717 call girl in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 call girls in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 independent escort in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 independent escorts in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 female escort in jaipur = 9571777714 or 7726861717 female escorts in jaipur=9571777714 =or 7726861717 jaipur escort agency =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escorts agency=9571777714 or 7726861717 indian escort in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 indian escorts in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escort in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 foreigner escort in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 foreigner escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escort in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 vip jaipur escort 9571777714 or 7726861717 vip jaipur escorts 9571777714 or 7726861717 air hostess call girl in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 air hostess call girls in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 call me Payal Jaipur escorts Mansarovar Malviya Nagar Vaishali Nagar Jhotwara Bani Park railway station all Jaipur escort service =(2000/ One Shot )and 8000 full night)6 short

Unknown said...

Jaipur escort= 9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escorts =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escort service =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escoFCrts services =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur call girl =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur call girls =9571777714 or 7726861717 call girl in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 call girls in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 independent escort in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 independent escorts in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 female escort in jaipur = 9571777714 or 7726861717 female escorts in jaipur=9571777714 =or 7726861717 jaipur escort agency =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escorts agency=9571777714 or 7726861717 indian escort in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 indian escorts in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escort in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 foreigner escort in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 foreigner escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escort in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 vip jaipur escort 9571777714 or 7726861717 vip jaipur escorts 9571777714 or 7726861717 air hostess call girl in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 air hostess call girls in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 call me Payal Jaipur escorts Mansarovar Malviya Nagar Vaishali Nagar Jhotwara Bani Park railway station all Jaipur escort service =(2000/ One Shot )and 8000 full night)6 short

Unknown said...

Jaipur escort= 9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escorts =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escort service =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escoFCrts services =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur call girl =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur call girls =9571777714 or 7726861717 call girl in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 call girls in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 independent escort in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 independent escorts in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 female escort in jaipur = 9571777714 or 7726861717 female escorts in jaipur=9571777714 =or 7726861717 jaipur escort agency =9571777714 or 7726861717 jaipur escorts agency=9571777714 or 7726861717 indian escort in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 indian escorts in jaipur=9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escort in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 foreigner escort in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 foreigner escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escort in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 russian escorts in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 vip jaipur escort 9571777714 or 7726861717 vip jaipur escorts 9571777714 or 7726861717 air hostess call girl in jaipur 9571777714 or 7726861717 air hostess call girls in jaipur =9571777714 or 7726861717 call me Payal Jaipur escorts Mansarovar Malviya Nagar Vaishali Nagar Jhotwara Bani Park railway station all Jaipur escort service =(2000/ One Shot )and 8000 full night)6 short

Unknown said...

9784126667 jon XPERIENCE With HOT ESCORT GIRLS JAIPUR
Hi gentlemens we have high profile escort service in all JAIPUR /3*4*5* nd 7* hotels & @ YOUR PLACE(HOME,FLAT,FARMHOUSE ETC )
Secure High Class Services Affordable Rate 100% Satisfaction, Unlimited Enjoyment. Any Time for Model/Teens Escort in JAIPUR High class luxury and premium escorts agency.

Get High Profile, JAIPUR queens , Well Educated , Good Looking , Full Cooperative Model Services. you can see me at my comfortable Hotels or I can visit you in hotel Our Service Available IN All JAIPUR SERVICE, 3/5/7 STAR HOTEL , In call /Out call Service.24 hrs ,

SERVICE:-
1. A-Level (5 star escort)
2. Strip-tease
3. BBBJ (Bareback Blowjob)
4. Spending time in my rooms
5. BJ (Blowjob Without a Condom)
6. COF (Come On Face)
7. Completion
8. (Oral to completion) bjnonCovered
9. (nonCovered blowjob Without a Condom)
10. DATY (Dinner At The Y)
11. DSL (Dick Sucking Lips)
12. DT (Dining at the Toes English Spanking)
13. Doggie (Sex style from behind)
14. Duo Sandwich (Sex with two escorts/girls; Threesome with the client)
15. S-GFE (Special Girl Friend Experience)
16. HJ (Hand Job)
17. Special Massage
18. O-Level (Oral sex)
19. 69 (69 sex) BJ (Blowjob Without Condom)
20. GFE (Girl Friend Experience)
21. CBJ (nonCovered
22. Blow Job;
23. Oral sex with a noncondom)
24. COB (Come On Body)
25. Extraball (Have sex many time


★OUR BEST SERVICES: - FOR BOOKING Call
• In Call and Out Call Service in ALL OVER JAIPUR X
• 3* 5* 7* Hotels Service
• 24 Hours Available
• Indian, Russian, Punjabi, Kashmiri Escorts
• Real Models, College Girls, House Wife, Also Available
• Short Time and Full Time Service Available
• Hygienic Full AC Neat and Clean Rooms Avail. In Hotel 24 hours
• Daily New Escorts Staff Available
• Minimum to Maximum Range Available.

webspace said...

We are Webspace Inc. organization working as the Best Digital Marketing Company in USA and we give many services to our client that is website designing, website development, Search Engine Optimization, E-commerce web Designing, Software Development, Google Adword and Mobile Application.
Web Development company in Los Angeles
web design New York
web development New York
online marketing New York
ecommerce web development New York
internet marketing New York
SEO company New York
seo company USA
Web development company
Web development company California
Web development company Los angeles
Professional Web Design Services USA
Website Design Comapny
Web Design Company
webiste design services
Web Development Company in USA
Web Development Services in USA
website development company in usa
Ecommerce Website Development Company in USA
Ecommerce Website Development Services
custom ecommerce development
Ecommerce Website Development Company In Usa
CMS Web Design Services USACMS Website development company In Usa
Digital Marketing compnay in Usa
Online Marketing Services
Digital Marketing Company Usa
Seo Comapny In usa
Professional Software Development Company USA
software development company
custom software development company
custom software development In Usa
App Development Services USA
Mobile App development Company
Mobile Application Development Services