Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The geekiness is strong in that one

I went to hear a talk by Jorge Cham of PhD Comics fame today.

If he ever gets sick of cartooning, he'd easily find a niche as stand-up comedian. Unfortunately the sheer scale of Teh Funny meant that the audience was soon conditioned to laugh at the end of each sentence. Which was awkward when Jorge transitioned to talking about PhD student suicide statistics.

Congratulations should go to whoever briefed him beforehand on Australian terminology. I was very impressed at the smoothness with which he replaced the term "ramen" with "two-minute noodles." The jokes about "quals" fell a little flat, though. (Huh? Exams? We aren't undergraduates! We don't DO exams.)

As for the free food and drinks, it was very impressive. I couldn't get near the food table for sheer swarminess of large engineering students, but there were so many drinks that one could, theoretically, have stuffed a few bottles of beer into one's bag to take home and drink later. Not that one would, of course. (Unless the catering was close to packing up and there were still some left. But even then, one wouldn't admit to it on the internet.)


9 Comments:

RageyOne said...

He is a good speaker. He came to my university once and I really enjoyed hearing his talk.

Anastasia said...

we say comps. or exams. but never quals.

and that's someone I would totally go hear talk. sounds like fun.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Oh, so jealous! I'd love to see him.

t said...

(Unless the catering was close to packing up and there were still some left. But even then, one wouldn't admit to it on the internet.)

I'm glad no one needs to admit to this. That means I don't need to admit that I might have done the exact same thing ...

Geeka said...

We say prelims and comps, but never quals either.

He usually goes to a university up the street from mine, but there are a ridiculous amount of students that pack the auditorium, and then I feel bad that I don't actually attend that university.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

So very jealous. So very very jealous.

StyleyGeek said...

Do you mean I got the lingo wrong? (sigh). Actually, I'm not sure he did say "quals". He had it written that way on a slide, but I'm not sure he said it like that.

Lucy said...

I think quals might be either an engineering or a Stanford thing, but it's not wrong.
I'm sad that I missed his talk at my uni.

Anonymous said...

Delurks anonymously... Quals sounds right. When I did a postdoc in Southern California it was a term used for the PhD qualifying exams :-)