Apr 24, 2012

PhD Defense

My good friend Jamie LaPierre found online this great list of 100 things I can include in my PhD defense this Thursday in case things start getting a little ugly. I'm absolutely inviting the homeless and I'm torn between #75 (fake shooting a friend who asks the first hard question) and taking a page out of my dad's old playbook - faking a seizure.
In any case, it should be entertaining. Come and see me if you have an hour of your life you don't mind giving up. There will be treats!
Thursday, April 26th 11:30a.m., Northwest Laboratory Room 205 map here
  1. "Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for the singing of our National Anthem..."
  2. Charge 25 cents a cup for coffee.
  3. "Charge the mound" when a professor beans you with a high fast question.
  4. Describe parts of your thesis using interpretive dance.
  5. "Musical accompaniment provided by..."
  6. Lead the specators in a Wave.
  7. "You call THAT a question? How the hell did they make you a professor?"
  8. "Ladies and Gentlemen, as I dim the lights, please hold hands and concentrate so that we may channel the spirit of Lord Kelvin..."
  9. Have bodyguards outside the room to "discourage" certain professors from sitting in.
  10. Puppet show.
  11. Sell T-shirts to recoup the cost of copying, binding, etc.
  12. Imitate Groucho Marx.
  13. Mime.
  14. "Everybody rhumba!!"
  15. "And it would have worked if it weren't for those meddling kids..."
  16. Charge a cover and check for ID.
  17. Smoke machines, dramatic lighting, pyrotechnics...
  18. Use a Super Soaker to point at people.
  19. Door prizes and a raffle.
  20. "Please phrase your question in the form of an answer..."
  21. "And now, a word from our sponsor..."
  22. Switch halfway through your talk to Pig Latin. Or Finnish Pig Latin.
  23. The Emperor's New Slides ("only fools can't see the writing...")
  24. "I'd like to thank the Academy..."
  25. Previews, cartoons, and the Jimmy Fund.
  26. Pass the collection basket.
  27. Two-drink minimum.
  28. Black tie only.
  29. Hire the Goodyear Blimp to circle the building.
  30. Defense by proxy.
  31. Leave Jehovah's Witness pamphlets scattered about.
  32. "There will be a short quiz after my presentation..."
  33. Tell ghost stories.
  34. Halftime show.
  35. "Duck, duck, duck, duck... GOOSE!"
  36. Sell those big foam "We're number #1 (sic)" hands.
  37. Circulate a vicious rumor that the Dead will be opening, making sure that it gets on the radio stations, and escape during all the commotion.
  38. Post signs: "Due to a computer error at the Registrar's Office, the original room is not available, and the defense has been relocated to (Made-up non-existent room number)"
  39. Hang a pinata over the table and have a strolling mariachi band.
  40. Rent a billboard on the highway proclaiming "Thanks for passing me Professors X,Y, and Z" - BEFORE your defense happens.
  41. Simulate your experiment with a virtual reality system for the spectators.
  42. "The responsorial psalm can be found on page 124 of the thesis..."
  43. "I'm sorry Professor Smith, I didn't say 'SIMON SAYS any questions?' You're out."
  44. Flex and show off those massive pecs.
  45. Dress in top hat and tails.
  46. Hold a pre-defense pep rally, complete with cheerleaders, pep band, and a bonfire.
  47. Detonate a small nuclear device in the room. Or threaten to.
  48. Shadow puppets.
  49. Show slides of your last vacation.
  50. Put your overheads on a film strip. Designate a professor to be in charge of turning the strip when the tape recording beeps.
  51. Have everyone pose for a group photo.
  52. Instant replay.
  53. Laugh maniacally.
  54. Talk with your mouth full.
  55. Start speaking in tongues.
  56. Explode.
  57. Implode.
  58. Spontaneously combust.
  59. Answer every question with a question.
  60. Moon everyone in the room after you are done.
  61. "Laugh, will you? Well, they laughed at Galileo, they laughed at Einstein..."
  62. Hand out 3-D glasses.
  63. "I'm rubber, you're glue..."
  64. Go into labor (especially for men).
  65. Give your entire speech in a "Marvin Martian" accent.
  66. "I don't know - I didn't write this."
  67. Before your defense, build trapdoors underneath all the seats.
  68. Swing in through the window, yelling a la Tarzan.
  69. Lock the department head and his secretary out of the defense room. And the coffee lounge, the department office, the copy room, and the mail room. Heck, lock them out of the building. And refuse to sell them stamps.
  70. Roll credits at the end. Include a "key grip", and a "best boy".
  71. Hang a disco ball in the center of the room. John Travolta pose optional.
  72. Invite the homeless.
  73. "I could answer that, but then I'd have to kill you"
  74. Hide.
  75. Get a friend to ask the first question. Draw a blank-loaded gun and "shoot" him. Have him make a great scene of dying (fake blood helps). Turn to the stunned audience and ask "any other wise remarks?"
  76. "Well, I saw it on the internet, so I figured it might be a good idea..."
  77. Wear clown makeup, a clown wig, clown shoes, and a clown nose. And nothing else.
  78. Use the words "marginalized", "empowerment", and "patriarchy".
  79. Play Thesis Mad Libs.
  80. Try to use normal printed paper on the overhead projector.
  81. Flash "APPLAUSE" and "LAUGHTER" signs.
  82. Mosh pit.
  83. Have cheerleaders. ("Gimme an 'A'!!")
  84. Bring Howard Cosell out of retirement to do color commentary.
  85. "I say Hallelujah, brothers and sisters!"
  86. Claim political asylum.
  87. Traffic reports every 10 minutes on the 1's.
  88. Introduce the "Eyewitness Thesis Team". Near the end of your talk, cut to Jim with sports and Alison with the weather.
  89. Live radio and TV coverage.
  90. Hang a sign that says "Thank you for not asking questions"
  91. Bring a microphone. Point it at the questioner, talk-show style.
  92. Use a TelePromTer
  93. Refuse to answer questions unless they phrase the question as a limerick.
  94. Have everyone bring wine glasses. When they clink the glasses with a spoon, you have to kiss your thesis. Or your advisor.
  95. Offer a toast.
  96. Firewalk.
  97. Start giving your presentation 15 minutes early.
  98. Swoop in with a cape and tights, Superman style.
  99. Use any past or present Saturday Night Live catchphrase. Not.
  100. Stand on the table.

1 comment:

  1. Thanx for sharing such great information...........