Conan, Master of Arts

A helpful article from McSweeny's medical journal entitled, "FAQ: The 'Snake Fight' Portion of Your Thesis Defense."
Q: Do I have to kill the snake?
A: University guidelines state that you have to “defeat” the snake. There are many ways to accomplish this. Lots of students choose to wrestle the snake. Some construct decoys and elaborate traps to confuse and then ensnare the snake. One student brought a flute and played a song to lull the snake to sleep. Then he threw the snake out a window.

Q: Does everyone fight the same snake?
A: No. You will fight one of the many snakes that are kept on campus by the facilities department.

Q: Are the snakes big?
A: We have lots of different snakes. The quality of your work determines which snake you will fight. The better your thesis is, the smaller the snake will be.


Q: So then couldn’t you just fight a snake in lieu of actually writing a thesis?
A: Technically, yes. But in that case the snake would be very big. Very big, indeed.
Oh, so that's what happened.


Eric Blair said...


Anonymous said...

Forwarded the link to a friend who has not yet defended. He says 1) that snake wrestling might be easier than the traditional dissertation defense and 2) he heard his advisor's voice in his mind as he read it.


MikeD said...

Considering that Conan's thesis was "The Riddle of Steel", it had to be a pretty damn big snake.