I subscribe to Smithsonian Magazine. I love it. I think it's one the best written mags I've come across, and the breadth of topics is wonderful.
This month's issue had a cover on it that was nothing more than an advertisement to buy a subscription of Smithsonian Magazine for a Christmas gift. If you bought a subscription, you would receive a gift yourself. Said gift is a bear that resembles the ones created in the early twentieth century that were named after President Teddy Roosevelt--thus the "Teddy" Bear.
The advert announced that you would receive an "authentic replica."
OK, so thanks to the great and wonderful GOP, our country is in the shitter, and money is scarce. As such, the great space program I work for has to find ways to save money. In one of its more brilliant moves, NASA decided to stop funding a particular education program. We were sent a memo titled “Standard Response to Potential Frequently Asked Questions.” In it was the following question. Normally, I would just sigh, shake my head, and hit the delete button. But since this was written and sent out by a particularly odious human being in my office (and I use the term human being extremely loosely), I thought I would publically ridicule her.
Q: If I have some concerns, to whom should I contact about those concerns?
A: The Project Manager is the direct person to whom persons should contact. As appropriate, the project manager will inform and involve additional senior leadership. Persons and order of persons for whom project manager will share concerns are listed.
I would like to add this sorry excuse of a person is (supposedly) a Harvard University alumna, and is currently in law school. There are clear reasons, in my humble opinion, why she was invited to attend such a prestigious school as Harvard, and, no doubt, why they helped her every step of the way, ensuring that she would receive her diploma.
Asparagus is great
You know what you just ate
and for some terrific
Each time you micturate
Why is it that if we are up for something, we are down with it?
I find it fascinating the way our culture bestows the presumption of intelligence on certain people. As far as I can tell, anyone with a medical degree is at the top of the list. Now, I’m sure you will say, “wait a minute, Jo Cose, I don’t think that that is necessarily true.” Well, think about it before you go on. How many people do you know who say, “Well the doctor said so,” or “I read about it and they quoted a doctor,” or even the oh so witty retort, “where did you get your M.D. from?” So, yes, I think that most Americans take it for granted that their doctors are at the top of the intellectual food chain.
Second on that list is, of course, the non-medical doctors. It’s true; if you have a Ph.D. after your name, you are automatically considered a brilliant person. Surely, having spent that much time and money in and on school, you must be smarter than the average bear. Working at America’s premiere space agency, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that so-and-so must have the right answer because he/she has a Ph.D.
I spent 3 years in an M.A. program, where I met a lot of Ph.D.s, Ph.D. students, and Ph.D. candidates. I must admit that a few of them were worthy of the epithet “brilliant”; however, most of them were not. What the average Joe/Jane doesn’t realize is that all a Ph.D. means is that you are a (if not the) leading expert IN YOUR FIELD, not necessarily (or usually) in ALL fields. No, it is actually my experience that most Ph.D.s are anything but brilliant, and extremely few of them have as much knowledge outside of their topic as they do in their specific topic.
All this is merely a build-up to share with you an email I was cc:ed on that was written by someone who feels the need to add “, Ph.D.” after her name in her email signature block.
Thank you very much--it was the introductions that are of utmost concern. I understand that adding the Chairman was a last-minute thing, it was as you said, however, that we had to adjust the remarks once for the change, and we were fine with doing it because it would be appropriate for S---- to introduce him. What is of concern re: appropriateness is S---- having to re-take the stage to introduce Dr. W-----. She greatly respects Dr. W----- but it just isn't appropriate at her level to have to keep getting up to the podium to do introductions when she is not even the host of the event.
While I must admit that if you read it two or three times, it becomes quite clear, it really is offensive to me as someone who has spent so much time in school to see a “, Ph.D.” after the name of the person who wrote this crap.
oh how i love to write
more than i do to fight
but for a girl
and a chance to score
you know there's a chance that i might
Little Miss Muffet
Dairy she loved to eat
The spider he took a seat
She turned with a whirl
She screamed like a girl
And beat a hasty retreat
Romeo and Juliet
Divided by a name
A story of inordinate shame
with poison and knives
that wasted lives
Their deaths were all in vain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Huck he made his slip
Down the Mississip
On a raft with Jim
And the Dauphin
They had an amazing trip
I’ve decided to give it a go, and here’s my first attempt:
The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
A wedding guest was cross
To hear the sailor’s dross
A tale of thirst
A gunshot burst
And the death of an albatross