An Academic Christmas Carol: Part 6

By Emily Dolson on December 28, 2014 in Humor, Work/Life Balance / 1 Comment

Missed the beginning? Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Part 6 A final chime sounded. Steam poured from the radiator, swirling through the air until it congealed into a dark hooded figure: The Spirit of Christmas Future. As Scrooge stared at the figure in trepidation, it silently raised a robed arm and gestured forward. Scrooge followed its direction, and found himself in the faculty lounge of his department. A group of professors were chatting.

An Academic Christmas Carol: Part 5

By Emily Dolson on December 27, 2014 in Humor, Work/Life Balance / 0 Comments

Missed the beginning? Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Part 5 The scene before Scrooge and the Spirit of Christmas Present shifted. Now, they were in an ornately decorated room with lively music playing and a large Christmas dinner laid out on the table. The house belonged to Fred Hollowell, and was filled with his collaborators, friends, and all of their families. As Scrooge looked on, he was struck by vibrancy of the conversations and the diversity of people having them. The scientists in the room were not immediately identifiable by their appearance; men and women of a wide variety of ethnicities were represented, and conversation among groups seemed to zig-zag back and forth between seemingly unrelated topics, many of which seemed to have nothing to do with science at all.

An Academic Christmas Carol: Part 4

By Emily Dolson on December 26, 2014 in Humor, Work/Life Balance / 0 Comments

Missed the beginning? Parts 1, 2, and 3. Part 4 Another bell tolled and Scrooge found himself in the company of a new spirit. The Spirit of Christmas Present laughed heartily and guided Scrooge out the door and into a warmly-lit apartment. Cheap folding chairs placed around a stark wooden table made up the extent of the kitchen furnishings, but the four eldest Cratchit children sat cheerily around them, laughing and decorating Christmas cookies. Bob Cratchit’s wife had filled the small kitchen with festive dishes, many seasoned with herbs from the window garden that she and the kids had made out of old soda bottles. Just then, Bob Cratchit opened the door, Tiny Tim riding on his shoulders, crutch in hand. Bob was joyously greeted by the rest of the family, the other kids lifting Tim off of […]

An Academic Christmas Carol: Part 3

By Emily Dolson on December 25, 2014 in Humor, Work/Life Balance / 2 Comments

Missed the beginning? Read Part 1 and 2.  Part 3 As the two children ran excitedly towards a waiting car, the Spirit of Christmas Past placed her hand on Scrooge’s shoulder and led him onward. They arrived in a bright lab space adorned with colorful garlands and all sorts of multicultural holiday decorations. Students, including a slightly older Scrooge, were chatting as they pipetted. Shortly, Professor Fezziwig skipped in. “Yo ho, there! No more work tonight! It’s Christmas Eve! Clear all this nonsense away, all of you, we must make room. Life is too short for all work and no play.”

An Academic Christmas Carol: Part 2

By Emily Dolson on December 24, 2014 in Humor, Work/Life Balance / 6 Comments

Missed the beginning? See Part 1 here. Part 2 Scrooge sat alone in his house, sipping some tea, when a knock came on the door. Opening it, he found none other than his former collaborator, Jacob Marley, as if resurrected from retirement. He looked tired, as if he were carrying a heavy weight. “What are you doing here?” Scrooge asked, letting him in and offering him a seat at his table. “Scrooge. I cannot stay long. But I have come to warn you. Every scientist should walk abroad among his fellow humans and travel far and wide; and if that scientist does not go forth while in the academy, they are condemned to do so after retirement – and witness what they cannot share, but might have shared and turned to happiness! Oh woe is me. […]