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.
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 […]
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.”
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. […]
Recently, I saw a friend’s production of A Christmas Carol. It’s been many years since I last saw the play (and then only the Muppet version!), and a theme jumped out at me that I hadn’t noticed as a child: It’s about work/life balance! Don’t you see it??? No? My boyfriend didn’t either, so I guess I need to prove it. Below, I present “An Academic Christmas Carol.” The original dialog was often so appropriate that I’ve left a lot of it the way it originally appeared (in the now-standard Ferrians and Chapman adaptation), instead changing the context around it to be about academia and open science. Note: This post is broken into seven parts that will appear throughout this week. Enjoy!