Apr. 10th, 2012 06:09 pm
stillane: (Default)
[personal profile] stillane
Because my first PhD committee meeting was this morning (ultimately fine but frustrating as hell along the way), and because the damn state is on fire and my smoke-hating, asthmatic lungs have had me gasping like a stupid goldfish for two days:

I have heard the words "assemble your committee" a lot lately, and every single time I flash to the Avengers and giggle a little bit. (I am secretly 12, and easily amused.) Really, though, the movie!verse team would be the worst academic body ever. I mean, picture these people being responsible for creating a unified, clear plan of study to be completed in a reasonable period of time. Yeah. 

First of all, you'd have to get Tony to an actual meeting, and keep him there long enough to discuss anything. Then you'd never know what's a legit suggestion and what's just him being a smartass, because the impossible crap that he's telling you to do might only be theoretically impossible, and therefore totally doable for a guy who reinvents physics for kicks.

Steve would be great, except for the ridiculously high expectations and Disappointed Eyes that would inevitably follow them. He punched Nazis repeatedly, and you couldn't design a decent experimental protocol?

Bruce... Well. You won't like him when he's angry, and the rest of the time he's a biophysicist. 

Natasha would eyebrow you to death, and you would still never know what she was thinking. She'd also have no mercy on your schedule, because anything can be accomplished with enough ruthless efficiency. Sleep is for the weak.

Clint would spend every meeting firing rubberband missiles at other members until the very last second, when he'd casually mention the ginormous flaw in your approach that necessitates completely redoing the last six months of work. It would be said with a smirk, but at least he'd buy you a consolation beer in the aftermath. 

Thor would be awesome, provided you remembered baked goods. Woe to thee who forgoes Krispy Kreme.

Let's not even get into Fury or Coulson. That way lies madness.

So, how would other fandoms fair? Would Arthur and his knights make you want to staple them to the conference table? Would nightmarish qualifying exams be Lestrade's division? Would Rodney and John manage to remember it's a committee, not a yo-yo?

Come on, distract me. The world owes me giraffe funtiems for this week, and I can't collect until tomorrow. What's the worst fannish academic committee you can come up with? (Or the best, for that matter.) 

Date: 2012-04-10 10:25 pm (UTC)
wolfshark: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wolfshark
*dies laughing*

I just read this to my hubby, and now he's dying laughing.

Date: 2012-04-10 11:58 pm (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Hee. Happy to amuse. If anyone would know the *headdesk* factor of corralling academic-types toward a common purpose, it'd be you. *g*

Date: 2012-04-11 02:56 am (UTC)
eccentric_hat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eccentric_hat
Well, since you mentioned Lestrade (and bearing in mind I'm not a citizen of PhD-land)...

I think he'd be by far the best professor of the people you've mentioned. He's authoritative but not authoritarian, bends rules when appropriate but not otherwise; he'd set deadlines and firmly expect you to meet them but he would understand when you genuinely couldn't. He'd respect his students' expertise without letting them belittle his own. And he'd be socially pleasant, willing to put in his time at department events or to meet you for coffee if you just needed to talk, but he wouldn't creepily try to become your best friend. I have made up almost nothing in this paragraph, it's just who he is.

That's too easy, really. Who else? Sticking within one fandom, John would be super competent and want to be very committed to his responsibilities, but I wouldn't trust him not to fall asleep during meetings and forget his students' names, because, you know, his own work puts such demands on him. Donovan would be sharp and admirable, avoid giving the impression of warmth, and never extend a deadline; Anderson would put you through hell because he'd be afraid you'd demonstrate you were smarter than he was; Molly wouldn't like being part of a committee or needing to talk to people so much, but she would deliver a gem of wisdom every once in a while.

Sherlock is in the "let's not even go there" category.

Mycroft would be of no help whatsoever unless he considered your research worthwhile, on a scale of worthiness entirely determined by Mycroft. Those whom he does consider worthwhile are not seen around campus very much thereafter.

Date: 2012-04-13 01:58 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
It's funny, since I've never been especially into academic AUs, but now I want all of them in the world. Oh, life plan, what are you doing to me?

John would be super competent and want to be very committed to his responsibilities, but I wouldn't trust him not to fall asleep during meetings and forget his students' names

Hahaha. That's perfect! I am utterly convinced that John would be really great in lecture - clear! charismatic! - and really terrible at everything else, for all of your reasons. Also, because it would be way more fun to let Sherlock waylay him with various exciting diversions than to sit through departmental meetings while keeping the rising urge to kill from his expression. Much like crime scenes, exam grading would be full of inappropriate giggling.

Sherlock is in the "let's not even go there" category.

Yeah. I feel like he'd be the terror of his department, but so ridiculously brilliant in his publications that he'd get away with murder. (Figuratively. Probably.) His advisees would constantly vacillate between gleeful awe and nuclear frustration, because while they'd never, ever be good enough, they would also have the coolest projects ever.

Mrs. Hudson would be the emeritus faculty whose office you hide in whenever she's around, because she has both a secret stash of baked goods and all the best dirt on everybody.

Where do I find a Lestrade, do you think?

Date: 2012-04-13 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sherlock in academia, simultaneously holding court and wreaking havoc all over the department. *shudders* Too easy to picture, far too plausible. Probably the only other profession capable of accomodating that level of ridiculousness.

Date: 2012-04-11 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I don't even need to do a fandom, when both my supervisors are in the same room (Or the same building.. or country...) they resemble all the above characters packed into a whirlwind of utter absentmindedness. Oh and it is throwing coffee rather than rubberbands, or flinging pieces of paper off their desk in a sweeping motion to fit the other bits of paper on. Or umbrellas. This is not even including the random stand ins who are there to try and mediate. Laconic bemusement, pen flicking and EAST GERMAN RAGE/sarcasm.

Oh god, I have to do it again in a few months. *Lies down and tries to breate*

Date: 2012-04-13 02:04 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I am rapidly discovering that the best thing about holding a committee meeting is that you then do not have to hold another one for a while. Thank god.

Although... your supervisors sound kind of hilariously entertaining. You know, in a chaotic way. If all else fails, you could always sell tickets. *g*

Date: 2012-04-11 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay, I don't know anything about PhD Committees so here's some vague "star wars cast as an academic department" nonsense

Han Solo--arrogant beyond belief and seems to break college rules just to see if they'll ever actually suspend him. He's always forgetting about or late to meetings, turns in grades late and my god, you should see the state of his office! Still, he's shockingly loyal, surprisingly always come through for you when you really need him and he hosts the best departmental parties. All the undergrads adore him, probably because of the copious amounts of alcohol served at the unofficial departmental parties.

Chewbacca--Always seems so supportive and enthusiastic and gives incredibly animated lectures but he mumbles so terribly that you can never follow the gist of the conversation. Anyway, everyone suspects he did WAY too many drugs in the seventies.

Luke Skywalker--the most junior faculty member, arrogant in an obviously insecure way. He's always out to prove something since he still doesn't have tenure. Nevertheless, there's promise there, once he calms the fuck down and stops trying to impress everyone.

Leia--Has a vague reputation for being bossy and "bitchy", but that's just a bunch of old boys club nonsense. She's always willing to go to bat for you and won't take shit from anyone. She's also always on time and prepared unlike *some* members of the department

C3P0--the best damn research assistant you could ever hope for.

Obi Wan Kenobi--the world's greatest departmental chair. ever. He holds it all together and everyone, professors and students alike, love him. So knowledgeable, so supportive, he's always pushing you to do your best but is kind enough that it doesn't stress you out. Unfortunately, he disappears during the serious crunch time at the end of the semester and then you only get occasional vague, supportive emails from him at the end. You should have asked him to write that letter of recommendation sooner. . .

Date: 2012-04-13 02:44 am (UTC)
ext_1740: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
OMG. This is awesome. I think I know all of these people. I'm pretty sure I also had R2D2 as a prof somewhere in there. *dies laughing*

Han Solo totally checks his ratemyprofessor status ALL THE TIME. And pretends he is far, far too cool for that sort of thing.

Chewbacca. Heh. I will never think of my long-haired, super tall, often spacey but wildly enthusiastic immunology prof the same way again.

Leia would be an awesome interim department chair, whenever Obi Wan goes on walkabout. I think I want to be her when I grow up, academically, or at least to work for her.

And Obi Wan... oh man, Obi Wan. This is the point where I giggled like a loon, because it's so, so perfect.

And now I'm insanely curious about where Yoda fits in. *g*

Date: 2012-04-13 03:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, I'm happy you liked it!

"I think I want to be her when I grow up, academically, or at least to work for her." Don't we all!

Obi Wan, yes, this whole bit started with that because really, who hasn't been in that position witha professor (or, yah know, with a plan to save the galaxy)

Date: 2012-04-13 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Gah, evil facebook posted my comment before I Was finished!

Confession time--I was originally going to write about LOTR B/C Gandalf as academic advisor immediately came to mind but there were more obvious profesor sterotypes to be found with Star Wars and so Gandalf morphed into Obi Wan.

Yoda (yeah, let's take it past A new Hope)--obviously that rock star professor emeritus who revolutionized the field, writes books that make it onto the NY Times non-fiction bestseller list and is a fequent interviewee on NPR. If only you were born twenty years earlier when you could have taken classes with him (would he have been your adviser? best not to dwell on impossibIlities)! As it is, you have to make do with his occasional campus-wide guest lectures and living vicariously through the nostalgic "department heyday" stories swapped by the senior faculty at Han's parties.

Date: 2012-04-13 03:50 am (UTC)
eccentric_hat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eccentric_hat
<3 <3 <3 for all of this.

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