In the far reaches of the Great White North, some say there lives a creature–a gigantic, apelike humanoid whose chance blurred appearances in photography have both intrigued and terrified people across the globe for decades. Alleged to have first been sighted in Saskatchewan, the cryptid has been uncreatively dubbed Sasquatch.
As an admittedly ill-conceived publicity stunt for this fine publication, I recently set out to scare this supposedly abominable beast out of hiding, capture him, teach him to play guitar, and record him singing a Twinfamy Theme Song of his own composition. Obviously, the video would go viral and assuredly secure me a movie franchise deal for The Twinfamy Trilogy.
Hopes high, I sent a robotic bird probe that communicates 140 characters at a time up to the region for further investigation, but sadly, Sasquatch seemed to be Sasquatting somewhere out of robotic-bird-earshot.
However, in the process, I wound up getting to know someone else originally from Saskatchewan who has become one of my favorite 21st century dads, James Hudyma. James is a dedicated teacher, a talented musician, a caring father to his son and daughter, and writes an excellent blog about all of the above. If this sounds strikingly familiar to you, O Loyal Reader, you can already imagine that James and I instantly hit it off.
In addition to my groundbreaking research on closet zombies and whatever sustainability is, my Ph. D. program has also provided the opportunity to learn computer programming–something I’ve wanted to do for years but never had the time or resources.
This has had to happen fairly quickly, as on the first day of the semester, one of my professors had my classmates and me each introduce ourselves along with our programming experience, since it would be a foundational element of the class. Having been awake since 3:15 am with my sick son, I’d just chugged two Venti coffees in order to be a functional human being, so as you can probably imagine I was already feeling incredibly chipper and eager to learn.
I grimaced as I listened to my colleagues’ alien technobabble:
“Most of my experience is in Java Frappuccino Monty Python Venom Script with Pirate Eyepatch Death Star Optimization Support.”
“I’ve dabbled in C-Minus-Plus-Ampersand Continuum Transfunctioners, but I’m most comfortable with Skynet Flux Capacitors.”
“I created the Allspark.”
In addition to classes, a significant portion of my work as a student involves conducting research, and I’m thrilled to report that I recently learned two academic papers I co-authored and submitted to highly-regarded conferences were both accepted and will thus be published. Having never submitted to anything of this caliber, I’m floored to be batting 1.000, and as hard as I work to keep my world spinning, it’s a nice little payoff. I’m convinced the scales were tipped in my favor due to my inclusion of the very same bow-wearing stick figures, pop culture references, and fecal humor you’ve come to expect from this fine publication.
While I have been explicitly forbidden by a gaggle of ninjas to disclose the details of these two strokes of genius before they are published, I will share a new research effort I’ve spearheaded, which involves public transportation. You see, one of the hippest new buzz words in the academic community is “sustainability”–a term I’m convinced some prolific professor coined while drunkenly slurring his words together at a snooty dinner party and that now everyone pretends to know the meaning of. Anyway, I figure if I put “sustainability” in the title, NPR listeners will flock to it like birds who flock to things that birds like, so it’s probably a good career move.