[personal profile] willowroot
Thanks to all of my many friends who asked some very probing questions on both LJ and FB about my upcoming dissertation defense. Welcome to the scientific process of question and discussion!

In order to address some of your very specific concerns, I spent some time yesterday digging through old Rackham guidelines and some earlier editions of the Michigan Standard Practice Guide. Take heart, I did find some answers for you!

Rackham rules (paraphrased):

Regarding vuvuzelas: Unless you also cobble together a strings player and a drummer (and appropriate instruments) for every five horns, you are limited to wearing your [wind instrument] as personal decoration. If you DO get a band together, they cannot play other than an introductory segue and an exit march. The drummer is allowed rimshots. (Sorry, I'm not in the School of Music, performances during the presentation are not allowed.)

Regarding signs/posterboards: Sure, as long as they are presented for public display on the nearest non-University property. (Which, if I recall correctly for the departmental seminar room, would be smack in the middle of Ann street. Sorry, I believe it's an anti-Westboro numbskulls thing. Good luck dodging the buses and all.)

Michigan SPG (from an 1843 edition):

"In the eventuality the candidate is challenged.... when the challenger disallows the validity of all of the candidate's claims or findings, there shall be a duel conducted immediately after the presentation. The candidate chooses the weapons."

I will be generous and presumptively announce my choice of weapon now: babies. Remember, if you do not bring your baby to my defense, you default and I automatically win.

Date: 2010-10-15 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tlatoani.livejournal.com
The wording of the SPG doesn't require that it be your own baby; it's silent on that topic.

Date: 2010-10-15 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tlatoani.livejournal.com
(Yes, I actually am an expert on SPG interpretation. Why do you ask? ;-)

Date: 2010-10-15 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flinx.livejournal.com
Nuts. I wasn't sure just how to interpret that particular line, guess I got it wrong.

Still, I figured a baby-fight's gonna dissuade most people. Just too mean and vicious for most folks.

Date: 2010-10-15 04:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tlatoani.livejournal.com
Incidentally, I've got a transcript of a Regents' meeting here where they explicitly state that the vuvuzela is not a musical instrument. It's in the context of refusing to allow the School of Music to offer a degree program in them, but I think it's broadly-stated enough to exempt them from the musical performance ban.

We're so gonna go Johannesburg on your committee's ass. What are your team colors, anyway?

Date: 2010-10-15 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flinx.livejournal.com
*laugh* At this point, I'll have to say that my colors are blood on concrete.

(Try and take the piss outta some folks takin' the piss outta me... sheesh!)
Edited Date: 2010-10-15 07:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2010-10-15 04:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sorcycat.livejournal.com
My 2-yr old baby could kick your <2 month old babies bare bottom. ;)

Date: 2010-10-15 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nicegeek.livejournal.com
Hmm...I'd have to check the rulebook, but once they can talk, they may have graduated out of "baby". :-)

Date: 2010-10-15 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sorcycat.livejournal.com
That is in the definition of infant (meaning unable to speak) however not necessarily baby.

Of course, I could say, he's my baby. :) Anyway, I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire and they call the 3-year-old a baby.

Date: 2010-10-15 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flinx.livejournal.com
At this point, I'm not laying any bets. Besides, the committee members (i.e. the adjudicators of said duel) are mostly on my side.

I will remind everyone, though, that the duel only happens in the case of someone blindly contesting all the findings. I'm also fairly certain at this point that my concluding slide is going to include a line to the effect of "Today's Ann Arbor sky is {insert appropriate color here}" making the duel highly unlikely.

Date: 2010-10-15 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sorcycat.livejournal.com
Well played, sir. Until next our babies meet on the field of battle, good day sir.

Date: 2010-10-20 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theencoded.livejournal.com
I will wear rose-tinted glasses, and so have grounds to disagree with your findings until a committee can investigate the issue in detail!

Let the duel commence! I will even bring my own baby, but I have no intention of throwing him at you, oh no no, that's for simpletons. Rather I will aim each of his two ends at you. The one will melt your heart, causing a gap in your defenses, into which I shall aim the other end and blammo! Baby doo doo to the *FACE*. Then I dance my victory dance! (Oddly enough, my victory dance looks like that creepy baby dance, go figure.)

Date: 2010-10-15 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragoncracker.livejournal.com
Question: Does it have to be MY baby? Or can I bring just any baby I happen upon at the local grocery store?

Date: 2010-10-15 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nicegeek.livejournal.com
As mentioned above, there does not appear to be any rule about the ownership or heredity of the weapon used. However, local laws do restrict the transferability of babies, as well as the use of biological weapons, so you may want to check with a legal professional.

Date: 2010-12-01 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tlatoani.livejournal.com
Argh. Sadly, you've dodged the bullet with me. My rescheduled trip to Durham is on top of this; I won't be back until 6.

Damn it! I've never been to a thesis defense!

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