Friday, February 01, 2013
It turns out that sometimes you have to be very careful about what you write in the acknowledgements (and biography and preface and the like) of your PhD thesis, because it might come back to haunt you. When I was finishing up in 2002, I had decided that because that was the only part of a thesis that most people read that I would have some fun in it and put easter eggs of various sorts to amuse my friends and future students (and in general to just be playful with it). Well, today the introduction right before my colloquium was a bit unusual---and not like any other speaker introduction I have ever witnessed in my career thus far. With some help from the current CAM students (actually, my understanding is that it was their idea), some of my words from that part of my thesis were taken out and used for my introduction instead of doing the usual career path and honors that are typical in such things. My host's flight was cancelled and he could only make it for dinner and had to miss the seminar, and Peter Frazier did the introduction and was thus the MC for the shenanigans. (Peter is now a faculty member at Cornell and was my classmate in Lloyd House back in the day at Caltech.) Wow. This caught me completely by surprise. Well played. Very well played. And I probably deserved it. :) P.S. Some of these CAM students specifically looked up and listened to "Tarzan Boy" just to see what on earth I was talking about in that document!