Friday, September 16, 2005

Dr Bongosnat!


My friend Jill has survived living the epic novel known as her doctoral thesis (which she commonly described as the "sh!t sandwich"). No more continents uplifting to Mars! No more tuition! I'm not sure if the "sh!t sandwich" refers to writing the thesis itself, the miasma of PhD committee politics or is a vivid yet crude metaphor for the viscous layer in her geodynamic models of basin formation. Jill is a fabulous, funny, caring, sensitive person, with tremendous mathematical ability, a tendancy towards seasickness (good thing she's a theorist), more patience than she even recognizes, a soft heart for teaching students (aka "punks", "binkstugs", etc.) and a very interesting relationship with words. ;) Jill can spell words much much more accurately and quickly than I and has a huge vocabulary but an incredibly amusing aptitude for spoonerisms and coining new and bizarre, yet strangely intuitive words. My personal favorite (in honour of her Ph.D.) is:
"I'm turd even though I have a chordle-neck on"
I will always remember this because of the way she steadfastly continued to attempt to say how cold she was even wearing the turtleneck, despite my uncontrollable laughter. She writes that she is apparently the only PhD candidate known to have used the words "pac-man", "splot" and "scrunch" during a defense.

I was doomed to meet Jill. She went to school in Ottawa with Julia, did her undergrad and then graduate work in Toronto with me, her father worked with my brother doing geology in the middle of nowhere (midway between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg) and he also became a client of my Dad's, which seems one coincidence too many. Plus, we both have brothers named Jordie. I know we will always be friends since our friendship survived the cruise-from-hell. I miss working with her and always having a good friend just down the hall! I'm very proud and happy for her today. Woohoo! Way to go!

I hope this encourages others toiling with their theses. Hmm... that suggests another possible origin for the "sh!t sandwich" ..

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