Monday, June 02, 2008

This just in

So a few minutes ago, Bill calls. This is cause for concern. We call each other at about 8 to figure out who is getting / making dinner but any call before this is usually someone dying.



"Hey. You alright?"


"Everyone else alright?"

"Who everyone else?"

"Oh. What's going on?"

"Work only"


"What's up with you?"

"Me? Nothing. Work, I guess"

"Nothing else kya?"

"Between this morning and now? No"

"Okay. When do you leave?"

"I dunno. Around 7"


"What's going on dude?"

"Nothing. Oh, I might have to go to Paris"


"Three days next week. We have to meet this guy at the uni there"

"Okay. Not stretching to the weekend?"

"No, I need to be back Friday"

"Oh ok. What's happening Friday?"

"Oh nothing much. Might have to work on thesis"

I drop the phone. Take a good look at it. Pinch myself. Pick it up.


"Hello. Where did you disappear?"

"Here only. You have to do what?"

"Might have to go to the States end of the month"


"Yeah. Not sure about because we have a paper deadline first week in July. So might not get to go"

"I see. Why were you thinking of going?"

"I spoke to Karl. There's some conf in Pitt"

"You are attending this conf?"

"Not really. Remember that Princeton chap?"

"Yeah, the guy who is supposed to be in your committee?"

"Yes, he is coming to Pitt for the conf"


"And Peter and Bob are going to be there"

"Does this mean what I think this means?"

"If I get to go, yes"

"You mean after 1.6 years, you have actually managed to get all four people who need to be there for your dissertation in the same city?"

"Yes but unfortunately, a fifth person needs to be there"

"Who is that now?"


"What is your problem? Here, let me give you my Mileage Plus number. Call. You will get a seat"

"No, thats not the issue"


"I told you. There's a paper deadline for ACM early July. I need to be here"

"Says who?"


"Did you explain situation? That if you don't go now, he will be forever stuck with a post-doc without a phd"

"Yeah, he understands but doesn't think its such a big deal"

"For him, no"

"Well, he has a point"

"Which is?"

"We gotta do this paper"


"What do you mean why?"

"Whats this paper going to give you?"

"Its for the ACM"


"I can't not send paper for ACM"

"Again, why?"

"What are you getting at?"

"Tell me what will be acheived by you sending paper to ACM or whatever it is. Its not like you have a dearth of papers in conferences"

"You won't understand"

"I see. So why did you call?"


"Why did you call?"

"Well, you know, just to tell you that I can go the States and finish up this month"

"But you are not doing that. So this is relevant for me because?"

"I did manage to get all people together in a room"

"Again why is this relevant?"

"Oh well. You realise the only reason I am not going is because of you"

"Oh, thats so obvious"

"No, seriously. If I actually do finish my phd, who will you malign?"

"Wait, you are telling me that the only reason you aren't finishing your phd is because then I will not have material for blog? Even BM is not capable of coming up with such nonsense"

"High praise"

"You know what? This has gone on long enough. What do you really want?"

"Those upgrade coupons that you have for Eurostar. Can I use them?"


Hang-up phone.


blackmamba said...

Veena, when Bill wins his Turing, you will know why the ACM is important.

Veena said...

What, just the Turing? No call from Stockholm?

Bamse said...

Bah, I can call you from Stockholm tomorrow if you want!

(Btw, I wholeheartedly agree with Bill. ABD && ACM > PhD.)

Cheshire Cat said...

Not quite Stockholm, but there is a certain much-coveted Finnish prize. And they haven't given it to anyone doing "Eurotheory" thus far...

Veena said...

Bamse: Actually I can't decide which is cooler. Bamse (as in the real Bamse) calling from Stockholm or the Academy calling!

Yeah, but neither ABD & ACM or PHD is going to turn out to be useful. For that, you do realise that you are my only hope?

Cat: These Scands have nothing else to do kya? Randomly giving away prizes!

I have known Bill for 7 years but all this time if anyone asked me what he does, I didn't know what to say. Now, thanks to you, I know! Eurotheory! (Whatever that is) I will be forever grateful to you.