“Two Stories With Morals”


I present the following as first as a reminder for all graduate students who have to have their research topics and thesis statements on their advisor’s next sometime next week and second in honor of my youngest daughter as she prepares to complete her Ed. S. Her research paper topic is needed this week as well.

1st STORY WITH A MORAL

(required reading for graduate students)

Scene: It’a a fine sunny day in the forest, and a rabbit is sitting outside his burrow, tippy-tapping on his typewriter. Along comes a fox, out for a walk.

Fox: “What are you working on?”

Rabbit:”My thesis.”

Fox:”Hmm. What is it about?”

Rabbit:”Oh, I’m writing about how rabbit eat foxes.”

(incredulous pause)

Fox:”That’s ridiculous! Any fool know that rabbits don’t eat foxes!”

Rabbit:”Come with me and I’ll show you!”

They both disappear into the rabbit’s burrow. After a few minutes, gnawing on a fox bone, the rabbit returns to his typewriter and resumes typing. Soon a wolf comes along and stops to watch the hardworking rabbit

Wolf:” What’s that you are writing?”

Rabbit:” I’m doing a thesis on how rabbits eats wolves.”

(loud guffaws)

Wolf:” you don’t expect to get such rubbish published, do you?”

Rabbit:” No problem. Do you want to see why?”

The rabbit and the wolf go into the burrow, and again the rabbit returns by himself, after a few minutes, and goes back to typing.

Finally a bear comes along and asks, “What are you doing?

Rabbit:” I’m doing a thesis on how rabbits eats bears.

Bear: “Well that’s absurd!

Rabbit: “Come into my home and I’ll show you!”

As they enter the burrow, the rabbit introduces the bear to the lion.

Moral: IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW SILLY YOUR THESIS TOPIC IS; WHAT MATTERS IS WHO YOU HAVE FOR A THESIS ADVISOR

2nd STORY WITH A MORAL

(required reading for students and supervisors)

Scene: It’a a fine sunny day in the forest, and a lion is sitting outside his cave, lying lazily in the sun. Along comes a fox, out on a walk.

Fox: “Do you know the time? My watch is broken.”

Lion:”Oh, I can easily fix the watch for you.”

Fox:”Hmm. But it’s a very complicated mechanism, and your greatclaws will only destroy it even more.”

Lion:”Oh no, give it to me, and it will be fixed.”

(incredulous pause)

Fox:”That’s ridiculous! Any fool knows that lazy lions with great claws cannot fix complicated watches.”

Lion:”Sure they do, give it to me and it will be fixed.”

The lion disappears into his cave, and after a while he comes back with the watch which is running perfectly. The fox is impressed, and the lion continues to lie lazily in the sun, looking very pleased with himself.

Soon a wolf comes along and stops to watch the lazy lion in the sun.

Wolf: “Can I come and watch TV tonight with you? Mine is broken.”

Lion: “Oh, I can easily fix your TV for you.”

(loud guffaws)

Wolf: “You don’t expect me to believe such rubbish, do you? There is no way that a lazy lion with big claws can fix a complicated TV.”

Lion:” No problem. Do you want to try it?”

The lion goes into his cave, and after a while comes back with a perfectly fixed TV. The wolf goes away happily and amazed.

Scene: Inside the lion’s cave. In one corner are half a dozen small and intelligent looking rabbits who are busily doing very complicated work with very detailed instruments. In the other corner lies a huge lion looking very pleased with himself.

Moral: IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY AN ADVISOR IS FAMOUS, LOOK AT THE WORK OF HIS STUDENTS.

For the record, one of the reasons that I got my Ph. D. at the University of Iowa was because of the faculty and the gentleman who ultimately became my advisor, Robert Yager. Thanks, Dr. Yager!

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