Thursday, March 10, 2005

I will not be stamped, spindled, or mutilated

In theory, prelim exams are graded anonymously; a number is the only identification on the exam faculty members receive. (In practice, of course, one might be the only person taking an exam in a given field, or has discussed the exam with enough faculty members that one's identity is apparent simply from the answers one gives to the questions one chooses.) When I was given my exam by the department's executive assistant, I was told, "You are number six." I replied, as one must, really, "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

No one got it. It's not easy being geek.

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