Thursday, March 21, 2013


  • Presenter stands
  • Computer desktop visible on screen
  • Audience member smugly congratulates herself on having a much more organized desktop
  • Presenter brings up PowerPoint set-up screen revealing slides with lots and lots of quotes
  • Audience member sitting one row in front of previously mentioned audience member quietly asks God to kill audience member now
  • Presenter begins with quote from Asian religious text to appeal to LDS crypto-Buddhist scholar from Texas in audience
  • LDS crypto-Buddhist scholar from Texas in audience successfully appealed to
  • Presenter reads presentation in fervent yet friendly manner that makes words seem like waxy chocolate
  • Presenter quotes, more or less successfully, Slavoj Žižek
  • Graduate student audience member with ADD ponders Slavoj Žižek, wishes he had those funky squished v things in his name, wishes he at least had those little two dots things in his name, notes how two dots look like textual nostrils, chides himself for not bringing nose hair trimmers, envies how squirrels don’t need nose hair trimmers, mentally remarks to self how ten thousand squirrels in ten thousand years probably could not write The Book of Daniel, concludes that if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had had a fourth friend his name should have been Žižek, realizes he now has a dissertation topic
  • Presenter acknowledges that audience can read quote on slide
  • Presenter reads quote on slide
  • Presenter begins to build solid argument based on good evidence
  • Graduate student audience member feels envious, distraught, and worried, and for the third time today fervently begs God to let him go back to BYU to teach, affectionately thinking of the institution not unlike “the mother ship”
  • BYU faculty member seated two rows behind above mentioned audience member compares current job to manure-like misspelling of “ship”
  • Presenter makes weak tangential argument to appeal to Feminists
  • Feminists in audience feel equal parts offense and forgiveness
  • Presenter remembers how glad presenter is about not mentioning Heidegger, as that might cause some to really pay attention
  • Presenter again mentions Žižek
  • Untenured audience member conflates Žižek, Isaiah, The Cloud of Unknowing, and Eagle Scout project, triggering mild panic attack
  • Presenter brings together argument via reason and insight that is clearly the result of hard-work, passion, and commitment
  • Audience member, establish scholar whose last name may indicate ancestry with ornithological associations, experiences relief that careful attention has been rewarded and prepares to, as is audience member’s custom, generously encourage presenter
  • Audience member with ADD changes dissertation title from “Žižek in Slow Motion: Land of the Lost and the embodiment of Evil in the Sleestaks” to just “Žižek’s Sleestaks” or maybe something about Battlestar Galactica before wondering what is for lunch 
  • Presenter concludes to customary tepid courtesy applause
  • Presenter equally horrified by prospects of no questions during question and answer period (indicating no one cared or it was so bad no one knows what to say) and any questions during question and answer period (as this would mean presenter may have to answer questions)
  • Fellow presenter wonders how to ask question that is generous and insightful, making connections with fellow presenter's presentation, while not being self-serving.  Formulation of this question is the most difficult thing fellow presenter will do all day
  • Session ends
  • Presenter and audience mingle and chat with the casual nonchalance of sixth graders at their first dance 


  1. Impossible! We know that he-of-ancestry-with-slightly-ornithological-associations has almost never stayed awake when listening to the sound of waxy chocolate. Only the mention of Heidegger could wake him from his slumber.

  2. Crypto-Buddhist successfully appealed to!