edu Sara anthropological study origi

Found at: 0x1bi.net:70/textfiles/file?humor/anthropo.stu

From duncan@rmy.emory.edu Wed Sep 12 10:22:08 1990
From: duncan@rmy.emory.edu (Sara Duncan)
Subject: anthropological study
Keywords: science, chuckle, original

(I wrote this myself while lamenting the plight of the pitiful graduate
Sara Duncan   duncan@rmy.rmy.emory.edu)

 The Pedagological Tribal System of Primitive Cultures of the
 Scientific Research Community

     This study deals with a pedagological tribal system with
     definite, almost overwhelming paternalistic mores and codes.
     I had had some difficulty studying these tribes because they are
     quite fierce and  often impossible to communicate with except
     in their own languages, which are diverse and may have roots
     in latin. (I, however, tend to hold that these languages are a
     development of the tribes themselves and are a major
     contributory factor in their continued isolation from the
     global community.) In general, members also appear to have
     little ability to learn new languages. To overcome these
     barriers, I am attempting to infiltrate a tribe and become a
     full-fledged member of it. I am currently undergoing
     initiation rites in a southeastern tribe called "Physiology
     and Pharmacology". This is a preliminary report of my current
     The adult males of any of the tribes which can be grouped
     under the broad designation "researchers"  are called
     "professors" and sometimes "doctors".
     The terms are not entirely interchangeable as the
     higher ranking males are always referred to as "doctor"
     whereas "professor" is a more generic term for all adult
     males who have completed any variation of the initiation
     process which is called "graduate school".

     There are two groups of females in this culture, one group is
     granted low ranking status as a quasi-male with
     responsibilities similar to the very low-ranking males. They 
     are referred to as "professors" also, but are never actually
     allowed to progress beyond certain set heirarchial levels.
     This group is not often granted reproductive status. The
     second group of females could be classified as sub-adult, as
     they are never granted any of the rights of the full adult,
     which is, of course, always male or quasi-male. They are
     termed "professor's wives" and may only assume any status
     through the male to whom they are attached and by telephone
     calls to secretaries. The phone calling privilege is unique to
     the "professor's wife" and is *never* usurped.
     Interestingly, offspring of these unions are not acknowledged
     within the culture and leave the tribe upon reaching
     Reproduction is quite unusual and very interesting! The
     tribes call this "recruitment". Several select members of the
     tribe, usually middle-ranking males and even a few quasi-male
     females travel to distant tribes called "undergraduate
     colleges" where they put on quite lovely displays and make
     generous offers to the neonates from the "undergraduate
     colleges". This is similar to courtship in some cultures, but
     is directed at procuring neonates. The neonates put on a
     secondary display for the professors of their choosen tribe,
     wherein they accept the wonderous offers. These are very
     intricate dances, and only the best research tribes and neonates
     are successful.
     Once the new tribe members have arrived at their new tribe,
     however, initiation may take anywhere from four to
     seven years. I have seen examples of initiates being
     subjected to trials for eight years! This does vary somewhat,
     but the general rule is an extrordinarily long and quite
     demanding set of incomprehensible tests that the candidates
     for initiation must perform well on. These are similar to the
     tribes of Africa who have to walk on hot coals in bare feet or
     draw elaborate scars on all parts of their bodies. The
     actual trials are called "preliminary exams" "qualifying
     exams" and, of course the dreaded "dissertation defense" rite.

     Unfortunatly, I have not yet been made privy to all the
     inuendos of this final rite. Although I have been allowed to
     watch during several. I was actually required to watch this
     horrible test of human ability to withstand the agony of hours
     of questions in very highly ceremonial language, many words of
     which I am not yet informed. The medicine man of the tribe
     changes for each different initiate. He is called the "major
     professor", possibly referring to his power during the rite of
     passage. The power of the medicine man is reflected on the
     initiate and will follow him through his entire adult life.

     These tribes have not yet been well characterized. This is
     understandable in light of the extreme reclusivity and
     exclusivity of all of the research tribes I have encountered.
     Yet this should not preclude further in-depth analysis of a
     truly unique way of life. I shall continue work within my
     present tribe in hopes of becoming a full fledged member, as
     it were, and of coming to full understanding of this culture.
Edited by Brad Templeton.  MAIL your jokes (jokes ONLY) to funny@looking.ON.CA
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