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50 THINGS TODAY’S POSTGRAD IS NO 1. Not allowed to imply that senior professors’ careers pre-date the discovery of the atom. 2. Not allowed to tell prospective students that “PhD” stands for any of the following: • Parents have Doubts • Probably half Dead • Project half Done • Permanent head Damage • Potential heavy Drinker • Probably hopelessly Deranged 3. No longer allowed to perform experiments on undergrads (even if rats are expensive and you grow attached to them). 4. Must stop telling new students that the Reid Library was actually a spelling error and everyone is too embarrassed to change it. 5. It is considered very unprofessional to add “in accordance with the prophecy” to the end of answers I give to questions when presenting at a conference. 6. “It is easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission” does not apply to getting ethics approval for an experiment. 7. The large rolls of aluminium foil in the lab are for experiments, not for making tinfoil hats to block government mind-probes, and I should stop telling students this. 8. No longer allowed to set joke questions in exams. 9. No longer allowed to create obvious patterns in the multi-choice exam answers 10. No longer allowed create an obvious pattern in the multi-choice answers for the first half of an exam, and then break that pattern in the last half to watch the students freak out (even if it would be hilarious). 11. Not allowed to attempt to purchase anyone’s soul using grant money.


12. When giving a reason for the failure of an experiment I must put forward a reasonable hypothesis, not: • God • Gods • Witches • Gnomes (there is no physics, it’s all gnomes) 13. Not allowed to sacrifice a chicken (or goat, suckling calf, mule, or virgin) to Odin so that He may look favourably upon my work (even if virgins are easy to come by in the physics department). 14. When visiting German colleagues, don’t mention the war. 15. Laser safety briefings must contain more than “Don’t stare into laser beam with remaining good eye.” 16. Drug running and prostitution are not acceptable ways to raise research funding. 17. Not allowed ask “Do you want fries with that?” when given instructions by supervisors. 18. Must stop trying to hide Dr Seuss quotes in paper manuscripts. 19. Not allowed to turn my office into a ball pit… Not allowed to turn anyone else’s office into a ball pit… Plastic balls are no longer allowed on campus. 20. Despite the fact that people with a PhD are called “doctor”, they are not allowed to prescribe any form of medication. 21. When asked to attend a meeting in formal attire, I am not allowed to turn up in jeans and hoodie claiming that it is “the cultural dress of my people”. 22. Not allowed to wear costumes in the lab unless it is Prosh. 23. Office decorations must be limited and

Postscript 2016  
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