Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Public Health Warning

It is increasingly common among those who extend their education (or “Student”) to develop tunnelus visionlus, a debilitating condition that renders sufferers unable to think beyond their focus of study. This condition was recently described in "Factor of Impact", a highly regarded journal dedicated to the phenomena of delusions.

Particular to those ensconced in research, though not exclusive to the field, this aggressive disease can leave sufferers with the paradoxical feeling that time is both condensed and infinite. This is illustrated by the common cry, or variations thereof, amongst sufferers: Where Did The Weekend Go? or When Will It Ever End?

This condition is often accompanied by extravagant fantasies that the thesis produced at the end of Student-ship will serve mankind in its Significant, Relevant Contribution to the canons of world knowledge, rather than the reality of producing a big book that only a handful of people will ever read.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that tunnelus visionlus may be aggravated by lack of exercise, social isolation and takeaway food on the way home from the lab. Care must be taken to prevent progression towards guilt of Catholic proportions when Students take time out from studies to eat or sleep.

Although a magic bullet for this insidious condition may be decades away, some methods have been found to be effective temporary treatments. It is recommended to gently lead the Student away from their experiments towards a pub, a band and a beer or three.
Note: this treatment has best efficacy when Students are submitting university forms or discussing timelines with supervisors.
For other conditions of which to be aware, I refer you to Serenity Later, Vernoona, Cassiopeia Gegenbaurer III, Sartorial Splendour and Flygirl.


kaluds said...

hehehe ... this sure made me chuckle. i firmly believe that the only way(s) to avoid the affliction of tunnelus visionlus is to: a) don't become a postgrad in the first place; or failing that, b) don't go taking the heady world of science too seriously.

and golly gosh, as soon as you feel that Catholic guilt coming on, just think of all the selfless hours you've donated to your vocation in the past - often thankless - and make a swift beeline to the nearest watering hole ;p

Geoffrey Kong 江貴為 said...

Fortunately it looks like that you haven't developed the most severe forms of tunnelus visionlus, viz.
* 'my work is the absolutely most important of the world',
* 'I just can't let go of my baby' (and I don't mean the actual infant!)
* 'my research technique/ methodology (or word of own choice) trumps everything else' (Some crystallographers are the worst afflicted of this.)
Keeping in touch with your friends is defintely one of the best possible cures; it takes your mind away from your own little world and serves as a nice little reward during the crunch time.

Serenity Later said...

hehe, this is brilliant! I'm with yossarian on this one avoid taking science too seriously or you may fall foul of this dreaded affliction and do your head in.

Might i add that the three pronged attack of the pub, band and a beer or three may also be the answer for many a troubling condition out there? Perhaps its patentable?