* * *
Of course the cafeteria food was horrible, as usual. But a nearby conversation caught my attention, and that mercifully distracted me.
A couple of graduate students sat down a little after I did, a few seats away from mine. I have no idea who they were; one of them was wearing little square eyeglasses so I'll call him "Emo". His friend was wearing a bright orange "Hooters" sweatshirt.
"So I've got like three math electives to fill," Emo said.
"Oh yeah?" Hooters replied.
"I was thinking of taking Foley's Dynamic Isostatics."
"'Dynamic isosta--'? Don't you need Static Istostatics first?"
"Static Isostatics is trivial. A high-school student could do that."
"Sure, if he knows tensor calculus." Hooters sprinkled hot sauce on his food. "Can you even get into the class?"
"The school offers it because Foley would quit, otherwise. I don't think there are more than three people on campus--other than Foley--who would even know what it's for."
"That's true." Hooters tasted his food. "So, okay, that's one. What's next?"
"Well, then I figured I'd take Static Isodynamics."
"Wait--are you sure that's the right order?"
"I thought Static Isodynamics came first."
"No, I looked it up," Emo said with a confident nod. "Dynamic Isostatics is the prerequisite for Static Isodynamics."
Hooters chuckled. "So then I guess next year, you'll make Foley's decade by signing up for Dynamic Isodynamics?"
"No, I was looking at Static Anisodynamics, actually."
"What in the hell would you use that for?" Hooters paused. "I don't even know that that is!"
"Well, it's primarily a statistical method of finding the slope of highly randomized data. Okay, you know the deal with Mann's 'hockey stick'? That was Static Anisodynamics in action."
* * *
Yes, it's all complete BS. That's kind of the point.