Defense

Jiggs entered the department conference room, and quickly scanned the small audience, including a couple of his students, several of his fellow graduate researchers, and his committee.  He went to the podium and set up his laptop to transmit his presentation to the large flat screen on the wall behind him, then stood, with a nearly unbearable urge to fidget as he waited for his adviser to introduce him.

Professor Kavalioŭ stood, moved to the podium and addressed the small group. "Today we are going to hear Mr. Foonman as he provides us an update on his research in the area of "Reproduction Numbers in the Survival of Pollinating Insects," and lays out his plan for ongoing investigation in pursuit of  his doctorate."

Professor Kavalioŭ took his seat.

Jiggs finally was forced to fidget.

Jiggs pointed to the first slide he had displayed.  It discussed reproduction numbers, but said nothing of pollinating insects.  Below the title was some text discussing ballpoint pens and socks, along with photos of neatly arranged socks side-by-side with a row of ballpoint pens.  Some of the socks were matched, but there were seven that weren't, and seven ballpoint pens.  The audience wanted to ask questions, but, instead waited for Jiggs to move on to his real presentation.

He began, "You see here a formerly perfectly matched set of sock pairs that has transformed itself into a smaller set of matched socks, and seven unmatched ones.  Beside them on the bed, you see seven ballpoint pens.  I believe that ballpoint pens are a stage in the life cycle of socks."  His committee began to fidget.  "When socks are washed and dried, they become all warm and fuzzy.  They get piled all together where they mate.  The female socks then kill and eat the male socks, and hatch out ballpoint pens.  Therefore, when socks are washed and dried, some of them can't be matched."

Professor Kavalioŭ stifled the urge to cough.

Jiggs proceeded on to the next slide.  It showed some ruined umbrellas.  "As a corollary, ballpoint pens grow up to be umbrellas.

I propose, for my doctoral research to investigate, and document this metamorphic progression and develop useful applications.

Professor Kavalioŭ coughed, and asked Jiggs to leave the room so that the committee could discuss his proposal.

The End

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