Shortest Path

July 11, 2011

The Paper

Filed under: conference,non-technical — dharabor @ 16:34

I wanted to share this small piece of creative writing. It was cobbled together earlier this year while I was turning myself inside out trying to meet various submission deadlines. It’s a change of pace for this blog, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. I call it, The Paper:

Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

Steadily forward march the hands of the clock.
The paper needs writing, results must be got;
Forget about sleep or all is for naught!
With each passing second the conference draws nearer,
To obtain tenure you must publish here.

Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

Redouble your efforts ye graduate student,
And condense into pages no greater than six,
The sum of your efforts these many long weeks.
Spell out in sections, as short as can be,
The problem you solve and your neat novelty.
Whether by theory or experimental design,
Argue the case that your approach is sublime!
Cite all prior work and conclude on a high,
Then compile your sources one final time.
Press upload and hope for the best,
In six weeks you find out if your work’s passed the test!

Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

With the deadline past and the system now closed,
The program commitee take up their roles.
On secretive forums, in groups of three,
They meet to discuss what will and won’t be.
The schedule is short and there’s lots of bidding,
Each submission receives only a few hours reading.
Each reviewer’s position: your paper’s rejected;
Your job was to prove that it should be accepted!
The standards are high and acceptance rates low,
The hopes of some authors will suffer a blow.
Yet should worst come to worst, you need never fear;
If you don’t make it now, there’s always next year!


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