Friday 25 October 2019

Seeking an Extension

Donnez-moi la mort (Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash)

Emotions ride high as extensions to deadlines are sought, and nowhere more so than at Fundermentals Towers University. Now read on.

Room 101
Centre for Political Misunderstanding 
Fundermentals Towers University

Dear Madame La Desk Officer

I'm writing to you with a heavy heart to request an extension to the submission deadline for my grant application.

No one is more disappointed than me in seeking this. I have made it clear to members of my department that I would rather 'die in a ditch' than have to seek an extension, and that it was 'do or die' to make the deadline.

Yes, I do recognise that I have something of a fixation with dying, but it's important to make clear how important it is to make this deadline. I and my collaborators have a lot of money riding on it.

Unfortunately, things haven't gone quite according to plan. The internal peer review system has been somewhat more rigorous than I had anticipated. Reviewer 1 said that I hadn't made clear what I wanted or how I was to achieve it, that my methodology was shaky and the outcomes spurious.  Reviewer 2 said that she had seen something very similar submitted by another applicant to an earlier round of the scheme.

Frankly, I have lost patience with them and have told them to give me liberty or give me death. I've put my foot down. We need to get this done. I'd rather be hung, drawn and quartered than have to ask for a further extension. Nail me high and spit on my grave if I fail.

I will, then, be going on strike until the internal peer reviewers accept how brilliant my proposal is. I will not be doing any teaching, supervision or administration until they roll over and - yes - die.

Some might say that it will be difficult for them to tell if I'm on strike or not, given my current engagement with students and colleagues. Donnez-moi a break. Donnez-moi la mort.

They'll come to rue the day that they crossed me or suggested that I was anything less than brilliant. In the meantime, however, I hope you can make an exception for me for no other reason than for my shambling charisma and my fixation with death analogies.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours forever in the classics

Professor Sir Joris Bunsen

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