Today is the day of the dog-and-pony show

This may be a terrible mistake. We’ve got a couple of groups of prospective students coming to the university this morning, and they’re going to get guided around the science facilities and their questions answered. We hope to encourage them to enroll here next year. And who was tapped to lead them around?

Only the homeliest, least charismatic, oldest professor in the department, the guy with the lab full of spiders, me. I’m going to have to have a talk with the marketing department.

It’s my own fault. A call went out for volunteers, I happened to have an open time slot at that time, unlike my colleagues who apparently also work harder than I do, so I raised my hand tentatively and got thrown into the machine. I will try to be enthusiastic and informative, but I can only push the raw material so far.

I’m planning to put some of the spiders from the colony under the microscope and project a live video view of them feeding. Do you think that will make our enrollments surge?


  1. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    “Huh. I don’t see Lucy. And she’s not in her box. Don’t worry folks. I’m sure she’ll turn up. She’s very friendly.”

  2. muttpupdad says

    I see the plan to corrupt all these innocent students is being carried out according to plan. Once you have them firmly ensnared in your web you can complete he turning of these poor innocents into minions needed to forced the country to become educated awoke.

  3. vereverum says

    “live video view of them feeding.
    “Do you think that will make our enrollments surge?”
    Depends upon what’s on the menu.
    A doowntrodden student, not so much but… an arrogant professor or, even better, a corporate CEO.
    You’ll need a building program to handle the influx.

  4. Kevin Karplus says

    It’s not just a matter of getting students, but of getting the right students. If the sight of spiders feeding turns them away, how will they survive the dining halls?

  5. Rich Woods says

    The last time I got roped into a meet-and-greet I spent the prior evening practicing my thousand-yard stare and cynical digressions.

    It did indeed turn out to be the first and last time.

  6. says

    Dear PZ sorry to see this rtwingnut ahole (and others) giving college professors a really bad name:

    ‘Boise State University (BSU) professor and Claremont Institute scholar Scott Yenor was the hidden hand behind Action Idaho, a far-right online media platform that featured inflammatory rightwing commentary on politics in that state, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

    The documents, obtained through public records requests, also show that Yenor sought and received funding for the initiative from wealthy and influential donors like Claremont Institute board chair, Thomas D Klingenstein.

    He also attempted to hire a rising conservative writer, Pedro Gonzalez, to lead the initiative. Gonzalez was later embroiled in a controversy about antisemitic remarks he made in online chats in 2019 and 2020. They also show him tapping a network of expertise that overlaps both with the Claremont Institute and the Society for American Civic Renewal (SACR), a secretive fraternal Christian Nationalist organization the Guardian has reported on extensively.’

  7. rietpluim says

    Wait a minute! Are you suggesting that there are people who are not interested in spiders?

  8. says

    About a third of the visitors refused to enter my lab, so apparently there are many people who interested in avoiding spiders.

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