Sunday, October 19, 2008


So my academic year is over, and I am no longer an inhabitant of the Honours Room. Honestly, I feel like I should be declared Citizen, or at least Resident, of it because I've spent so much time there this year. It's almost sad to go, especially when I think that hardly any of the people who have made this year so much fun will be continuing next year.

In honour of them and in honour of the big room full of desks that became like a second home, I present ... [drum roll] ... HONOURS ROOM QUOTES of 2008. These were recorded faithfully over the year on four big pieces of paper we had stuck on the wall. Some were quotes from history books we happened to be reading which we found particularly amusing, others were quotes from us which were particularly funny, especially out of context. I'm not including all, because some could be interpreted as ... inappropriate. But almost everything we said this year that we thought worthy of immortality is on this post.

The characters have been listed before, in the Honours Room Murder Mystery. But one term you may need to know is:
480 - this was the university coding for our Research Paper/dissertation/thesis - whatever you would like to call it.

Wisdom of historians

"Only in terms of alcohol consumption was the East outstripping the West."
Mazower on Eastern Europe under Communism.

"When I was first a research student, my supervisor said to me, quite seriously, at the end of the first term: 'Now don't work every day of the vacations; do take Christmas Day off.' I fear that I took Boxing Day off as well."

"Shakespeare predicts Trotsky betraying the Soviet Union for Fascism."
Lion Feuchtwanger.

Walter Duranty on the 1932-33 Russian famine: "There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition."

"The cock-up theory is much better than an intentionalist theory."
Miles Fairburn.

And wisdom of the Honours students

Several of the same theme, which just had to be recorded for the utter irony...
27 April: "I think my 480's going to be quite straightforward."
Amendment #1, 1 July 2008: "Oh f***."

3 June: "As soon as I hand in this essay, the rest of the year's going to be really really easy."

31 July: "Screw everyone, I'm doing what I want now."

Allie and Bella, a friendship of discovery:
Q: Why do dictators have moustaches? (Allie)
A: Because they're stupid. (Bella)

Q: Why do Marxists write in the future tense? (Allie)
A: Because they're stupid. (Bella)

Q: Anything.
A: Ask Michael [our supervisor].

Also related to our brilliant supervisor:
"Michael doesn't read books. He absorbs through osmosis."

Out of context creepiness:
"I wish I was Stalin. You can be Trotsky, 'cos you've got glasses."
Allie. I promise you, this made perfect sense in context.

"Murder is always very relaxing."
Allie. Ditto.

"It's not mass murder, it's purifying the human race."
Nathan. Again, out of context.

"It takes a pretty honest man to send hundreds of thousands of men to their deaths."
Nathan. Seriously out of context.

Blame alcohol:
"The frog was saying, 'Eric, you're my man'."

"There is an inherent flaw in the fact that there is beer in the fridge."

"I need to be hit with the motivation stick."

"Kill, maim, eviscerate."

"Mugabe doesn't count as a standard guy."

"I'm going to go slap von Ranke around for a little while, show him who's boss."
Eric. This needs explanation: Leopold von Ranke, the father of modern academic history, was the subject of one of Eric's essays.

"Now Allie, the Engineers Registration Act of 1924 is always relevant."

"Roosevelt and Hitler: Brothers in Arms."
Eric. Who thought this would be a bad/awesome title for a thesis.

Coining of new words:
"Mortopsy" (Bella)
"Reconstored" (Eric)
"Chroniclology" (Eric)
"Noviet" (Allie - Nazi + Soviet)
Literary historians are "literaristorians"? "literistorians"? "literians"? "literararians"? (Allie, Bella)

And finally:
"We're here to learn?!"


E. said...

Nothing better than some high-grade academic humor--thanks for the laughs!

sarakastic said...

Sounds like such a fun group

pilgrimchick said...

Those were great--certainly something to miss. I particularly liked the statement about deaths due to "malnutrition"--the distinction was very amusing.