Olli Toivanen's Cardinal Numbers and the Papacy

Gods of the graduate students

The following names and attributes are culled from painstaking research among the wild graduate-students of Academia. What rites and ululations are offered in service of these savage deities can not be repeated here; their worship is a demeaning task, and mostly taken to make sense of a hostile and confusing world — for like all primitive tribes of humankind, graduate-students ascribe their innermost characteristics and desires to numinous divinities to keep themselves from self-examination, or the bother of changing their ways.

Mongwhas the Indolent, the Creeper-at-the-Deadline. He who assures the graduate student that there is no need to work today, everyday.

Kakarad, the Screaming Skull. Who for a minute draws the graduate student away, and that same minute compels the advisor to check in.

Rutatagwain and Rotatarin, the Twins of the Flickering Visage. They offer a result, and then snatch it away; offer it, and then snatch it away, faster and faster until a stark certainty or gibbering confusion is reached.

Hortswarthi, the Devourer. Who taketh half of every hour, and half of all work produced; these will never be seen again.

Znacz-Oszustwo-Cauchy, the Many-Lettered One, the Lord of Names. Who confuses the spelling of foreign names; who makes trouble for the pronouncer of such; who strikes terror into the heart of those who must thank a far-away but now close eminence by name.

Przepraszam, the Courteous One. He is the elliptical, circumnavigating spirit of communication from above, the one who dispenses unwillingness to often offer concrete comments, all for the reason of subtleties not known to the one commented on.

Dzienkujen, the Deferential One. He is the smiling, formal one, the speaker from positions below, the one who gives out such platitudes and generalities as can in no way concretely and certainly expose their giver as an ignorant fool, unlike statements with fact and risk in them.

Bhahaedema, the Ring of Coffee. The lord of the burning throat! Of the stomach-in-flames! Of shaking hands measuring yet another cup! Of a world gyrating to a point, as a spoon gyrateth in a cup of the cursed black oil of thought! Be there, Bhahaedema, be there when I call on thee, but be not my constant companion, be not the desire of my mornings and nights, for thy companionship is ruination and damnation, for if you stay, soon I desire more of you — more, for the same burning-pitch clarity, the same sharp-edged beauty — more, and more, until I am lost in thee, and only thy bubbling ink-smooth laughter remains, as not unlike milk in coffee I dissolve into thee!

Urangzeb, the Fell Lord of Wishes. Makes the professor fall ill, and gives the assistant professor's child a fever, thus postponing seminars and research-progress meetings.

Randi-Roller, the Wheels-for-Eyes, Pips-on-Cheeks. This being is made of dice and cards, and determines all things, and all of them randomly: grants, impact factors, the professor's mood and what the Master's students know today. He (or she, or it) controls the cafeteria prices, and rents, and bus fares, and the graduate student's pay or stipend; all these, and more, are fluxfully and senselessly decreed by Randi-Roller.

Koobecaf, the Eater of Time, the Shortener of Days, the Liked Lord, the Sharer of Lies, the Evil Gnome of the Sugar Mountain, the Blue-Hued Storm of Rushed Words.