Grad Life: A Legless Bull Humping the Window Cow

Posted by barb on Aug 10, 2004 in Thesis/Grad Life |

Frequently, the pressures of grad school would manifest themselves as totally insane conversations between me and other grads. Perhpas the pinnacle of this behavior was a discussion I had with Jocko about the “window cow”.

My university has one of those cows with a hole in it’s stomach that can be accessed through a “window” on it’s side. The cow is usually grazing in a pasture that is right on the path between the parking lot and the astronomy building. (Yup, there’s even a barn right across from the astronomy building, but while it’s cute to see the tiny goats in the spring, it does not produce a “country fresh” odor that you’d want in your house.) This “window” is mounted on the side of the cow with a support that protrudes out from the cow’s side by an inch or so.

One day, as Jocko and I were walking out to the parking lot, a thought struck me, and, of course, I articulated this thought. “So, how would they breed the window cow? I mean, couldn’t a bull just rip that window right out?”


Jocko’s logical response was probably something like, “I don’t think they would breed the window cow.” But I didn’t let it go.

“Maybe they could use a legless bull. You know, one without front legs. Of course, he’d have trouble balancing on the cow.”

We made our way out to the parking lot, mulling over the possibilities of a legless bull humping the window cow.

When I arrived the next day, Jocko said he had come up with a solution to the window cow problem. It took me a minute to figure out what he was talking about, since I had promptly forgotten the conversation as soon as I got in my car the previous evening.

Jocko, on the other hand, had been giving serious consideration to the legless bull problem. He had come up with an idea for a contraption that could convey the legless bull as well as allow the bull to…hump…the window cow. It would have two wheels in the front and a sling-like thing to hold the bull’s body. But there would be some kind of pulley system that would allow the bull to…um…mount the cow.

I don’t think the window cow conversation has anything to do with it, but Jocko left grad school after our first year. I guess our enlightening conversations weren’t enough to combat the utter hopelessness that grad school engenders.

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