I’d be outraged, but I’m just too dumb

Rachel just passed on on this spectacularly wrongheaded article on how fatties are dummies, from a blog that bills itself as “The Healthy Living Blog” but reads more like “The Weight-Obsessed Collection of Recycled Content That I Don’t Recommend Reading”:

The study was carried out on 2,223 healthy French people – both men and women – with ages ranging between 32 and 62. The subjects had to take cognitive tests in 1996 for the first time and then again, in 2001 after a 5 year period. Findings of the study provided strong evidence that individuals with high BMIs score lower at cognitive tests than those with normal body weights. For instance, results of a test based on word memory recall proved that normal-weight people were able to recall 9 out of 16 words, while overweight individuals could only recall 7 out of 16 words.

Now, after a few hours of wracking my gravylike brains, I came up with a couple of factors that might explain this correlation, such as the tendency of people in lower socioeconomic classes to be both fatter and less educated, or the increased likelihood that fat people are starving themselves at any given time and suffering from the attendant reduced cognitive functioning. But wait, some of the factors I so painstakingly came up with, they’d actually controlled for! They claim to have adjusted for “age, sex, educational level, blood pressure, diabetes, and other psychosocial covariables.” So gorsh, how could I possibly critique this article? Guess I must be just as dumb as I am fat.

But wait: the plot, like my skull and my waistline, is about to thicken.

Rachel wrote, “Personally, I gave the student address at my college graduation, delivering a six-minute speech completely from memory (even the university prez was impressed!) to more than 13,000 people and not to mention, I graduated with high honors. I have trouble believing that I just somehow fall outside the bell curve.” I’m sure most people here could rattle off a similar list of accomplishments — hell, there’s nobody blogging at SP who doesn’t have a Master’s — but we don’t even have to resort to anecdotal evidence, compelling as these testimonials to our brilliance might be. Because when digging for the French study in the Neurology archives, I found a much more recent study carried out in Chicago. I’ll quote the most relevant part of the abstract:

Results: There was a significant curvilinear association between BMI and cognitive function scores at baseline… However, the associations were much smaller and no longer significant among participants with no cognitive decline at baseline as measured by a Mini-Mental State Examination score of greater than 24.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that greater body mass index in old age is not predictive of cognitive decline in a cognitively unimpaired community population.

Yes, the factor the French forgot to control for: existing cognitive decline. (Quick — come up with ten reasons why fat people with preexisting cognitive issues would fare worse than thin ones! Don’t worry, I’ll wait. I know you’re not too bright.)

Our friend at the Healthy Living Blog, the one illustrating a post about overweight subjects with an extremely fat naked man? She would have you believe that fat people are just dumber, and that fat will make you dumb, and that being less fat can make you less dumb. The researchers in Chicago? Through a miracle of science, they’ve noticed that actually the thing that impairs your cognitive functioning is impaired cognitive functioning. (Even the French researchers weren’t willing to say that losing weight would make you smarter; “No significant association was found between changes in BMI and cognitive function.” Once again, if you’re fat, you’re fucked; even if permanent weight loss solutions existed, they wouldn’t save you! Maybe you can grow two inches.)

Not that it’ll matter, if this gets picked up widely in the media. It didn’t matter that the “fat is contagious” study was desperately flawed. It didn’t matter that a causal relationship between fat and disease has never been proven, or that it often seems to work in reverse. There are plenty of people out there who are just howling for bad science to sate their ravenous hunger for bigotry, who have no interest in data or logic or sober experimentation if the alternative is an orgy of self-important, uninformed hatred.

But yeah… we’re the dumb ones.

73 thoughts on “I’d be outraged, but I’m just too dumb

  1. Double horseshit. I’m fat with an IQ of 144. Guess I’ll send
    back the master’s I’m working on. And the next time Jay Leno asks
    ten THIN Americans to name a country that starts with the
    letter ‘U’ and they say China while I’m screaming Uganda
    at the screen, I’ll remember that I’m fat and I shouldn’t
    know the answer. Of course, if it was up to the bs American
    media, every woman in America would spend more time trying
    to get fake breasts and matching personalities like Joan
    Rivers and less time trying to actually learn something.

    Whoever wrote this article, doesn’t know diddly squat about
    fat people

  2. Well, I am giving the commencement address at my college graduation in May, and have a 4.0. Let us not forget the large scholarships that are paying for this endeavor.

    But I am fat, so I must not be smart. Maybe I am just wasting my time?

  3. Wow. Seriously. The findings of this study are absolutely amazing. I mean, I studied extra hard in school because I figured if I was extra smart, people would like me and not tease me BECAUSE I was fat. I graduated both high school and college with honors…and the grad schools can’t leave me alone…but y’know, my belly is SO gonna keep me from my accomplishments.

    When the hell will the madness end?

  4. The “research” team should visit my tier one research institution and take a look at the PhDs. From my unscientific, completely non-generalizable qualitative observations, there sure are a whole lot of fat people doing some really high level thinking…

    But I shouldn’t even feel the need to reply, when the asshats (god I love that word) didn’t even control for cognitive function…

  5. Wow. Illustrating a “scientific” article with a very, very, VERY old internet meme photo definitely adds to your credibility. Wait, hang on, no it doesn’t.

    I have to wonder if the researchers (or anyone reposting this article) ever considered the WHY. Hm, alcoholics’ livers tend to fail at a rate much higher than the normal population’s – well gosh, that’s because of this and this and this measurable effects of alcohol on the liver. Fat people tend to be dumber? Well, that must be because.. uhhh.. because.. uhh.. All that fat is sucking resources away from their brains! Of course!

    It astounds me whenever anyone tries to prove something based on a study which measures only correlation. Even ignoring that correlation != causality, it seems such an astounding leap in logic to say “Well, I polled x people and discovered this astounding truth about the universe!” And everywhere else in science where the x is big enough that maybe there’s really something to it, the immediate response should be to figure out what is causing the correlation (and examine what other factors are skewing your study), not to march into town shouting about how stupid fat people are.

    I mean. Duhhhrrr. The twenty pounds I’ve gained in the last two years just suddenly caught up to me! I can feel my IQ dropping.. dropping… Hey, anyone want to go see a Larry the Cable Guy flick?

  6. Not only are fatties dumb, but we need to be shown dramatizations of horrible deaths in order to shock the fat right off of us.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/10/22/diet.obesityads.ap/index.html

    “But the government’s new batch of obesity spots declines even to show a fat person, let alone wag a finger for gluttony or sloth.

    No one is advocating public service announcements that ridicule fat people; experts say such spots would do more harm than good. But critics complain that the three new spots premiering this month are a wimpy attack on the costly and deadly explosion of obesity in America….

    drama is lacking in the obesity spots — for example, none have offered a surgeon’s view of fat, or dramatized a death from Type 2 diabetes”

  7. Oh my fucking god.

    Seriously, my head might explode.

    EXPLODE.

    I may have to quit reading this blog, for it makes me SO ANGRY when we consentrate so much dumb in one place.

    Fat people are stupid? Not enough drama in anti obesity ads? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!!!

    RARRRR!

  8. I’ll give them a dramatization of a horrible death caused by fat: I’ll sit on the asshats chests and slowly suffocate them (and I’m sure my almost 400 lbs could do that easily). Oops, I forgot, my fat is supposed to be killing ME, not THEM. Dammers.

  9. “But the government’s new batch of obesity spots declines even to show a fat person, let alone wag a finger for gluttony or sloth.

    No one is advocating public service announcements that ridicule fat people; experts say such spots would do more harm than good.

    How, exactly, does one create an anti-obesity ‘public service announcement’ that “wag[s] a finger for gluttony and sloth” without ridiculing fat people? Or am I just too dumb to figure that out?

  10. You know, for a country which is so adamantly against socialist type programs like universal healthcare, we sure are interested in getting all up in other people’s business.

  11. So, I just had a thought! (took me a while to get there, mind you.) If fat is contagious and fat makes you dumb…I ain’t gonna have much in the way of friends anymore, am I?

  12. All I could think of when reading this post, was: What about Einstein?

    Check out this young Albert:

    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000108.html

    OMG, the guy was FAT! – And very cute, I might add …

    So, uhm, he’s like kind of a paradox, a social wonder, a once in a million lifetimes abnormality, being fat and genius? Oh right, he was all of that. EVEN with(out) the fat.

  13. Well, lest we be accused of favoring sauce for the goose but not the gander, even all of us smarty-pants fatsos have to stand by our assertion that the plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” just as when people stop by to say “well *I* dieted and kept it off!” I mean, we could just be freaks of nature.

    Thank goodness there’s just enough of us freaks to latch on to the wafting scent of bullshit curling off that article in little cartoon waves and take it apart with AKTUAL SCIENCE.

  14. I’d like to get my hands on that study and find out in which way exactly they violated mathematics to get to their results. Does it strike anyone as odd that the only numbers in the results is this peculiar series of “regression coefficients”? If they had any more convincing numbers, don’t you think they would have put them in the abstract?
    Medical researchers tend to do that, let their data run through their statistics software up and down in every conceivable way until a “significant p-value” happens, and then everyone screams Heureka and publishes. It works! I’ve done it before. ;-)

    Please check out the p-value generator if you’d like to share that moment of happiness in your own research. (I’m pretty certain that the number of sad puppies correlates strongly with the number of godawful fat-phobic blog posts, maybe someone here would like to publish some data on that?)

  15. OMFG I nearly died laughing at Vesta44′s comment.

    And yeah, I seem to remember a couple different science profs, and a couple different math profs, for that matter, teaching me that numbers can be skewed to show whatever data the person presenting them wants. In fact, I also think that my AP European History teacher said that too… And my AP Human Geography teacher… And my Ap English teacher… And… shall I continue?

    I learned to read at 18 months. I speak four languages and retain information like my brain is a sponge. I got nothing lower than 4′s on all of my AP exams (save physics, and I hated that class and played Pokemon on my GameBoy throughout it. Got a 2 on the AP exam and a C in the class). I read classic British literature and Shakespeare and the Iliad FOR FUN. I think up topics and write essays BECAUSE I WANT TO. I want to get a job with the CIA, in espionage.

    But now I know my life has been some sort of dream. Thanks, all you scientificky types, for letting me know that my weight will always triple my IQ. Wait, wait… I mean, I shouldn’t know the math for that, so…

    uh…

    (dang, I’m not good at this “being stupid” stuff, how does it go again? Oh yeah!)

    DURRRRRR!

  16. Yellowhammer, you don’t have to leave! Think cockatoo! COCKATOO!

    Elusis:
    Well, lest we be accused of favoring sauce for the goose but not the gander, even all of us smarty-pants fatsos have to stand by our assertion that the plural of “anecdote” is not “data,” just as when people stop by to say “well *I* dieted and kept it off!” I mean, we could just be freaks of nature.

    Oh absolutely. It’s fun to say “well my BMI is x and my IQ is 4x, neener,” but if that was all we could say, I’d be worried. Fortunately, it isn’t.

    fashionablenerd, I think you’ll still have friends, they’ll just be friends who are too fat and dumb to see how fat and dumb you are. It all works out!

    attrice:
    drama is lacking in the obesity spots — for example, none have offered a surgeon’s view of fat, or dramatized a death from Type 2 diabetes”

    Holy shit. That probably deserves a blog post in and of itself. Y’all, we’re NEVER going to get the message until we’re strapped down and shown fattie snuff films. In the name of PUBLIC HEALTH, of course.

    Em, the P-value generator is AWESOME.

  17. See, it’s shit like this that makes me want to leave this planet and start my own. But I’m too dumb to do that.

    But hey, think about the eugenics selling point for the gubberment!!

  18. This study reminds me of the old belief that women could never be as intelligent as men because their “monthly cycle” diverted too much blood away from their brains. Bigoted and ludicrous (OMG! My BMI is above 25! Am I smart enough to use that word?). The only thing this study proves is that the researchers aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are.

  19. Oh man, if only I had known this a few years earlier, my chubby, cognitively impaired mother could have just gone on a diet instead of getting a shunt installed in her skull! See, when you’re skinny, any extra cerebrospinal fluid just evaporates into a pleasant-smelling mist.

  20. Mensa member weighing in (AHAHAHAHAHAHA I crack myself up) I’m not actually surprised. In fact, in conversation with my guy the other day I was wondering when they would manage to take a study, correlate fat with stupid and publish, of course with the whole correlation=causation slant.

    Gotta love it. Frankly I think a study that is so obviously dumb will end up recruiting more people to FA. I mean it’s an accepted truth that fat=unhealthy, so when the media continues to repeat it, no one thinks twice. But this study? This one will have people googling for veracity. And they are going to find the FA community. And then we can all organize and jump in the ocean and get that tidal wave going already.

  21. Bigoted and ludicrous (OMG! My BMI is above 25! Am I smart enough to use that word?)

    Only if you spell it “ludacris.”

  22. Better title for that article: “Study Shows Fat People Unable to Make Staggering Leap of Logic Required to Swallow This Pile of Complete Tripe.”

    Secondary heading: “Thin People Can’t Do It Either, But We Edited That Part Out.”

  23. I’m pretty certain that the number of sad puppies correlates strongly with the number of godawful fat-phobic blog posts, maybe someone here would like to publish some data on that?

    Em, PLEASE DO THAT FOR US AS A GUEST POST!!!

    I have lolled too many times to count on this thread. You guys rock.

  24. You know what’s really pathetic? Reading this to my 10 year old daughter (who is starting to have weight-related self-esteem issues), even SHE understood how ridiculous this all is.

    As a side point: I remembered being IQ tested at the age of 6, and it being a big deal, but I didn’t remember the outcome of it (hell, I was 6, after all). So I just went and took an online one. I realize that they’re not 100% accurate, but I got a score of 131. ABOVE AVERAGE intelligence.

    And I’m fat. I always have been.

    I guess that means I’m just too stupid to realize I’m stupid??

    You guys are too funny. I’m so glad I popped over here today, even if just to make fun of idiot researchers trying to shove bullshit down our throats. You’ve put a smile on my fighting-off-tonsilitis-and-feeling-like-crap face today. :)

  25. I’ve lost fairly significant amounts of weight three times in my life (80, 100, 30 pounds, respectively – and they call fat people lazy and unmotivated!). These periods of weight loss coincided with my (totally blow off) senior year of high school, the two years before I went to law school when I had a crappy job and no hobbies, and the summer before last when I had a good but easy job and no hobbies (and had just gone on an antidepressant with weight-loss as a side effect). I’ve always regained the weight during subsequent periods of academic focus – undergrad, law school, and that hideous summer of bar study. I chalked it up to not being able to focus on academics while remaining sufficiently obsessed with food to keep my natural weight at bay (it’s hard to make time to write down everything you eat when your entire day’s worth of free time and leisure consists of staring out the window on the train ride home), but I wonder if there wasn’t something else at play, such as an inability to function at the required cognitive levels when I was basically starving myself.

    My good friend and I used to marvel at how hungry we would get after a few hours of serious studying. My first year of law school, I made a little deal with myself that I could eat whatever and whenever I wanted (NOVEL IDEA I KNOW) as long as I studied. I gained 25 pounds and finished the semester with a 3.8. Imagine that! (I then went on to gain 30 more pounds and finish with a lower GPA, but that’s okay, too.)

    All of which is basically just more anecdotal evidence in opposition to this ding dong study.

  26. On the subject of the fattie snuff films, er, anti-obesity ads, I went and checked out msn.com’s reporting on this, and was dismayed to find that a former colleague of mine is one of the masterminds behind the ad campaigns from the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine. Patrick was my editor at an alternative weekly in Northern California for 4 years, and we always got along really well, even with my fat girlfriend and all. Now he supervises the demonization of fatties on the air. Maybe that’s why he didn’t answer my email a few months back. He tracked back to Big Moves’ web site and must have just gotten overwhelmed by teh fatness.

    Sigh. Dammit.

  27. Again, life intrudes and I’m unable to keep up with zee internet. Darn time zones! Stupid pumpkin seed roasting!

    Ahem.

    As it turns out, I’m not only fat, and short, but I have rather large “tracts of land” and one theory that might explain why not only fat people, but also women, are dumb, is that it’s fat itself (especially stored in one’s bra vicinity) that causes a decline in cognitive function.

    Another theory that I support is that the fat itself (operating as an organ) takes over the brain, diverting attention from the task at hand (say, annoying cognitive function test) to more important matters, such as the hunt for food, drive to find a sexual partner in order to reproduce (and create more fat colonies) and watch television (why aren’t we watching television RIGHT NOW?!? it screams).

    Also, just a thought, maybe biased researchers produce biased research? Can we control for that? I wanna see a graph showing the level of anti-fat bias on the x-axis, and the likelihood of producing anti-fat results on the y-axis. I say, let’s research the researchers. Require them to take some tests that demonstrate they are bias-free (or low-bias) before their results can be published.

    WellRoundedType2, M.P.H.

  28. I wonder if they did any testing on the functioning of the thyroid in the people they are alleging are both fat and stupid. As a poorly functioning thyroid can cause mental sluggishness and weight gain. This would be an actual medical CAUSE as opposed to the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

    I have an idea for some new research, lets see if we can find a relationship between people who buy into all the “We hate Fatties” stuff, and being painfully stupid.

    P-Value = .0095! Significant! Go and publish!

    WEEEE! Everyone I don’t like is dumb! Victory is MINE!

  29. That’s OK. According to last month’s study, fat people have a slower rate of cognitive decline. Basically, thin people need to be “handicapped” (in the golf sense) because they’re losing their cognitive abilities that much faster!

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/563150

    The results showed no significant changes in memory or cognitive function over 6 years of follow-up for overweight or obese subjects; rather, those with lower BMIs had more cognitive decline over the same period. “We do not know yet why being overweight or obese does not increase the risk for cognitive decline in old age; however, being underweight may be a correlate of the initial stages of Alzheimer’s disease,” said study author Maureen T. Sturman, MD, from Rush University Medical Center and John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois, in a statement from the American Academy of Neurology.

  30. PS the link to this page from the previous post is wrong. I’m letting you know just in case it wasn’t performance art ;-) (Actually, thank you for adding those links, I find them very useful and use them all the time.)

  31. PPS Or perhaps I’m the performance art. Your links seems fine now. I think that when I magnified the page it shifted everything. Sorry about the false alarm!

  32. art3mis, that’s hilarious — fat people have simultaneously lower, the same, and higher cognitive functioning than thin people. SCIENCE WORKS, BITCHES.

    (Of course science does work, but only if you don’t force results and jump to conclusions.)

  33. Wait! I have proof of its truth! I’m one of my class’s top achievers! And a lot of the really smart girls in high school are also really thin! The smartest girl and boy in last year’s senior class? Thin. My very smart and logical English teacher? Also thin.

    See? See? It’s true!

    (We’ll ignore that my current academic rivals are technically overweight [BUT they're those 'overweight because of muscle' types and they look thin so that doesn't count!] We’ll also ignore that both very brilliant math teachers at the school are likely obese or at the very least overweight)

  34. Someday, I’ll get tired of this shit and stop finding it hilarious. Probably not any time soon, though.

    I’m totally starting LOLfats today. Just for you.

  35. O hai. Teh fatz in ur brane, sukkin out ur smartz.

    I need to find a picture of my larger cat to add that caption to.

    (She’s definitely fat, but, you know, anecdotally speaking, she’s the smarter of the two cats. So fat doesn’t appear to have impaired her cognitive function, such as it is.)

  36. I think Kate is spot-on with one of the first two things she thought of – in fact, hasn’t there been some proper research done that proved that people who were restricting their eating DID do worse on cognitive tests? I remember reading about it – largely, actually, about the scorn of some figureheads of the diet industry when faced with the results – ‘Oh, don’t we all get a little bit distracted when it approaches lunchtime’ – well, yeah, if someone hasn’t eaten breakfast and has only a small salad to look forward to, you can kind of tell how ‘distracted’ they are because they’ve bored you spitless all morning about how many calories there were in YOUR breakfast, while you’ve been getting on and doing THEIR work. That or their tendency to gnaw the legs off colleagues. ;)

  37. I’m sure you would have said it if you’d written it, though. Because yes, calorie restriction definitely slows you down mentally.

  38. You so need to clear up this whole byline confusion. Maybe each person’s posts can be in a different font/size to distinguish each other. Often times I don’t even notice the byline and have to check back to see who wrote the post before I respond.

  39. Maybe each person’s posts can be in a different font/size to distinguish each other.

    I have to nix this idea right now, because all my graphic design sensibilities flared up at once.

    But yeah, maybe we really need to start putting pictures in, like at Shakesville. The template won’t let you do it but we could probably figure out a klugey way.

  40. Incidentally, Kate always writes her post titles in title case; SM and I always write them in sentence case. That might help for the interim.

  41. One thing you could do is compose posts in MS Word and then just copy-paste it into WordPress. That would allow you to do different fonts the easy way…

  42. Why don’t you all create a signature with your name, photo and/or avatar in it and just add it to the bottom of each post via html before you submit? Problem solved.

  43. While the really intelligent, thin people are trying to figure out what they can and can not eat, I am maintaining, if not loosing weight, by eating a moderate amount of anything I want, and leaving the table when I am full.

    Pretty smart for a fatty, huh?

  44. Fillyjonk-
    I’ve lurked a bit but I’ll be damned if you bring up that Chicago study. That Chicago study has some significant problems with bias- related to both the ethnicities and socioeconomic classes selected for that study. 3885 black and Caucasian participants in the south side of Chicago are not a good representative sample of people as a whole with their many ethnicities and socioeconomic classes. So unfortunately this study was flawed as well and the biases are well talked about at all.

    That said I’ll just plop my “stupid” astrophysicist plus sized ass in my office chair and find some more OMG! Near Earth Asteroids now ;-)

  45. Astrobabe, oh yeah, no doubt! For one thing, the conclusion that BMI does matter for people with existing cognitive decline is rife with assumptions. And unlike the French, they don’t claim to control for education level. Honestly, I have a feeling that a scrupulously-done study would turn up a conclusion no more shocking than this: fat people get a lower standard of care.

    But they did point to a major factor that the French study hadn’t considered. And having the two studies next to each other — similar methods, different conclusions, different factors considered important or unimportant — is a much more damning indictment than all the anecdotal evidence in the world. Both the studies have methodological problems, and interpretations of each can jump to some pretty unreasonable conclusions.

  46. Our friend at the Healthy Living Blog, the one illustrating a post about overweight subjects with an extremely fat naked man?

    At least he still has his head…

  47. While the really intelligent, thin people are trying to figure out what they can and can not eat, I am maintaining, if not loosing weight, by eating a moderate amount of anything I want, and leaving the table when I am full.

    Pretty smart for a fatty, huh?

    Also, JenniferLynn, think about how much cognitive science, astrophysics, and sociolinguistic meta-message analysis you’ll have time for in your free hours NOT spent figuring out what you can eat and not eat. Also pedicures.

    Joie, if you’re still reading, would you happen to know when the 2008 national gathering is? I didn’t receive my calendar yet.

    me can haz mensacheezburger?

  48. littlem – I have no idea. Since I moved to Australia I’ve lost all contact with the organization. This fat ass just can’t figure out how to do that :P

    Seriously, I should get around to that…

  49. Your guys lack of understanding of statistics and controlled studies pretty much supports what they are saying….
    It’s great that you have an IQ of 144, are giving the commencement address with a 4.0 GPA or have 5 PhDs, but that does not mean the study is flawed. Sure, there might be reasons why the study is flawed, but your anecdotal evidence does not challenge the results whatsoever.

  50. It’s great that you have an IQ of 144, are giving the commencement address with a 4.0 GPA or have 5 PhDs, but that does not mean the study is flawed.

    Right, which is why we talked RIGHT THERE IN THE POST, RIGHT AFTER Rachel’s anecdotal evidence that you quoted, about the reasons the study is flawed.

    Remember? The part where I said “we don’t even have to resort to anecdotal evidence”?

    No, you don’t remember, because you read about five words of the post and decided you had to educate us little ladies about statistics. Say something intelligent next time or I will delete and ban you.

  51. BMI is little better than pseudo-science anyway, neglecting as it does frame type and muscle mass. It is often misused to diagnose people individually – a too-convenient rule of thumb at best. I would be extremely skeptical of such a study, especially if it applies the BMI as simply a variable without any type of context – which is how its usually used.

  52. Itf it makes you feel better to so address some image you have of me, then by all means. The slideshow is useful, though; I’m surprised that I haven’t seen one such as this before, since the arbitrariness of the BMI cries out for rebuttal and ridicule.

  53. David’s been playing nice today.

    What can I say; I know how to read pingbacks and I have a memory longer than a couple of days. He’ll have to be nice for a while if he wants to drop the moniker.

  54. Ok, so I am sitting here trying not to lose my mind, and I thought of this post. I have two hours until I have to enter the room of terror: the oral preliminary exam for doctoral candidacy. If I fail, at least I can say I am dumb because I am fat, and not, you know, because I read this blog instead of studying.

  55. Kristin, happy to help. (And I’m sure you’ll do fine. Orals are fucking scary, but just keep your cool and you’ll be all right.)

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