Talk about long-winded. The Dartmouth Review interviewed Priya Venkatesan, who babbled for two days straight. (Literally. The interviewer ran out of tape.) She flip-flops on whether or not she’ll sue and explains how Writing Program Director Tom Cormen used top-secret alphanumeric codes for covert intimidation:
PV: …One time Tom Cormen was sitting in the class, and she [a student] asked me, how many T’s are in Gattaca. This was the kind of question she was asking, “how many T’s are in Gattaca?,” and I was about to answer her and Tom Cormen pre-empted me, “two t’s.” I’ll leave you to interpret it.
TDR: No. No, I don’t understand that.
PV: I have to tell you: it means tenure track.
TDR: Oh, okay.
PV: Because I wasn’t tenured track.
TDR: Oh, okay, yes.
PV: They were trying to intimate that I wasn’t ready for tenure track.
TDR: Yes, okay, I didn’t realize that’s what that meant.
PV: I’m kind of making this leap because this is the kind of subversiveness that was going on in that environment. That [girl x] would ask how many t’s are in Gattaca and that Tom Cormen would respond, “two T’s” as if I had no grasp on tenure track. ..but with [girl x], something’s going on with her. I’m not a doctor, but she’s not all there.
This interview is so bizarre, it’s breathtaking. Venkatesan repeats every sentence at least five times, which explains why she never had time to answer questions during lecture. I tried really hard to imagine a context in which such loquaciousness would make sense-Dartlog is holding her captive? She is Scheherzade and silence is punishable by death?-but it’s hard. The interview is nearly 8000 words long (that’s 30 double-spaced essay-pages). And since you probably don’t want to read all that, we’ve got the Cliff’s Notes version after the jump.