Listen to part of a conversation between a student and a professor.
Uh, excuse me, Professor. I wanted to talk to you about the paper due next Friday. I'm having some trouble finding enough information on the seasonal migration of the Alaskan Bar-tailed Godwits.
Ah, the Godwit, a fascinating species, yet a bit obscure I believe. There haven't been many studies on that particular bird though I do love the long brown bill. Did you know the Bar-tailed Godwit is the holder of the longest nonstop flight known for any bird, 6,835 miles from Alaska to New Zealand? Isn't that fascinating?
Of course, Professor. I was able to find that fact. Actually, it is stated in most of the resources I looked at. Unfortunately, it was about the only fact I was able to find on the Bar-tailed Godwit.
I see. Well, I thought it would be a little difficult researching the Godwit, but not that hard.
Well, yes it is, which is why I'm so concerned. The minimum length of the paper is, as you, uh, know, eight pages typed. I don't think I'll be able to find enough information for that length of a paper. I mean, I could probably stretch it to half that right now, but that would be pushing it.
Yes, I see your dilemma. Please understand that I did not intentionally want to put you in any distress. Please remind me when this paper is due.
It is due next Friday, sir.
Next Friday, hmm, I see. That gives you roughly one week to complete it, correct?
That's correct, sir. I'm really starting to panic because I have a number of other papers due next week, and then with finals the week after that, I'm worrying if I'm going to be able to put my best effort into this paper. And now I can't seem to find any info on the bird.
Well, I have an idea. Would you feel comfortable changing your topic this late in the game? I could assign you a more research friendly topic, and you could get to work on that. What do you, uh, think?
That might be a good idea as long as it isn't as obscure as the migrational habits of the Alaskan Godwit, Professor. What do you think would be a good topic?
Now, let's see. How about the cuckoos, which are genuine long distance migratory birds in the tropics? There's been tons written on them, of course, and I doubt you'll have any trouble finding enough stuff on them.
The cuckoo, huh? I'll be the laughing stock of our seminar. Can't you assign a bird with a better intellectual reputation than the cuckoo?
I do beg to differ. The cuckoo is a bird of impeccable intelligence. How most laymen think of the cuckoo as a silly, stupid bird is a misnomer!
Please, Professor! Can't you give me something different?
Oh, all right. Let's see here. Um, no, well, uh, how about the Pink-footed Goose? If I recall correctly, they migrate each year from Iceland to England. One of my colleagues has written four books on them, which I can let you borrow.
The Pink-footed Goose sounds perfect, Professor! And that would be wonderful if I could borrow those texts from you. I promise that I'll take excellent care of them and will return them just as they were.
I have the utmost trust in you.
Thank you, thank you, Professor. You've been very accommodating and patient with me, and I appreciate that. Most professors wouldn't have gone out of their way just for one student like you have. Thanks!
Oh, don't mention it. I know you guys are under a lot of pressure these days with all the new academic requirements, and it is the least I can do to help you out once in a while when I can. Now, why don't you get out of here and start to work on that paper? I'm really looking forward to, uh, reading about the Pink-footed Goose.
Okay, Professor. I will, and I won't let you down! Thanks again! Bye!