What if your supervisor was from Lord of the Rings, here is a look at what these characters would be like as supervisors and academics in real life!
Dr. Gollum – Has spent his life investigating one scientific question. Has a blinkered and unwavering view which cannot be influenced by anyone, which can often lead to irrational and heated arguments. Be careful, this supervisor may leave you sweating it out in hot lava. However, you can’t fault Dr. Gollums work ethic, plotting, I mean working, during all non-sleeping hours. Supervisor Rating – 1/10.
Professor Gandalf – Extremely knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects, but has a tendency to disappear just before things become difficult. Only reachable by Eagle mail, which is somewhat a hindrance. Favourite saying - "You Shall Not Pass", which isn't great for morale. Biased towards Hobbits, not an equal opportunities employer. Often confused with Professor Dumbledore. Supervisor Rating - 6/10
Dr. Boromir – One does not simply pass a PhD. Be careful, this supervisor may try and steal your shiny hard work and publish it himself, in the end though they will do the right thing, but it is touch and go for a while! Supervisor Rating - 4/10.
Professor Aragorn (Strider) – A broody and mysterious academic. Can be trusted to make the right decision and give good opinions and help, regardless of the length it time it takes. Loves fieldwork, especially mountain climbing, so expect to get dragged along on many expeditions. Very worldly wise, excellent at securing large research grants. Supervisor Rating – 9/10.
Dr. Arwen – A little indecisive at times, does she want to go to that conference on the distant shores or not? Some of her published work is so good it almost seems like magic, publishes in Nature Geoscience yearly. Also adept in the field. Supervisor Rating 9/10.
Professor Galadriel – All knowing and incredibly intelligent, politically aware so she knows who to work with for the best results. Easy to communicate with, so good that she knows what you are thinking sometimes! Has the ability to be in more than one place at the same time, a useful skill for an academic. Can be a little scary sometimes, particularly when plotting a coup for head of department. But will likely thing better of it, so no need to worry. Supervisor Rating 9/10.
Drs. Legolas and Gimli – You get this pair two for the price of one. Rarely in the office and difficult to get hold of. Both have their individual specialties, neither interested in responsibility just along for the ride! Legolas has a problem, he thinks he is above the laws of physics - doesn't make for good science. Supervisor Rating 5/10.
Postdoctoral Researchers: Frodo and Samwise Gamgee – Frodo doesn’t quite know what he is doing. It's a good thing that these two come as a pair. When Samwise Gamgee isn't in the pub, he is a loyal and hardworking academic who makes a great supervisor. Be prepared to have all meetings in the pub, but don't worry as Samwise will supply the beer, in annoying half pints though. Frodo isn't really sure whether he wants an academic career, liable to stare into the distance pensively during meetings. Supervisor Rating 5/10.
Emeritus Professor Bilbo – Respected within the field but with a habit of going missing without warning. A little forgetful and not up with modern technology, but looks very good for his age. Won’t reply to emails, spends most of his time reminiscing, doesn’t really publish anymore or has published so much that he barely notices the new papers! Supervisor Rating 3/10.
Professor Saruman – A controversial figure. His office is in the top of the faculty building as he likes to tread on other people. Knows his stuff but makes the wrong decisions, particularly where collaborators are concerned. Supervisor Rating 1/10.
Dr. Sauron – You can feel the gaze of this supervisor at all times. Avoid at all costs, unless you are an Ork and even then you are likely to be thrown into the deep end. His research practices are extremely suspect. Yet to gain promotion to Professor as he had a large career break finding himself again. Supervisor Rating 0/10.
Disclaimer: The above descriptions are fictional. It is meant an amusing look at academic life and supervisors which should not be taken seriously. Any resemblance to real people is a huge coincidence.
Well, what a terrible film that was. I have wanted to see this film for a while, mainly because it is located on one of my favourite places to go, Stromboli. So me and the wife spent a somewhat extortionate £12 for the DVD, set up some popcorn and a nice red and set to watching the film.
Ingrid Bergman's character marries a local of Stromboli, without really knowing what it would be like when she gets there, which in the 1950s was quite a remote location! The film is all about how she tries to adapt to life on the island. Needless to say she has a miserable time throughout the whole of the film, and cries a lot. The one fantastic thing about this film is seeing what life was like on the island during the time (assuming that Rossellini portrayed it somewhat realistically), with the major employment the fishing industry, and in particular what a somewhat major eruption of the volcano may be like to experience. During all this she discovers that her husband is abusive, and when she gets pregnant tries to escape the island with the help of another good looking fisherman. Not entirely sure what happens at the end of the film, she tries to escape by going to Ginostra (via the summit) and getting a boat, but ends up collapsed on the summit of the volcano crying (again). In the end we don't know whether she commits suicide, stays on the island, or manages to leave. That pretty much sums up the whole film.
On the version of the film that I bought there are several extras, including an overview of the film at the time and controversy surrounding it, involving the relationship between Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossillini, but also of a competing film called Volcano (set on Vulcano) which was also in production. This extra was probably better than the film itself!
My recommendation: if you have been to Stromboli and are interested in how it may have looked 60 odd years ago, give it a go, because it certainly is fascinating. I certainly wouldn't consider this a movie classic however.