It was green, hardbound, and 500 pages thick. The gold embossed letters gleam when the lights hit them. Its paper’s substance is impeccable, truly presentation paper, which costs five times more than the ones they use for photocopier machines, because it is five times more satisfying to watch the ink kiss the surface. It immortalizes a year’s worth of mental labor on radiation simulation, something that would scare regular people, not exactly a conversation starter at a party, it could turn champagne cold and bitter.
There are 7 copies sitting on the table, each one ready for submission, the library, the physics department, their laboratory, and the other three for posterity, possibly glimpsing back into the days when it was all the author of this thesis ever thought about. Looking back at the rush that kept them going, the synthesis of all they ever learned in college, to open a path to conferences, publications, the essential road to graduate school: where everyone must go.