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Where do the trees go when they die?

When they say that 30% of the rainforest  has been cut, do you know where the trees went?

They reincarnated in many sheets of paper that ended up stapled together in a scholarship application file. My scholarship application file.

I’m not going to give any details about the nature of this scholarship, out of political correctness. And because I don’t want this post to be the end of my PhD.

I’ll just tell you this: they ask for your CV in a certain format, the most idiotic I’ve seen. The same amount of information that could easily fit in 3 pages is scattered in what can go up to 30 pages if you are unlucky enough to have 20 publications (not my case!) in the last 5 years. 30 friggin’ pages. I’m surprised they don’t ask you how many stars you won during your last year of kindergarten or your GPA in grade one.


After you print your CV you have to print an even thicker one for your supervisor. Who most likely has more things to say about his/her career than you, poor PhD student do. This boosts up the total to ~60 pages.

To this add a filled out application form, 3 pages babbling about your research project, transcripts from undergrad and grad school, 3 letters of recommendation and your cupcake is almost ready!


Or so you’d think. But you’d be so wrong.

You need to dig inside your soul searching for the little monster that feeds on every bad thing that you do and make 6 copies of you application file. The whole shenanigan, 70 pages +. Multiply that by 6 and you get [gasp] 360 pages. The simple task of stapling the CV pages together requires the brawn power of the Incredible Hulk. Actually the brawn power of 6 Incredible Hulks cloned, genetically enhanced and pumped with steroids.

Then each of the 6 applications must be held in place by a paper clip. Which, out of the sheer forces applied to its fragile body will turn into an unrecognizable metal swirl or, if you’re lucky, something like this.


bent Objects Snail


Assuming that 100 students apply for that scholarship that means 36,000 sheets of paper, which means 72 packs of paper. Call me crazy but this to me screams “waste!” and makes me cringe. There should be a disclaimer somewhere saying “By agreeing to apply for this scholarship you participate in the deforestation of the Amazon area, the destruction of the ozone layer and the melting of the ice caps. Sweet dreams!”




Speaking of  trees and deforestation, did you know about ethicle, the search engine that plants a tree for every 100 searches?


And have you seen Home, the documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand? Here is the description on YouTube

We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate. The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being. For this purpose, HOME needs to be free. A patron, the PPR Group, made this possible. EuropaCorp, the distributor, also pledged not to make any profit because Home is a non-profit film. HOME has been made for you : share it! And act for the planet.

It’s beautifully made and so worth watching it.

Comments (2)

  • That is indeed a lot of paper. Maybe one day it will be recycled by a group of artists who turn it all into a big paper sculpture. Or maybe it won’t…. how depressing.

  • –@ Bookish Spazz: I know. It is depressing. Canadians are pretty environment-aware and they recycle a lot, thank God. But it’s still a waste of paper.


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