Fun fact: Why the dragon?
If you have been at NPS for any time at all, you’ve probably heard us referred to as the "Dragon Ladies." Originally, this was a pejorative term. Before 2001, theses were handed in as hard copy, having been laboriously typed on typewriters, late into the night—often by the students’ spouses. The review process was slow and painful; at times, the line of waiting students extended out of the thesis office door and down the hall. Any errors that were found in the review meant that entire pages had to be retyped—without introducing new errors. The thesis processors of the day countered strong student resistance with strong processor insistence to try to ensure a quality product for NPS.
The Dragon Lady moniker doubtless arose from students crying into their beers in the Trident Room. And, like any label that is catchy and irreverent, it stuck!
Today, we embrace the Dragon Lady title, not because we breathe fire—in fact, we are arguably the gentlest people the students encounter on their thesis odyssey—but because we embody other characteristics for which dragons are known. For example:
Dragons are very protective of their valuables. It’s said they will fight to the death to secure their golden hoard. OUR golden hoard is the high standard of the theses we work so hard with the students to achieve. And, we keep the thesis files safe in our archive.
Dragons are magical. As many a student has seen, we take problems that seem insurmountable, and make them disappear.
Dragons are fierce, dragons are powerful. While we don’t own the entire thesis writing process, we do try to lead from behind, and our office serves as a campus-wide 411 service for students, faculty, and staff. Although we are not omnipotent, our knowledge is powerful, and we use that power to help each class graduate on time.
So, Here Be Dragons. Dragons Be Good.