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Build Your Own ‘Ath Question Filibuster’: a How-to Guide


Ath season is upon us, and the savviest of us know that the Q&A following the talk is where to really make your mark. Do you admire those inefficient, braggadocious fucks who seem to innately understand how to ask the longest and most unintelligible questions? Unsure how to prove your intellectual worth? We’ve pieced together the perfect formula, so look no further and simply follow the tutorial below, soon enough you’ll be the belle of the ball!

“Hi, I’m a _______ looking to own you.”

  1. student
  2. angry townsperson
  3. professor

“Thank you so much for _________”

  1. your precious, limited time that I wholeheartedly intend to squander.
  2. the speech that I only half-listened to in anticipation of asking this question.
  3. the words of wisdom that I’m going to add to my success manifestation collage.
  4. providing this opportunity for me to academically kick your ass.
  5. unwittingly picking me and allowing me to one-up you.

“When you discussed ________ in your speech, it made me really think about ___________.” *Pick two 

  1. starving orphans in the Bay Area
  2. the pervasive multiculturalism eroding staunch American values
  3. Capitalism
  4. which fork to use for dessert
  5. the implications of the Constitution as written in comic sans
  6. the duality of my insecurity and superiority complexes
  7. the tenet of *coded free speech and how far CMC will ride that wave to receive useless accolades from ultra-conservative institutions and more funding from Daddy Kravis

“You see, I am very interested in ________ …”

  1. self-promotion
  2. self-promotion
  3. wasting everyone’s time while promoting myself

“… and I am curious about it’s connection to ________”

  1. making myself look really good out here.
  2. making myself look intellectually elite out here.
  3. making myself look like a damn fool out here.

“So I guess my question in relation to your talk is ________”

  1. not actually related to your talk.
  2. not a question.
  3. not appropriate given the delicate geo-political climate at hand.

*At the conclusion of this incoherent mess, the speaker should silently death stare at you for a few seconds while considering their response. If you have done everything right, they should ask the following: “I’m not sure I entirely follow your line of thought, can you please clarify that for me?” This is where you grin maniacally and start over, carefully ensuring that this second round is longer than the first and 3 times as vague.

Take a bow, champ. You did it.

Extra points for:

  • Mentioning your previous/upcoming summer internship and research opportunities
  • Clutching the microphone too tightly for an Ath fellow to rip it out of your hands
  • Stopping to take a sip of water and mop the sweat off your forehead (it’s from the lights and it is NOT from fear)
  • Pivoting and gesturing around the room like everyone’s in on your sick little charade (they’re not and they hate, yet begrudgingly respect you)


  • Biggest dick
  • John Faranda’s Yacht
  • A free pass to behave like Gordon Ramsey in Restaurant Disaster at the Motley
  • Being able to leave the Athenaeum immediately after the speaker fails to answer your question
  • One extra point on your PPE application


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