Associate professor Henry Moissan at the University of Florida reported yesterday that the complete and systematic mental debilitation of his second-year graduate, Sean Lewis, had reached its fruition. "I'm frankly surprised it took two full years, but we got to him nonetheless," stated a self-satisfied Moissan.
"Until yesterday, there was still a gleeful spark of hope in his eyes whenever he spoke of his research project," professor Moissan began, "but we managed to crush that beneath the overbearing weight of two years of uninterrupted criticism."
The final coup de grâce came yesterday afternoon, during a departmental meeting at which Lewis was to present his ongoing research. During his presentation, department chair professor Stephen McPherson interrupted to request a mechanistic explanation of the biradical process Lewis had proposed, sources state. "Just go ahead and put it on the white board," continued McPherson after tossing a dry erase marker at Lewis.
Sensing his trepidation, Moissan interjected "It's a simple biradical mechanism -- undergrad level stuff, really." Fifth-year graduate student Mike Smith later recalled attempting to help Lewis to no avail, "I saw him floundering up there. The other advisors were circling like Orcas around a wounded sea lion. So I did the only thing I could think of, I tried to toss him a softball; I just interrupted and asked about the methyl-shift he mentioned on the previous slide. But he froze up and couldn't answer that either."
In a later interview, McPherson recalled "I saw we had broken his composure, so we went to work on his will. I knew he would break; they all do."
As of press time, the soulless husk remaining of Lewis was spotted mindlessly wandering the hallways of the chemistry department mumbling unintelligibly to himself.