My days in grad school, now known to geologists as the Pleistocene, were remarkable both for their signal lack of productivity and for their relentless mortification of the flesh.
In those days, I learned all about rice and beans and dal and rice and ramen noodles and whatever. I learned about Black Label pounders in returnable bottles and rolling my own cigarettes. I learned about making my own Melitta coffee filters.
I had a Melitta eight-cup coffee pot in grad school that required special cone shaped filters, Number 6. When you can find them, which isn’t often. Sure, you can always find the Number 4 filters, but these are so short, you must needs stand there and titrate the water drop by drop so as not to overwhelm the cone. Once you locate the Number 6 filters, they’re three and four bucks for a box of forty. Absurdity. Without Ceres and Bacchus, Apollo grows cold.
After some thought and some experimentation, the Grad School Coffee Filter – a feat of utilitarian origami, surely. It converts two Mr. Coffee basket style filters (maybe a buck for three hundred) into a single Number 6 size cone. Diagrams can be had here.
The weight of the coffee and water will keep the folds straight and secure, even when chucking it into the trash afterwards. I do, however, recommend that you fold over the excess filter paper around the rim of the filter holder, as shown in the photo. Keeps it from drooping in when you’re pouring the water.
Of course, now that I’m back in the world and working for a living, I drink nought but very noisy espresso and have no use for such things. But I still see starving grad students on the bus. I can not give them wisdom – and would not, if I could – but I can give them this nifty fold.
Wait till you get to MLA, you silly children – you’ll have no more need for wakefulness. You will seek to brew your decaf with Lethe-water all of the days of your life.