Tag: Social Stuff

The Best Friends I’ll Ever Have

This deserves its own post.  Grad School has brought me the best friends I will probably ever have in my entire life.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always had friends.  I’m a very social person, and I enjoy having friendships.  I have been friends with my best girl friend since 6th grade (around 25 years or so).  I have been friends with my best guy friend since 9th grade (22 years).  They are still people I love.  I have kind of grown in different ways from the female best friend, but we still talk regularly.

Then there are the people I have met here – both in my cohort and outside of academia.  I have a group of 3 mom friends who have been lifesavers.  We go out, we have playdates, we have wine nights, and on occasion we have late night benders where we really work our shit out.  I love these women.  We get each other.  We are there for each other.  These are the friends I picked as an adult.  Don’t get me wrong – 6th grade and 9th grade me did a dang good job.  Adult me did really great too.

The people in my cohort are fantastic.  I spent 2 hours talking to one of them today (let’s call him George).  He’s one of my best friends – hands down.  He told me that when he gets married he is thinking of asking me to stand by him as a member of his side of the wedding party.  I was honored.  I would even wear a dress for that man.  I don’t wear dresses, but I would for him.   The other girl in my cohort (let’s call her Elaine) is fantastic too – such a kind, sweet friend.  I absolutely adore these people I’m in school with.  Even the new people (the first years).  I spent Tuesday in TA training with one of them, and she and I got along famously.  I’m looking forward to getting to know her more.  And even more interestingly, I made a friend in another department.  He is no longer at my institution but he was a solid influence in my life all of Spring semester.  These are relationships that will last a lifetime because we couldn’t even go a summer without hanging out, talking, being there for each other.  It’s truly amazing.

If I had to say what the best part of grad school is – I would have to say (at this point) it is definitely the people.  The people make it all so much easier.  I would be so lost and alone without them.  I love my people.

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I’m a Big Bear

Today was a very abnormal day.  Instead of having class, I had an on-campus conference to attend.  The Journalism department hosted a really great event on political communication (which is right up my alley).  We even had a professor from the department presenting late in the day.  An even bigger surprise was that a professor from a really great university in a neighboring state was closing out the conference.

This is simply not just any professor.  This guy is a badass in his own right.  He used to teach at my university but went on to greener pastures.  He has been published numerous times, and he knows my undergrad advisor, mentor, friend.  They publish a lot together.  They do a lot of projects together, and now I met him.  I met this really great guy.  At first I was sad because it seemed like he didn’t give 2 craps about meeting me (despite my saying that I was a student of ____).  Here I was – hoping to make a connection that may lead to research glory, but it didn’t seem like it was meant to be.

Apparently at some point during that beautiful 9 hour long conference, he had inquired about me to another professor in the department (one I don’t know well because she has been called up on high (administration)).  She admitted that she didn’t know me very well but that she has heard great things about me.  This was enough.

Following the conference, I found myself in the company of him, the chair of the department, the graduate chair, and a couple professors.  We were chit-chatting.  The visiting professor asked me about my interests and whether or not I knew R (the statistical programming language/software) and I was able to say yes.  I told him that I had been well trained and was interested in political communication.

I was then asked by the chair of the department to go out to dinner with everyone.  I said that I could but that it wasn’t necessary to extend the offer because I felt like I would be intruding.  He dismissed my concern and we all went to dinner.  We went to a fancy restaurant.  I ordered $15 chicken (which yes, I realize isnt all that fancy but in this state and at grad student pay, that’s expensive).  It was simply delicious and the most amazing thing I have ever eaten.  We had great conversation and laughed.  It was fantastic to be around these people.  I felt like I belonged.

I was asked to keep in touch with the visiting professor as we parted ways.  I hope that this is the beginning of a fruitful relationship that yields research glory.  In any event, I went out with professors as the lone grad student who was invited.  I AM A BIG BEAR!

S2:D2 and My Cohort

Semester 2: Day 2.  Syllabus days are the most amazing days on the planet, especially when they are completely unexpected because you’ve not had one in grad school yet.  Today was a syllabus day for my Biology and Politics class – AND it will be for my Scope and Methods class.  Can I get a Hallelujah?!

I am actually going to get our of here early tonight – by 7 pm (instead of 9 pm).  In grad school, a couple hours of free time is better than any other gift in the world.

Aside from that, I went to lunch with a couple guys in my cohort.  I shall call them Jerry and George, which I suppose makes me Elaine (thanks Seinfeld).  They were the first people I met when I toured the campus last March.  We were all from different states, here to see the campus and meet the people.  I was certain I was coming here (because this is really the only place I wanted to go) but they weren’t sure yet.  It’s funny but the youngest of the two – George –  (who could almost be my child if I had made particularly bad life choices in High School) hated me when we first met.  He absolutely hated me.  He said that I was one factor that led him to almost reconsider accepting their offer.  Apparently that one day with me last March was that bad.  He even told me that he was relieved to not have to share an office with me when he saw the office assignments.

Life has a funny way of working out, because he’s probably my best friend here.  We talk all the time.  We chat in each others’ offices, and we bitch to each other.  When I had a super shitty day and was almost in tears, he hugged me.  When his grandmother passed away, I hugged him.  I couldn’t imagine having to go through this whole thing without a friend like that – in the office right next door.

The other guy, Jerry, is also from the south, hates this stupid cold weather nonsense, and had no problem with me (that I’m aware of).  We have spent a lot of time talking in offices and having silly conversations.  He’s quieter than the other guy, but he’s great.  He is just two doors down.  These guys are my guys.  They are the first two people I knew and they are my saving graces.

We had lunch and a weird restaurant that two of us couldn’t handle properly (hey – ordering is hard work when there are like 36 combinations and we have no clue what is going on).  Jerry and I had never been there.  It was awkward and we had issues with condiment cups and cup lids.  It was a mess.  How we are getting a PhD, I will never know.  Then George saw the need to show us how to walk on ice.  I’m not kidding, George is from a seriously stupid cold state and can just walk on this crap like its nothing.  Jerry and I were walking on it like baby giraffes making tiny little steps.  Its always nonstop laughs with these guys.

The other people in my cohort are equally wonderful.  Another girl, who I just adore talking to is super friendly.  We sit together in the stats class on roids, and she is an absolute statistical genius.  I wish I had half of her knowledge about this stuff.  She is funny and amazing.  I shall call her Stats Girl because she has some serious super powers.  She and I had dinner with Captain – another guy in our cohort a few weeks ago.  Captain is a military guy who is doing some super cool things with his PhD program.  He also has kids and can understand how crappy this can be.

The only bad thing about today – feeling like an amazing douche canoe paddling down asshole river because Jerry, George, and I just didn’t think to invite Stats Girl!  We all really like her but lunch was a split second, last minute decision and we just wandered off without her.  UGH.  Social navigation is clearly not our strong suit.  We must work on this.