Today was the department picnic. We went to the chair’s house and mingled, to the best of our abilities. Literally this meant that we 3 newbies stood around watching everyone greet old friends around the yard. The brats were INCREDIBLE!!!!! though, and really it was nice. It’s just intimidating to watch everyone who knows each other get reacquainted while you still barely know the west from the east side of town.
It was kind of surreal, really. People standing in the grass, in the hazy humidity of early autumn, chatting over warm beer and white wine in plastic cups. Laughter rising from a joke about speaking Greek in our sleep. Reaching out across time to lift ancient authors to new conversation. Encouragment from old, graying 4th years about the trials of grad school.
But my favorite was Kris’ boyfriend telling me that I should not ever pay for a drink again, “as a matter of principle.” “People should respect that,” he told me seriously, “I mean, just tell them you’re a poor grad student.” I informed him that when drinking with other poor grad students, this argument falls apart, but Kris assured me that once everyone else’s drunkenness reaches a critical mass, shots will be bought to even my odds. “Usually not us, the boys will buy you drinks though.” *L* Yeah, that’s been my experience too.
Tonight I work. Then I come home and do some homework before bed. I’ve moved the center of knowledge into my bedroom for now. Feels more like home to sit on the bed with all the dictionaries surrounding me, and more safe and private. I’ve put up the quotes on the closet doors too . . . so now within eye’s length are my old familiars:
“Yeah, last year Bex and I got some illegal Johnson action.” – Kasey
“Last I checked, it wasn’t tomorrow.” – Mary Meadows
“I feel like a nun.” – Jess
“I can be a lot of dumb in one hour.” – yours truly
Hmm. Maybe I do live here. Goodness reigns.