Grad School and the Art of Free Food

One of the nice things about grad school is that there are often opportunities for free food, and it’s usually a lot nicer than the pizza that was offered at everything during undergrad and it’s a good chance to schmooze.

Last week, I was totally able to work that system, which was a great break from my own cooking. Wednesday I spoke at a symposium, which offered snacks and a boxed lunch: mozzarella and tomato sandwiches, with a balsamic dipping sauce, side salad and a cookie. Plus, I got feedback on my research (mostly positive, yay!) and got to network with some faculty. The head of my department said I was a total character, which I hope is a good thing.

Thursday my friend was speaking at a different symposium and I got to be her date at the dinner afterwards. This might have been the best, mostly because I didn’t haven’t to present, but instead got to relax and make fun of the speaker. Honestly, it’s about 20 years too late to make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and MC Hammer jokes.

Friday was probably the lowest rate of return for my effort. I was invited to join a departmental committee, and in exchange for a line on my CV and some rather tasty appetizers, I got to sit and listen to two of the members argue the same point for two hours. But, I guess less than productive meetings are part of any job, so I can’t complain too much.

And this week is back to my usual bagged lunches. And honestly, after the insanity of last week, I’m not too bothered by that.


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