Saturday, August 14, 2004

The First Back-to-School Picnic

Today I went to the back to school picnic for the Math-Ed group of the Education department. I was definitely out of my element, but I had a much better time than I would have at the Math Department picnic.

The picnic took place about an hour from here on a professor’s farm. (She has kine! I’ve been waiting how long to use that word?) Everyone else brought their spouse and somewhere between three and five children. They came in minivans decorated with stickers and insignia that indicate viewpoints different from my own. Before we started to eat, we all stood around the food and someone said grace. Not the sort of crowd I normally hang with.

But everyone was friendly. People made a point to talk to me. And I got to meet someone from the math department that I hadn’t met before. (We tend to segregate ourselves by rank and research area.) Might be someone good to collaborate with on education-related stuff, as I have a lot of things planned in my head that might meet reality if someone else were involved too.

I was sort of taken aback when asked about my no kids thing; I probably was a bit defensive with my answer, but I’m not asked about that very much, so I didn’t have a response handy. No, I don’t have kids. No, I can’t have kids. No, I won’t have kids. No, not even adopted. This isn’t something that I have much practice discussing with strangers.

Overall it was a good time. I brought chocolate gingerbread cookies. I took the leftover cookies home and will bring them to my meeting on Monday.