Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tales from the Departmental Picnic

  1. The Topologist signed me up for the departmental picnic and paid my $4 admission fee, so I decided that I might as well go. Normally I'm not too keen on the picnic because it's usually stupid hot outside, and it's way, way out in the dread suburbs (about 25 miles from my house).

  2. The Topologist didn't go with me. He biked there with a grad student. I drove. He hung out with a small group of grad students the whole time and hardly talked to me at all. This caused the faculty wives who I spoke with to assume that I was a grad student and not a faculty wife.

  3. Spoke to a faculty wife who is also the mother of a contestant on Survivor (non-winning). She was very sweet and pleasant and very good at making small talk in that gracious southern way. I assume that she probably used that skill a lot during her missionary work.

  4. While I was having meaningless polite conversation with Faculty-Wife/Survivor-Mom, I ended up in a bit of an awkard conversation with Michelle ("Micki"), who teaches in my department. This needs a bit of back-story. Whenever I'm outside during the daytime I wear a hat (this was even before the whole skin cancer thing). I have several buttons on my hat, including "I love math" and "Support gay rights." So Micki asks me, "Do a lot of women hit on you when you're wearing that hat?" I say something like, "Around here? No, not really." Faculty-Wife/Survivor-Mom hadn't seen the back of my hat, so she was confused and I showed her the hat. Conversation with Micki continues awkardly. Really wished that Summer-Minion was around because he has a special skill at deciphering when mathematicians are just violating standard social conventions or whether they are hitting on me.*

  5. Already wasn't keen on picnicking with Micki since she eats like someone with an eating disorder, and it really sets me on edge to eat around such people. Especially since she was also asking me about what I eat.

  6. Stayed at the picnic way longer than I had intended to. Seemed more interesting that coming home and doing chores. Possibly less interesting than watching the NetFlix that has been hanging around my living room for several days. I suppose I was trapped by inertia.

  7. Really need to do some serious planning for the class that doesn't meet until Tuesday.

*Of course this summer I needed a meta version of this, as at one point I think that Summer-Minion was hitting on me.