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Tip your grad student leaders.

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Sep. 1st, 2010 | 05:40 pm
mood: energeticAdrenaline FTW?
music: OK Go - End Love | Powered by Last.fm

Money tips, not remarks about our poor life choices.

I'm back in Ann Arbor and busier than hell already. I had the opportunity to unpack my car with the belongings from DC, repack it with the belongings at my old house, and unpack that stuff in the first 18 hours and felt like I was on a roll. Unfortunately, school then got in the way. On Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday, I had TA* orientation. It was helpful, and I met some of the hundreds of grad students on campus that will also be teaching for the first time, including Laura, a joint MUP-SNRE grad student. And I've been helping with our program's orientation for new students all day today; our stated commitment was from 8:30 to 2:00 today and included breakfast and lunch. Which was nice, as was meeting (and re-meeting, in the case of folks that came to our Preview Weekend in April) the new kids. However, a "social event hosted by 2nd year students" had been on the agenda since the summer, and despite the pleas of me and my fellow leaders that we weren't prepared to host something, it stayed on the agenda and became an expectation. So I asked our chair for some funds this morning, got $100, and went to Meijer with Danny, Ang, and Amanda after the events ended. After delivering the beer, chips, cookies, and soda to Danny and Amanda's house (where we will have this magical social event), I came back home for a bit of much needed downtime.

In an hour or so, I'll need to go out to the grocery store, buy a bunch of ice for the beer and some beverage tubs to store it in, and go back over there for the evening. It will be fun and successful and I'll enjoy meeting the folks, but I spent some of this afternoon pretty irritated at the expectation that we invent something out of the sky for 70 people. This isn't specifically anyone's fault, but there is still a lot of heavy lifting that we had to do. And it's done, and I've made my peace with it because I'm getting the following benefits out of it: a big karma bank from our new chair, whom I won't hesitate to ask to be a reference and/or write recommendation letters; all the leftover beer from tonight's party, if there is any; and I can say that I've fulfilled and more the expectations of being the program's "social chair," clearly above and beyond my predecessor. I'll drink to that (and I do have an emergency bloody mary next to me).

On happier fronts, I had dinner at Sava's last night with Danny, Scott, Amanda, Ang, Tracy, and Tara, in which we spent almost two hours rehashing our summers and hoping that this year doesn't flatten us. Then I went with all the ladies to Target for small furniture shopping; I only got legal pads, ice trays, and laundry detergent but my life is richer for these purchases already. More good times will follow and I will blog them. For now, I have to go out to buy enormous beverage tubs and fill them with ice.

*Teaching Assistant. Here we are called Graduate Student Instructors. Expect me to use TA and GSI interchangeably on this blog all year.

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