Tuesday, February 15, 2022

zooming to nostalgia

When the invitation to attend a state of the art talk with so many of my old professors showed up, I RSVPed right away. It was some of the usual suspects from the Thursday Poco Seminar and it  took me back to being a student in Oxford in the first decade of this century--late as usual, racing past the tourists and townies and fellow students to get to Wadham College by 5:15. Usually I didn't bring my bicycle because there'd be wine and/or we'd go to dinner with the speaker and it would be easier to split a taxicab with someone.

It was at 5:00 GMT today, so although I tuned in at noon, it felt like one of those evenings. Lots has happened since then: jobs, publications, promotions; and on the other side: relationships, marriage, kids. It's wild that my profs are still the leaders in the field; it's crazy that I still show up on their acknowledgements pages from time to time. 

There is one person on this panel who is newer, very likely much younger. They mentioned in their introductory remarks that they felt "intimidated." I assumed they meant because of the august company--but no, they meant because they had to cover a lot of ground in very little time. And that, my friends, is one of the many reasons why although both of us applied for the same job at UCLA Berkeley in 2012, only one of us got it (and it wasn't me).


Gillian said...

I'm sure you're in the best place for you.

StephLove said...

It's nice you're still in touch with your professors. I am not, but I didn't stay in academia. I do exchange Christmas cards with a student I had in 2001. She used to babysit my kids and she's a dentist now and has three kids of her own. I must be old.

maya said...

Gillian--I tend to agree. I love where I am and feel supported and challenged in a good way.

StephLove--Haha, aren't we all old :D? Love that you're in touch with your student and are proud of their achievements. Thanks to social media, I'm able to see students move up in the world and it's always such a thrill.

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