Although I have sometimes felt that there's a great divide between graduate students and faculty, and that we are all too busy in this great rat race to actually sit down and have a conversation with someone we're not obligated to be invested in (or even when that obligation does exist!), today I was reminded that it does not always have to be that way. I poked my head into a faculty member's office today to chat about a totally procedural thing, and that small conversation turned into one that restored my faith in (some) professors' ability to be interested and engaged and present during a routine conversation. Besides talking about the issue I'd stopped by to discuss in the first place (which I got such good supportive advice about), we chatted about my undergraduate majors, about the power of good prose, about recruiting students from under-represented groups to our department, about my summer plans, about Justin's teaching, and so on. I left feeling somewhat renewed.
I shouldn't make this sound like a thing that never happens, because I've had many wonderful faculty members nurture me and applaud me during my 3.5 years here, but this conversation came at a particularly important time and boosted me more effectively than a deep brown plastic seat at a Midwestern restaurant ever could.Weekly Conversation is a part of my 2010 Resolutions of Happiness.