Considering that I am working in a lab 3000 miles from my university, I am pretty isolated from the daily goings-on of my department. V is a grad student there too so I hear about some things from him but we usually talk more about home, pets, wedding, and our own work rather than the latest from the department.
It is a strange situation. I still hear some gossip that is blatantly false, some that is heresay 4 times removed and some that I am sort of involved in (even though the people spreading it don't know it has to do with me at all). While it could probably be said that I was too involved in the gossip side of things, I miss the community of my department. Seminars, hallway chats, interaction of any kind- be it about science or who baked cupcakes that day.
Even stranger is my lab situation. I have very little idea what is going on there. I am sure if major changes or anything happened I'd be told but I am far enough along in my program and far enough away that I am not really involved with new students and not involved with any one elses' projects on a day-to-day basis. Even more than the department, I miss the camaraderie of my lab. Having lab meeting either with bagels (A.M.) or beers (P.M.) is a weekly occurrence and I thrive on chatting about ideas for experiments or what those new results could mean. It is so great to be surrounded by people who all get excited about science because it is a passion, not just a job. After being used to that environment, I wonder if my new environment influences how I work (or don't work). There, if you are stuck on a sentence you can take a break, walk down the hall, talk it out and move on. Here, I can walk down the hall and see if there is any coffee left, check up on my pilot experiments for the 4th time that day or check bloglines. Pretty much all of these ends with my mind remaining stuck exactly where it was. To make everything worse, there are never any cupcakes...
Labels: work environment