It was a warm, lazy afternoon, and the BBQ was going splendidly. We joked about the strange antics of our parents, and then one person blurted out, “My mom is really good at dressing up like Dwight!” Bursts of laughter ensued, and I joined along even as I groaned inwardly. I knew what would happen next. I reached for a pita chip, took a hefty dollop of hummus and leaned back in my chair, physically removing myself from the conversation. It happened. And it lasted for a good ten minutes.
It was past midnight as I sat with a friend at the 24-hour Fed-Ex/Kinko’s, sharing a King Size Kit-Kat bar. We reminisced, as seniors are wont to do, about how we met. “Let’s see. I used to talk to [insert name of mutual friend] all the time because he was a really good listener. So I kept dropping by his room, we became friends, then I guess I met you through him.”
I was happily full and carrying a steaming hot cup of coffee as I left the dining hall and bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile. We made the usual small talk and discussed the finer points of the brunch options at Lag Dining. Then he made the first move that propelled us into new territory.
Two summers ago, I landed my first research assistantship with a professor. After hearing about his expertise in the field, I only became more nervous about our fateful first meeting. On that day, I was literally shaking when I walked into his office, and this was already after I stood outside his door for five minutes taking deep breaths in order to regulate my breathing. I still wonder what he must’ve thought when I advanced meekly into his office and introduced myself in a quavering voice. And now, as I look back on it, he was probably thinking, “What’s wrong with her?”
It was one of those spur-of-the-moment decisions. I had to get to the fourth floor of Sweet Hall where I was late for a meeting. But did I want to stumble into the room gasping for breath? I’m no marathon-runner, but I knew that if I ran up three flights of stairs right before a meeting, I wouldn’t make a good impression. There was only one other choice.
…As I approached, I glanced at them and realized that I did know them. I knew quite a bit about them. No, we hadn’t been introduced before. Yes, we had mutual friends. But the ultimate source of my knowledge was Facebook.
Yes, the UGRES_RCFS list is really old news. It was a popular topic for discussion through Monday, at most. Since then we’ve moved on, mostly to the Hitler parody video about the list, but moved on nonetheless. Still, take a moment to return, if you will, to that memorable chunk of time on Sunday evening.
Over this past spring break, I was fortunate enough to travel to Greece for a week with a group of other seniors. Inspired by the stunning landscapes portrayed in the movie version of Mama Mia!, we impulsively purchased our tickets in November and did little else. When the time for our journey arrived, we had done almost no preparations aside from booking flights and hostels. Sitting on the 11-hour flight from SFO to Munich, I racked my brain to come up with things I knew about Greece. Food: I knew about the food. Moussaka? So good. Feta cheese? Second best cheese ever. Hummus? Trick question. Hummus is from the Levant, not Greece. And knowing that, I felt adequately prepared.