Thursday, December 11, 2008

parental visitation

EcoGeoFemme's post today reminded me of when my parents came to visit my grad school. My mother had been there before, when I was applying (the relationship between me, my mother, and my grad school application process is another post altogether) but it was the first time my father had seen the school.

I don't think my parents met my advisor, since they visited on a weekend. But I showed them various equipment and lab spaces. The funny thing in my case is that my parents are science/tech people (they worked in industry). When they saw the equipment that our research group uses, their immediate reaction was, um, nostalgia.

Mom: "Aw, look at this [complicated machine]. I used that exact same model back in the late seventies, when we had to do everything by hand. And I haven't seen this type of [standard lab equipment] in ages. It doesn't even have [painfully obvious safety gear]."

Dad: "Dot-matrix printers?"

I walked them all over campus (I do stuff in 2 departments separated by miles of hallways) and we ended up at my department's watering hole, where my parents got to sample the local brews. They did end up meeting some of my fellow grad students, and a good visit was had by all.

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