Friday, February 13, 2009

My advisor's valentine

So today, Friday the 13th, I head to lab a little dull from a shortage of sleep, and not too excited at the prospect of some experiments I had to repeat. As I sit at my desk in the morning, promptly catching up on world news, I take a peek into my advisor's room to see if he's free for a meeting. I get the shock of my life when I find a big bouquet of flowers with glittering balloons sticking out of it reading 'Happy Valentine's day'. Now my advisor is married with a wife and a kid. Although I realise America is wilder than India I didn't know my advisor to be this sort of a man! So later that afternoon, when I did meet him, I stole a glance towards the label on the bouquet to find that it was from his wife and darling son of 5 years! :) They were celebrating the love of family I guess. Something less illusory than the love of teenagers, and perhaps worth celebrating.

Since I'm on the theme of love and valentines, I might as well narrate another incident. I was returning from some volleyball yesterday evening when I saw a professor from my department. Now he is this big shot PhD from Stanford whose advisor collaborated with Shockley(of transistor fame). But he's a terror to work with because he is extremely demanding, and very manipulative. He would've been a very successful businessman. And he partly is, because he is one of the best funded professors in the university. Anyhow, perhaps because of his poor character, or for other reasons, his first wife divorced him, and one of his students had informed me that he had a new girlfriend. Now mind you, this is a professor of 50 something. So I was quite mortified when I saw him coming towards me, holding hands with his girlfriend. I was also very amused at the site of this stern, shrewd, scheming and terrfiying man holding and swaying hands like a teenager with his girlfriend. Love is indeed a funny thing. But it is a good thing. It does more good than evil, on the whole.


RukmaniRam said...

ah yes. it is hard to imagine, let alone witness, professors with lives outside of their offices. just as it is for them to imagine grad students with lives (in or out of lab is immaterial. grad students have no life. period)

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

what do you mean it is hard for 'them' to imagine? It is hard for me also :|