I join you fresh from a weekend of two majestic parties at two ends of the spectrum of graduate student experience. Although that ship sailed for me more years ago than I care to admit, I do still have the odd young friend who has yet to weigh anchor and head for the island of postdoc-dom. And some who have just undertaken that voyage.
The first of whom we partied for this weekend was a man who recently graduated. He made the bold move, about one and half years ago to jump ship from ATLAS and go “back” to work on D0 at the TeVatron, whereupon he finished an analysis on real data in time to return back to ATLAS to triumphantly accept his new job. We celebrated his graduation and his upcoming post. While the party was ongoing we received news of another close friend successfully defending his thesis and, having already secured a postdoc job, graduating from student life with aplomb. He had also moved to the TeVatron from ATLAS to experience some real data and get a good thesis out. For these two chaps that move in “the wrong direction” has paid dividends.
Our Saturday night was spent celebrating the company one last time of another dear friend who is moving back from CERN to his institution in the US in order to finish up his thesis and proceed on with his own move to bigger and better. Less a going away party than a moment to take stock of the transient nature of the field and how friends and colleagues move on before our eyes.
Friendships at CERN are strange things. Thrown together, as we are, into the mix of work, the lines between social life and working life can become quite blurred. Often there are friends of convenience instead of true comradeship. But every now and then we make, through our work connections friends for life, not just for collisions.
One friend leaving and we wish him well, hoping for his safe return quite soon.
One other thing to report is the pending release of the ATLAS cd. It’s been about a year since it was supposed to be coming out and now we hear that they are doing the final mastering. I’ll report back with more news and some links when it’s out.
An early snippet of the band I’m involved with can be seen here. Enjoy!