In light of Friday night’s melodramatic whining about an inability to socialize, I have since put that thought back in its place: a moment of weakness that got amplified by the moodiness of alcohol.
It’s selfish of me to think that I expect/only need to befriend just colleagues at work. That never really worked at UB; the few that I did spend time with out of work were those who wanted to from the beginning of graduate school. It never really changed much after that. It was most tough then, because coming from so far out of the region, I had no connections with the area. Most everyone else already did; social circles long since established.
I just need to quit having any notion that I’m trying to earn my colleagues’ friendship at work. It will either happen or it won’t. The younger folk are all transient employees for the most part anyways (graduate students, and the rare postdoc when I discover them), while most of the technicians & faculty have their years on me (sometimes a few, sometimes decades). The transients will continue on in their careers elsewhere, as will I, likely. Who knows if it will continue to be within the GTA?
Tonight was a reminder that the postdoctoral community isn’t that small at the university as a whole. However, another postdoc I spoke with tonight elucidated a point I neglected to notice: the postdoc community really doesn’t have any sort of social functions to amalgamate themselves. The SGS office that provides administrative support to the postdoctoral community just disseminates notices of workshops & available positions, predominantly. The postdocs seem to be on their own for socialization, and most are not concerned with such endeavors. The two I personally know within the department seem to have no qualms with social adjustment after moving to the area; they are both also married. I know the cushion of a serious relationship/marriage against the social deprivation after a massive relocation is substantial — I moved to Buffalo under that context. Toronto is a bit different, however. Having moved into this city on my own, I don’t have the convenient fallback at home to use as a crutch, so I’m forced to either sink or swim on establishing relationships.
The unionization of the postdoctoral community at the University of Toronto will certainly help with nucleating more social interactions amongst postdocs. However, if tonight is any indicator of the productivity of the union, it might be a bit cumbersome to suffer through. I am not sure if they were expecting the reaction they were from the postdoctoral body, or they just had dubious intents with their amendment, but it unfortunately got nuked (much to the executive board’s dismay), and suffered further with confusion on how to rectify the situation. To suffer through more of this, I think I’m going to need to read up on the by–laws & refresh myself with parliamentary procedure; pretty sure I haven’t touched any of that stuff since I served on my dormitory’s representative board to NDSU’s RHA.
Worthwhile perk(s)? I chatted fairly enthusiastically with another postdoc of almost contradictory experience–to–departmental expertise, whom actually understood what I was discussing when I dropped the P–bomb (plasmid). That was an elating shock, considering neither her expertise nor current position lent any predisposition toward my field. Granted, I don’t want to talk shop all the time, but it’s very refreshing to speak to someone outside my own sphere of coworkers with a reasonable grasp of my own realm of (almost acquired) expertise! I sincerely look forward to (hopefully) more similar interactions in the future, and — not that I want to restrict myself solely to academics — develop some relationships with my own peers within the university and/or the city at large, even!
…there are reasons for you to hang out with me… Teehee…name that movie!
I’m not that conceited1, but my good friends back in Fargo & Buffalo recognize some worthiness in me. There must be some out there in the grand ol’ city of Toronto that will appreciate the same?
Until then, I’m just going to have to put my love of card/board games on hold, and continue to cook for just one and overindulge in my delicious cooking. This weekend’s agenda in honor of the upcoming cool week next week is to make a large batch of chili, and devise other pumpkin–laden confectionaries and/or baked goods to cook (besides the pumpkin bread I made last night). Also, I’m craving waffles/pancakes something fierce, so I may need to pick up some buttermilk to make my beer–battered buttermilk pancakes! With some homemade blueberry jam to go with. Mmm…I’m getting hungry already!
1In fact, I have a terrible time with my ego. As always, I struggle with compliments, and attempt to devalue them (to humble the praise of myself) through excuses & rationalization. BAD JAMIE! Not fair to the praising individual, as it clearly illustrates a disregard for their opinion…