Thursday, January 24, 2008

Work so far

Jennifer So far work has consisted of:
  1. Having lunch with the Boss and two other students joining the lab this term, a Swedish post-doc and a Mexican undergraduate student. The Evolutionary Biology Centre cafeteria lunch is a decent deal: 63 SEK for a large plate of hot food, a salad buffet, and tea or coffee. It was a very pleasant lunch and I like everyone so far.  The "Swedish sausage special" consists of a brick-sized chunk of bologna floating in a cream sauce. 
  2. Getting my office space and meeting my officemate, who is a doctoral student working with computer modeling of biological systems, and who is a killer Othello player. 
  3. Attending a journal club meeting, in which a recent paper in Science was trashed for extolling exciting results that turn out to be based on poor phylogenetic methods (among other things). This sort of thing was de rigueur back at UM, so I consider it a good sign.
Today we applied for our national ID numbers. The funny thing is that you need to have a permanent non-work address to get an ID number, which we haven't been able to get because we don't have an ID number. Similarly, tomorrow I hope to get my key to the building... and to get to the person who does the keys, one must go through at least three interior keyed doors, even after one has somehow managed to get into the building from the outside. My plan right now is to throw pebbles at the windows to get someone to notice me hopping up and down outside, and hope they let me in.

These sorts of experiences are exactly what my international student friends have been telling me to expect. Fortunately, so far the bureaucrats have been kind to us and it hasn't been too bad.

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