austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

My device for everything nice

So here's how I spent an evening schmoozing. My mother has all sorts of committees at her alma mater that she's on, and she signs up for many evening presentations and talks and such. One of them, about the school's environmental sustainability program, was supposed to be attended by several people including the provost who's ultimately deciding on their next mathematics professor hire. So my parents --- simultaneously and independently, apparently --- thought it might be a good idea if I took my father's ticket to the reception.

After getting a new nametag written up and a vague promise that they'd update their database with my title, which I think means my father's now going to be considered a PhD by their computers, I had the chance to learn how their fancy new magnet-based nametags stay on. They stay on well, you just have to figure how to get the magnet backings apart. The key is twisting. The reception was a nice cheeses, melon slices, and desserts sort of thing.

This is where the cheese got complicated. They had tongs to take slices, but the tongs were scaled for, like, picking up grapes or cheese cubes or such. They were far too wide for the thin slices, unless you put a lot of pressure on them and held tight. Nobody held tight, and as a result, there were inch-and-a-half-squares of feta soaring into the air and, mostly, landing elsewhere on the table. It's only embarrassing until other people talk about how they did it too; then we join together in the society of inadvertent cheese hurlers.

We settled for the presentation underneath the soaring majesty of the white cheddar. I ended up at a table with a good number of trustees. And as I gave out and received business cards it must be counted as a ``networking'' event, although I note the Provost I was there with a kind of specific goal to meet was not there. On the other hand, I got three lemon squares plus suborbital brie.

Trivia: The official seal for the Panama Canal Zone was designed by Tiffany & Company. Source: The Path Between The Seas: The Creation Of The Panama Canal: 1870 - 1914, David McCullough.

Currently Reading: Strong Medicine, Arthur Hailey.

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