Yesterday was my first Friday of the quarter, which for us in the College of Computing and Digital Media means meeting day. Since we don’t teach any classes on Fridays everyone knows that there are no conflicts for meetings, so the day tends to be a gauntlet of appointments. Yesterday I was scheduled from 12 – 9 pm between various meetings and events. Anyone who knows me even slightly knows that I’m not a fan of meetings, so Fridays tend to make me grumpy. Happily yesterday was an exception to the rule.

It think it helped that it was the first time I was seeing many of my colleagues this academic year. I got to hear a lot of stories about the summer break, from encounters with bears to the woes of trying to sell your house. We spent a lot of time joking with each other during an advising event, something that seemed to puzzle the students around us which only made it more fun. One of my colleagues gave one of my students/advisees an autographed copy of the Python textbook as a birthday gift before pledging to coax me into climbing sometime this fall. Much to my surprise almost everyone asked about my trip to New Zealand and Australia, and it was fun to share some stories about that. I pulled a muscle in my arm sometime during my trip to Australia, and another colleague offered a heat patch as a remedy. And there was plenty of sarcastic commentary during the long hours of the meetings, which is crucial for your sanity. The day reminded me that when you’re surrounded by people who are also your friends, it doesn’t feel like work.