I found out today, through the grapevine, that a former officemate of mine–whom I’ll call Legolas, since I’ve always thought he looks more than a bit elvish–has been asked to leave the program. I don’t know if this is true or not, but my source is someone who works in the same lab that he does (or did). According to her it was a “mutual decision” that was made “a while ago” but I find this hard to believe.
Just three days ago I was cleaning out my desk. Legolas was annoyed that he couldn’t move, too, because they hadn’t assigned him an office–but still expected him to have all of his stuff out of the old office in a few days. We chatted about the classes we were taking this semester, and our plans for the coming school year. [Note: He had plans. He was registered for classes. He intended to be here this year.]
During this time he never once mentioned anything about leaving the program. Keep in mind that, while I would hardly call Legolas my “best friend,” he was someone I talked with a lot; someone I’d discussed serious topics like research ethics and science education with. He was clearly intelligent and, from what I could see, hard working. I would definitely have placed him in the top half of last year’s incoming students, ability-wise–if not the top quarter.
But, evidently, they asked him to leave anyway. Not just leave the lab–I’ve heard of that happening to other people before–but leave the PROGRAM altogether.
This scares me. If Legolas was asked to leave, could they do the same to me? I guess they could, but would they? Like him, I’ve had a frustrating summer research-wise. I’ve spent hours going down blind alleys, digging up papers to find new insights on a tough question, spending hours in the lab trying to get things to work…with no success. So why did they randomly ask him to leave, and not me?
Might they ask ME to leave in the future?
I am more than perturbed. I am petrified.