Posted by: unlikelygrad | December 24, 2011

It’s a small world

(The first of a series of posts I’m going to do about my recent oceanography field work.)

Three geochemists board a fully loaded 767. What are the odds that two of them will end up sitting together? I don’t know, but it happened anyway.

Dr. Hand-Waver and I sat separately since we both wanted window seats. The guy who sat next to me asked if I was going home or going on vacation. I said neither; I was going to work. He asked what I did and I told him oceanography. He asked if I was going on a cruise with (the local university) and I said yes…then he tells me that he is a professor of geology at that school and that he does sediment geochemistry!

Of course he asked about my work so I told him what I did. Then he asked how I would explain a tricky concept, very much related to my work, to undergrads, since he’d tried and failed. I said my explanation might not be very good (though I actually did give it a shot), so if he wanted more details I could ask (advisor’s first name).

“Wait–(first name) Hand-Waver? (first name) Hand-Waver is your advisor? I know her!!!”

Turns out, Dr. HW and his wife were post-docs together. Dr. HW told me later: “You know that friend of mine we were going to meet up with at UH tomorrow? It’s his wife!”

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