ON TUESDAY I went for farewell drinks with a grad student friend who’s leaving Vancouver for an overseas postdoc position.
It’s been a bad year for friends leaving town. This aspect of the academic lifestyle affects me more now that I’ve stopped moving and put down roots – it’s always more depressing for the ones left behind. I commented on this at the pub, and we got into a discussion about whether PIs who have supervised more than 50 students and postdocs ever start seeing new trainees as replaceable, interchangeable units who scoot in and out of their labs while the big picture research keeps on moving. Kind of like how tectonic plates would view the constant waves of new species that cavort on their backs. We agreed that, for PIs and random friends alike, it’s important to maintain periods of overlap between different lab generations.
ON SATURDAY I’m meeting up with a former lab-mate in the States.
I have work-related meetings on Monday and Tuesday, but decided to fly out a couple of days early to spend time with a friend who now lives in my destination city. She and I joined the same Glasgow lab on the same day, as postdoc and student respectively, and both subsequently joined the transatlantic brain drain for the next stage of our careers. I managed to meet up with her on a previous work-related trip to the same city, but we only spent about three hours together. This time we get, oooh, about 30 hours!
I need to keep reminding myself that every friend who leaves town is a potential new vacation destination.