Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Harvard Women of Science Couch Club

1. Per the suggestion of a fellow Harvard affiliate's wife, I joined the Harvard Wives' Club.  It is actually a spouse club, but it is full of women.   The first meeting I attended was right before Easter.  It was a two hour meeting from 4-6pm.  Everyone, except me, was from another country.  We painted Easter eggs the whole time.  There was no alcohol, but it was pretty fun.  Although a little awkward at times (however, that could have easily been me, goofy and insecure in a room full of new people),  I still enjoyed myself.   I did not show up to the second meeting though, because I had work to do.  My French friend was a little worried as to why I really did not show up. She might have been a little unsure if I was actually working or if it was because we painted Easter eggs the whole time.  I really did have to work though.  And I really did enjoy painting Easter eggs.  But my friend has since moved back to Paris and I have yet to go to another meeting...

2. I also joined a 'Women in Science' club.  Because why not? (My friend convinced me to do it)... One night they hosted this event that can best be described as speed dating for science careers.  The event was geared toward networking opportunities.  There were about 15 or so professional women with different types of scientific careers and a crowd of about 100 young people.  Although the event was targeted for the ladies, they did not exclude the dudes, so there were a few guys in the audience as well.  Every 10-15 minutes everyone would switch tables and discuss a new career with the hosting professional.  The conference room was full of fresh, ambitiously youthful and earnest ladies who were passionately preparing to explore grad school programs, or students who were finishing up grad school programs and were just so full of excitement and anticipation of what their future life as a woman in the real-world scientific community would be like (seriously it was sickening).  And then there was me,  jaded old been-there-done-that-don't-care, Julie, looking for someone or something to spark a flame of interest.    I sat down at the first table, and since the speaker was late, the rest of us started small-talking...

     "Where ya from?"

     "What do you do?"

     "What do you want to do?" etc.

The only man in the crowd, who looks like he is in his 30's,  mentions that he currently works for Amgen.  Around the table the girls' eyes light up...

     "Oh WOW Amgen?!"

     "That must be a great pharmaceutical company to work for!"

     "You must love it there, huh?!"

 The guys looks around the circle in subtle disbelief, and  responds with a semi-sarcastic, slightly irritated, but 100% realistic tone...

"Well, I'm here, right?"  .....  Hello, my been-there-done-that-don't-care, new best friend!

3. From the recommendation of my Dad, I looked up Tom Lehrer.  He was a Harvard-educated math nerd from the 1950's who wrote hilariously appalling songs, like 'Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.'  Think of him like a vintage-version of Weird Al Yankovic.  The guy is funny and clever and a pretty talented musician to boot.  We watched just about every single video of his we could find on youtube and you should too.  Here are a couple of our favorites:

This is a quick and easy one:

Block off the next hour.  This is worth watching all the way through:

Bonus: It is in Copenhagen!

Now if only there was a Harvard women's youtube-watching club.... I could get into that!


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