I’ve found that working with my advisor in a PhD context is like an awkward hybrid between the undergrad student-professor relationship and a typical 9-5 working relationship. On the one hand, I never saw my professors outside the lecture hall during undergrad outside of a certain run to Five Guys Burgers. They just didn’t frequent the same circles as undergrads (rather unsurprising, really, when those circles can be solely described by greek letters). On the other, these days we’re still not going out for brewskies before heading home for the night, PhD or not.
Awkward hybrid is definitely the most appropriate description. I say this with a particular incident in mind. A few of my friends were out at the bar last night, and one of their advisors happened to be there too. It’s not inconceivable; he’s a pretty young guy. He invited them all over to the swanky wine place next door with the sort of menus that don’t have prices on them. He bought a few bottles of wine, picked up desserts for everyone, and they just schmoozed. How very odd. I remember the day when I became Facebook friends with one of my undergraduate professors, and that was weird enough. Having a wine and cake night is a whole different beast.
I mention it because tonight is the Super Bowl, and my advisor has invited everyone over to his place for his annual game-watching party. After asking around a bit on Friday, it sounds like the guest list is composed of all the department professors plus the handful of students in our research group. How very odd. The rest of my afternoon was then spent listening to stories from previous years about how strange it was hanging out, eating dip, and watching your professors get drunk.
Still, it should be amusing. We’ve been lured in with promises of the Wall of Football and getting to play with my advisor’s dog. All of those, of course, are nothing compared to the possibility of seeing the heads of our department all simultaneously yelling at the Big Screen. I, for one, am going to see if they’ll let me wager my cumulative exam grade on a point spread.