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So I may have mentioned that I’m not actually at University of the Frozen Tundra as I dissertate. I relocated because I sold my services to another research group for a year and was able to relocate to the town my fiance lived in. Then the fiance became my husband and he decided that he wanted to move, and now I’m in my personal definition of hell- a city I hate with a spouse I’m not so thrilled with who spends every night with at least half a bottle of wine. Lovely. (that would be the spouse drinking all the time, not me. I would be, but I know not to mix depression and depressants like booze, especially when I have to bust behind applying for jobs.)
But advisor and I keep in contact via cell phone and skype. We’ve kept to skype since the advisor-ly unit has been “home” this semester so it doesn’t burn our respective cell phone minutes. The most recent session went over things such as oh yeah my defense, but he also asked about the status of undergrads who have since graduated from the department.
It’s not an out of place question as he knows I’m friends with some of the undergrads, and in fact one of them I like to count as one of my best female friends, however the question is sort of odd given our faculty. Our faculty aren’t very involved with the undergrads if they can help it. That includes the Director of Undergraduate Studies (the DUGS) not learning the names of the undergrads even though he needed to sign their enrollment forms every semester, so I’d hear horror stories from the seniors about how they went to teh DUGS office and got asked “Who are you? Why are you here?” *headdesks*
My advisor on the other hand knows the names of most of the undergrads in the department even though he hasn’t taught them (or if he did it was for astro 101 their freshman year). Admittedly he gets some name refreshers with the weekly TA meetings for Astro 101 when he is teaching that course, but he even manages to remember the names of students even after they’ve graduated. I recently saw a post on Facebook that he ran into into one of the former undergrads on Mauna Kea and the former student was shocked he remembered said ex-student’s name.
So on the skype call the other week the advisor asked about my best gal pal and how she was doing. Not just a have you heard from her kind of thing, but a what’s she doing, has she finished her masters yet, did you convince her to write up what I saw her presenting at AAS as a journal article yet sort of discussion. Admittedly, my advisor has some amazing schmoozing abilities, but I kinda like that he knows how to work the mentorship things from multiple angles, including the not so subtle reminders that I should be doing some informal mentorship myself.
That said, I question his motives. . . he may have just been feeling me out to see if he could try and recruit her as a grad student replacement for me.