August 18, 2011

Pick-up games

I've been playing soccer twice per week. On Saturday mornings, I play gay soccer with my gay soccer team, and then we go out for drinks at gay bars even though it's absurdly early in the day. I usually drink soda, because when I get drunk in the morning, I end up lying around the apartment feeling hot and sick for the rest of the day. It's still fun -- but I can't wait for the fall league, which takes place in the afternoon.

On Thursdays, I play pick-up soccer with classmates and professors from my department. We meet at the varsity soccer field and climb over the fence. It's technically trespassing, but we could give a fuck. The field should be for everyone.

I really enjoy these little pickup games. I don't hang out with my classmates very often -- my best grad school friends are in the chemistry and anthropology departments -- but I always participate in department sports. I think this proves that I'm willing to socialize with people in my department. It just helps when there is an activity.

Today after soccer, one of my friends was planning to take public transit all the way back to the city, so I gave her a ride. She happens to be a few years behind me, in my subfield. Somehow the subject of my ex-advisor came up, and she asked why I don't work with him anymore. I thought she must have found out about the drama, so as I explained that I try not to talk about what happened, I accidentally informed her that shit went down.

I'm actually kind of stunned that she didn't know -- I really try to keep my mouth shut, but I've slipped a couple of times when I was drunk with other classmates. Maybe they actually kept their promises to not tell anyone.

I explained that I really tried not to influence her or the other incoming students in my subfield, because I didn't want to trash talk anyone or to interfere with advising relationships. I really just tried to stay away from the incoming students after it happened. They all worked with my ex-advisor, and I was the only one who didn't, and I felt isolated by the whole thing but I thought it was best for everyone.

But in that moment, I really wanted to tell her. We had been laughing and joking about the other professors in our subfield, and it reminded me of how lonely it has been to not have good friends in my subfield. The students in her cohort hang out all the time, and I know they must gossip about everyone, and I'm jealous that they have each other.

I'm the only 5th year in my subfield, and there are no 6th years or 4th years, so it was already lonely. But I might be friends with the 3rd years if it hadn't been for everything -- I mean we're friends. We like each other. But we don't hang out and talk about the department. I guess that's just how it had to be, but it's kind of a shame.


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