Pocket of Bolts' dept. chair, Ph, is an interesting person. We used to live very near him and his partner (also in the dept.) and so we kind of developed a nice social relationship despite obvious barriers of age and status. I always get the feeling they think we are lively and fun... which is really about all we have going for us, socially awkward and anxious as we both are... but it seems like maybe enough.
The amusing thing is that now my new job gives me a lot more in common with Ph. It's like he's president of the US and I'm president of... Luxembourg, or Andorra, or something. Presidents still have certain things in common, though. Dinner party on Saturday--I had had a bit of champagne--I characterized myself as his "mini-me", which he said was cool.
He said something about my situation which was very comforting, though you might not think so on the surface. He said, "Really it's a job more properly done by someone with more experience. But on the other hand, they are extremely lucky to have you." (Ph thinks--also hopes, because of PoB too--that the institution will make an effort to keep me as well, to make my job more permanent after the three years are up.) The reason, anyway, that Ph's proclamation was comforting was that it effectively explains my feeling of being overwhelmed and ignorant about everything. Well of course!--it's a job for an old hand, not someone brand new. And yet on the other hand, enthusiasm and dedication can make up for much of that lack of experience, especially when everyone's pretty much on my side. I have encountered no opposition to anything I have wanted to do, quite the contrary. My only enemies so far are inertia and my own fears.
Another funny thing that Ph said, that there are three rules for guys:
1) Never play cards with a man called 'Doc'.
2) Never eat at a place called 'Mum's'.
3) And never sleep with a girl whose problems are worse than yours.
I just had to pass that on because it seems like such fantastic advice.