The possible No. 1 Highlight of my Grad Coordinator days

19 11 2018

I’m standing down as departmental Grad. Coordinator in Dec., because that will have been 5 years on the post. On the whole I’ve really enjoyed it: working out how to make processes fairer, more transparent and more efficient turns out to be something I like (I’m a closet admin nerd apparently); helping students and faculty find money and navigate the system is really satisfying too; and most of all, getting to know so many grad students in the department has been wonderful.

And there was a possible highlight last month: Jonathan‘s former student Kruti got married, and we were invited to all three parts of the wedding: a “garba sangeet”, the wedding itself a couple of days later (a “barat” followed by the ceremony), and then the next day again, a reception. But which to go to? Was it rude to say yes to all three? Or rude NOT to say yes to all three? Which would be most fun for two white people who’d hardly know a soul? And last of all, what on earth to wear? Luckily, thanks to being Grad Coordinator I’d got to know three Indians in the department and could ask. This triggered tonnes of advice, an invitation for tea and Indian sweets, some enjoyable controversy as to whether North Indian weddings are pompous (no, Sanjay from Bangalore, you are wrong wrong wrong!), and not one but two offers of clothes (salwar kameez, saris just being too tricky for a novice: no-one needs to see me naked).

So, many many thanks to Nadeem‘s lovely wife Mehar for the outfit on the left (worn to the garba sangeet, a night of back-to-back dance performances), and to the irrepressable Ash for the outfit on the right (worn to the reception, which was even more fun, with more dancing, this time by everyone, and more rap and Drake than you’d expect too).