Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trippin' to the coast

Kids, I'm lonely tonight. Just enough to make me feel contemplative and reflective and such. It's not a huge deal and it will pass quickly, I'm sure, as soon as I rejoin normal civilization. As much as I like my traveling companions, they are not exactly the people I would turn to if I were looking for deep, filling conversation or friendly solace.

I went to dinner last night with twelve men. Sounds great, huh? Of course, they were all either married, engaged or otherwise attached, or not my type. But they are all people I enjoy spending time with, especially in a group. If one of them starts getting on my nerves, I just let the natural flow of conversation take a turn so I'm no longer speaking to the offending gentleman. And while we have plenty to talk about and laugh about, and intellectually stimulating conversation may be plentiful, like I said, the deep filling conversation that I'm so hungry for right now is like a gaping hole in my middle.

I'm in San Diego with a group from BYU at a genetics conference (don't ask me why they decided to send me to the conference after I'd already graduated. I have no idea). There are fourteen of us- twelve men, and me and Amalia, our Bolivian grad student. Those twelve men divide down into four professors, Dr. M's dad, five grad students, and two undergrads. They're all really fun to talk to, tease, roll my eyes at, etc. I've known and worked with many of them for a few years. And I'm completely comfortable with them. Because I'm one of the guys.

It's a trick you have to learn how to do to a certain extent in a male-dominant field. But I really wish there was another woman here tonight whose native language was English that I could share some friendship with. There's something about Sunday nights anyway that make me hungry for friendship. I think the solitude is making it worse. Well, tomorrow will find me attending workshops on all kinds of fascinating things, as well as going to my poster session (read: glorified science fair) to stand by my cool poster in case anyone wants to know about the evolutionary history of Chenopodium species, and cracking jokes with my male counterparts and generally enjoying myself.


Moonsahra said...

Hopefully you get un-lonely soon! I miss being around a lot of my old friends. While I always have Ben, it's nice to have girlfriends, too. If you ever want to come out to St. Louis (lonely or not), I'd love to have you! We have a great botanical garden....:D

Ross & Amanda Goodman said...

I love your writing style, Maria. Maybe that is a silly thing to say after a post about loneliness- but I just thought you should know that I enjoy your amazing ability to say what you are feeling in such a beautiful way. I hope you enjoy your science fair. :)

Rebecca said...

Oh good, sounds like the poster was found.