By Amielle Moreno
What better way to celebrate the scientific progress of humankind than to attend a private country club at requires $40,000 admittance, over $6,000 in yearly dues and uses an average uses 312,000 gal of water a day?
The night began with a full bar on a patio over looking the greens, and the Neuroscience Program was well represented. Most attendants had a difficult time interpreting the “business casual” dress code. In a bold move, most erred on the side of formal, making for a beautiful sea of dresses. Much to the chagrin of our Canadian Director of the Neuroscience Program, Shawn Hochman, not a drop of clamato juice could be found.
Rumors that the bar would shut down at any time spread like brush fire throughout the night. Many savvy grad students began hoarding drinks and rejoining the growing bar line moments after receiving their orders.
With two glasses of wine banked, I was ready to eat the red meat alternative offered by the catering. The other option was the salmon. Vegetarians were asked to leave.
It wasn’t long into dinner before I figured out what this night was really all about: the centerpieces. Like jewels glimmering at each table, the promise of their depths was mesmerizing. My mission for the night became clear: I had to collect them all.
Due to formalities, most centerpieces remained unclaimed at the center of their tables, during dinner. I nonchalantly secured the one at my table to the protests of Monica Taylor, The Director of Student Development, from whom you receive ten e-mails a week. But how do you argue with “I’m a poor graduate student!” and a tear factory fueled by daddy issues? I scanned the room for more easy targets.
I found my mark, a table made up almost exclusively by of Neuroscience professors including Dr. Yoland Smith, Dr. Machelle Pardue, Dr. Dieter Jager and Dr. Shawn Hochman. I sidled up to an adjacent table with the help of my flag football connections and bided my time. I decided that I would make my move upon the conclusion of the guest speaker’s speech, during the obligatory applause.
The speaker, Dr William G. Rice, who joined us from the private sector, made a solid attempt to entertain the mixed audience of professors and students and he failed on both accounts. One Neuroscience students described his speech as “so boring” and elaborated by saying, “I was sitting right next to him and I still didn’t know what he was talking about.” Another anonymous source admitted that they did not know what the speaker talked about because they left halfway through. Thus, by attempting to please everyone, he ended up pleasing no one.
My plan had worked; soon the Professors were lethargic from their gluttony. When the clapping began, I swooped in to grab the centerpiece, making eye contact with Michelle Pardue and saying “thank you very much” before retreating with my precious.
Once they started to give awards to people other than me, I got bored and upon the insistence of the Security Team at Druid Hills Golf Club, I decided to leave.
I would like to sincerely congratulate all of the award winners but especially those from our Neuroscience program. The honor of Student of the Year went to our own David Ehrlich. If anything, with David’s seniority, he’s like two graduate students. Jordan Koch won the outreach/community service award. Paul Evans won the Student Leadership Award for being the president of everything and Rachel Stewart Allen won the Student Mentor award. I would like to congratulate all of the other Fellows in our program for their achievements. Their efforts make our program stronger and inspire us to do more.
I took my award home with me.