Saturday, March 13, 2010

End of Term dinners

Research students don't really have "terms" in the undergraduate sense of the word where you get to stop working and relax for a while. There actually aren't many "stop working" occasions as a grad student if you're doing it right. But, since professors and undergrads still work on a term system, towards the end of term there's usually a raft of dinners and celebrations.

First up, our research group had a dinner together at my supervisor Ross' house. That's him playing the bagpipe to entertain the crowd. Needless to say the computer security dinner wasn't the most rambunctious of the week, but it was fun seeing people outside of the office.
Next up was rugby dinner. No pictures of that, it was a strictly no-cameras-allowed evening and with pretty good cause. That was definitely the most rambunctious night of the week, with a bunch of young rugby players eating a formal meal in tuxedos, but most of them loaded on two kegs of ale and playing drinking games the whole time. Football dinner (above) was a little bit more relaxed. Dress code was black tie on top, football on bottom, though I changed it to black tie on top, rugby on bottom. The three on the right above are me and my two housemates Andrew and Matt. Formal sports team dinners are a very British concept, with the captain giving many long toasts recapping the season, but they provided a nice cap to a long year of sports. I am pretty worn out from trying to play rugby, football, and basketball this year. There were good results though. Churchill rugby had a very strong second half, including a huge upset over Trinity to make the semifinals, where we lost to Jesus. It was the best finish in the 30+ year history of Churchill rugby, which I'm glad to be a part of. Churchill MCR football was knocked out in the quarterfinals, but also had a very strong year. Even Churchill basketball put together a nice end to the season, winning the final two games to qualify for the playoffs and avoid getting relegated.

With sports wrapped up, I went down to London on Friday night to see Wicked with the Gates crowd. It was my first musical in London, and it was well worth it. There were a few plot holes in the play, but the production qualities were fantastic and it was a very enjoyable night, and I got to catch up with many friends I hadn't seen for most of the term.
Finally, Saturday night was MCR guest night, a large grad-students only party with a (slightly ahead of schedule) St. Patrick's Day theme. You can see our varying interpretations above, between green bow tie, Irish rugby player, and leprechaun.
I had a lot of guests come, which made it lots of fun, and it turned out to be a very lucky night. At the craps table with my friends Elsa and Noah, we managed to turn our 500 initial chips into 10,000 which earned us... well, theoretically a chance to win a free bottle of wine, but it turns out that probably never existed. Oh well. By the end of all this I was pretty tired from all the end-of-term festivities.

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