Flashback: Grad School for Grown-ups – Random Highlights

3 months post-grad is better than never okay. I don’t need your judgement!


I live in….a hovel would be extreme….it is not a hovel. It is more of a dump that doubles as a sort of comedic device. It’s full of teenage physics majors who are involved in varied whackiness, random occurrences where things don’t work, and a landlady who walks the line between slumlord and legit business woman. This is an actual excerpt from an actual email from my landlady –   there’s not even a funny comment to make here.  This is just my life and it’s funny in its own right. Emphasis added is mine:

“We are busy with a final solution [whoa!] for the heating system. For now the radiator at the entree [delicious!] has to stay on at all times [note it’s late August at this point]. If we shut it, you don’t have any hot water anymore. A firm needs to come to look for a solution. [I’ll say!]

In the kitchen sometimes the metal appliances seems to be give electrically little shocks. There were already 3 firms who checked this and they could not find anything what could cause this problem. [So basically all the appliances shock you, allegedly, but we have no real evidence of that. The moral of the story is, the shocks will continue.]

The sink in the bathroom seems to be a problem as you say to me. I did not hear about this before, but I will check this. There is a loud squeal. [For three weeks, every time you touched the sink, it would let out a high pitched squeaking noise for the next hour that you could hear through the entire house. I like the idea of a squeal here, though. The anthropomorphic idea of this thing literally screaming in protest of, I imagine, living in this house, it’s perfect].

Following that email – this sign appeared on the house bulletin board. I love my life.



Fun with ESL:

Got a text from a Dutch guy:  “Come to the bar, we’re all here.”

“Sorry I’m in PJs”

“Wait, where is PJs? We’ll meet you there!~”


Do you smell something burning?

Early one Friday night a number of girls arrive at the front door in search of Nigel. I send them up to his room, but it turns out he’s not there, and they want to wait around in the kitchen. Sure. Whatever. It’s his birthday, they inform me and we’re going to make something for him. Great. Go nuts. “Everything in the kitchen will shock you, although Danielle says there’s no evidence of that, other than, well, the shocks. So just best of luck.”

I head back upstairs and it eventually starts to smell like weed. So it’s the Netherlands and it always smells like weed, but this is extreme. I’m on the tippy top floor, it’s usually just a faintest scent, but today it’s really serious and…then…the fire alarm goes off.  Of course. I run down to the kitchen where Nigel and four screaming girls are beating a large batch of flaming pot brownies positively senseless with towels and oven mitts. The kitchen is a full on hot box.  What on EARTH?!

“They caught fire!” A girl screams at me. Yes. Clearly. I can see that.

“Well put it under the sink!” I yell at no one in particular. “Hello. Now! Run the water.”

“But…but…you’re not supposed to put water on, well I thought,..” Gotta love a pothead trying to puzzle it out after inhaling flaming pot brownie smoke for five straight minutes…

“Oh Christ, it’s not a grease fire! It’s chocolate and weed. Put it under water!”

I run and open the door and windows and smack the smoke alarm repeatedly with a broom until it stops. They all just giggle their brains out.

Whose life is this?


Working with world’s worst partner on an assignment. We’re meant to be writing a paper, so I’ve written it, and she’s been like, “Yeah I have a party I’m throwing, so I don’t really have time to look at it tonight [ever!].” And when she does look at it she’s got nothing of substance to say: “Should there be a comma there? Oh wait, no sorry, that’s fine. A period is fine.” – Due tomorrow, she’s now meant to do JUST the bibliography since she did nothing else. She sends me what she’s done at midnight  It’s basically this:

  • Author, Author. Is this the title? I think so? Probably Need the Year here. Is it Year first and then the publisher?
  • Author, Author. I couldn’t find the name of the Publisher for this one. Do we even need that
  • What if there isn’t an author? Title. I have no other information.

And that’s followed by a text “Does it need to be a certain format?”

Oh no. Just whatever you feel like. Academia’s really chill about that kinda thing. The 200 page APA book they handed you — merely suggestions. Definitely just wing it.

Going to be a long year.


In order to fix the heating situation in the “entree” area, someone came and installed a digital thermostat and since I was the only one home, he explained to me how it all worked, and showed me the new little thermostat. It’s not one of those ones that gets built into the wall, it’s just a free standing thermostat that works remotely or whatever. Fine. Basic. Okay.

After a few days it starts to get really unbearably hot in the apartment and I go in search of the little device repeatedly and can’t find it anywhere. Eventually I catch all the flatmates chilling in the kitchen and ask about it. They all look at each other kinda wide-eyed.

Dennis the Flemish Menance: You mean that little clock thing?

Me: Yeah, sure, it’s a thermostat. I guess it could have looked like a clock.

DtFM: Oh dear.

Me: Oh dear?!

They all look at each other and burst out laughing.

DtFM: We dismantled it. We needed the wires. We were going to make a robot.

Me: There’s no way you’re serious.

Other random guy who I don’t think lives here: We thought it was something someone just left behind. So we just figured….

Me:…That you’d immediately disassemble it and turn it into a ROBOT?!

They all sorta shrug at me and roll their eyes, like yes, of course, what else would you do in a situation like that. When in doubt, make robots! I give you, Huaycan, Netherlands.


Walked into the kitchen to find Nigel eating pasta out of a pan and giggling to himself. I’m like hey?…um did you notice you’re bleeding?

He grabs his neck.  “Oh yeah, rough one. I’m drunk. And a bit high. I’ve been at a squat all day with some people. Hippies live there and there’s like live music. You should totally come some time…”

….Right, sure. A squat. Definitely send me the address. You look at me, and you think, there is a girl who would enjoy some live music with unshowered hippies. Yes!


More awesome group projects

My partner and I are writing a paper on a Google doc that tells you when someone else is also in the document. There are little icons at the top right of the screen that show you who is in the document.. I get a text from my partner that she’s looking it all over RIGHT now and will send me her comments ASAP. RIGHT NOW.

Except I’m in the document. And she is not. And I spend most of the rest of the night in it, and my lonely little alligator icon is the only one that ever appears. This is a serious annoyance for two reasons. 1) Obviously she’s not doing the work she’s lying to me about doing RIGHT NOW. But 2) and more importantly, she’s clearly NEVER ever been on Google docs at all, or she’d KNOW full well that I could tell if she wasn’t actually working on it….and we’ve been working on this thing for two weeks.

Loving life.