This weekend, my research group’s Principle Investigator (PI) hosted us at his house for a barbecue and pool party.
Working in this group, I have seen all the Ph.D. candidates, postdocs, and summer undergraduate students every day in the office, but I rarely get to speak with any group members, apart from the ones I work directly with. Heading into this work party, I felt nervous and awkward.
The party started out how I expected – people grilling, chatting, introducing their plus ones. The pool remained uninhabited, but I caught people eyeing the bright blue water, waiting for the one brave soul to break the surface tension.
Soon, the heat and sun drove us to the pool. Once the first cannonball landed, the mood of the party changed. Pool noodles, kick-boards, and a giant inflatable duck were brought out. We laughed together, played with water guns, and winced when someone belly-flopped onto the water.
The party continued with more food off the grill, pool time, and a game of Codenames: Pictures. And when the party ended, I left feeling at ease and closer to my research group members.