This afternoon, my coworkers surprised me (sort of) with a goodbye party at the Boston Finale. It wasn't a huge surprise; I knew that my going-away party would be today, and by the time my friend mentioned that the errand I was accompanying her on was to get a cake for her friend's birthday, and it would require us to take the T, I figured it out. But it was still awesome and heart-warming, and I kind of like that they wanted to surprise me.
The good news for them was that I had NO idea what gifts they had gotten me. We just had a going-away party for another coworker last week, and she had requested a bunch of gifts. She had excitedly and correctly guessed a whole bunch of them, and we felt a bit deflated. So I told my coworkers not to worry: I really had no idea what I was getting, and wouldn't guess. I mostly stuck to that promise.
We had appetizers and a "main course," all of them delicious desserts! The drinks were yummy, too; we mostly got fruity cocktails, and everyone loved what they got. I got blueberry lemonade (two of them), and it was very, very delicious. We all dug into the awesome desserts, too. Badass.
My gifts were all very thoughtful, funny, and personal. It was really amazing to see how well my coworkers knew me, and how much they care about me. They know I'm having surgery in a week, and so to get me through my boring recovery, they got me a coloring book, 96 Crayola crayons, brain teasers, and pencils and erasers to do the teasers with. That'll give me a break from reading and Netflix, and the brain teasers will keep me sharp for September!
Since I sold my car, I got a gift certificate for Zipcar, which will definitely take the edge off, so I can feel better about making a trip or two. I got a cute BU hoodie, so I can apparently not get shot on campus (I didn't realize that you couldn't be on campus without swag, but it's good, I don't want to get shot). I don't have any BU swag, so this is my first piece! It's awesome.
From our academic coordinator, I got the required milky white thigh book. It's about vampires, apparently! But it took six of us twenty minutes to find ONE sex scene! How disappointing. But I found one, and read it, and we had a good laugh before the uncomfortable waiter came back!
To improve my wardrobe for grad school, I also received an awesome Portal T-shirt, with Still Alive lyrics on it. Booyah! It's like they KNOW I forget to do science because I'm chatting ... how strange that they figured it out.
My two friends presented me with their favorite gifts. One friend presented me with a chemistry cocktail set! Now I can serve drinks in test tubes, and have it actually be okay--I mean I never did that, what? It's a set I've been interested in for a while, which no one at work knew. Again, they definitely know me very well. My other friend presented me with his favorite gift. It was a Red Sox lunch bag (I tease him a bit because he has an old school lunch bag he uses; now I have one, too!). But there was more inside. He explained it was necessary for grad school, and I jokingly said, "Oh, so, alcohol!" AND IT WAS. It was full of nips of all kinds, mostly flavored vodka and rum. YES. So that's the only gift I managed to guess, and it was by accident.
The lab we started in has a tradition, where the PI gives the departing employee a beautiful wooden box. It's such a tradition that usually, that's when people start crying; it's always the last gift. I'm the first person from my boss' (new) lab to leave, and she wanted to start her own tradition. I could not BELIEVE what it was ...
It was a 2-volume copy of the sixth edition of The Origin of Species. From 1896.
No, really. Wow.
I'm still in shock a bit!
Finally, I got my scrapbook. It was AWESOME. My coworkers are fantastic.
They loved the gift I got them (a new digital camera to replace the horribly shitty one that the lab has been dealing with for a very long time, it seems). I was glad; I was worried they might refuse it because it wasn't cheap. I did get it on sale, and I saved up for it, so hopefully they won't be worried that I dug myself into a financial hole. It's a decent camera; not the best money could buy (because I don't have $300), but it's good!
All in all, I had a wonderful afternoon with my coworkers, and I'm sad to be leaving the lab. It's really hard to accept that I'm going to leave on Friday evening and that'll be it. How can that be it?