Maynooth University is divided into North and South campus, our office is based in NIRSA (North Campus) which is an institute within the social sciences, meaning it has close connections with the Geography Department (South Campus), myself and Rachel’s alma mater, you could say. As a result, both of us would still be closely linked with the department with Rachel’s supervisor being in Geography and two of mine both moved from Geography to NIRSA. NIRSA is located at the far end of North Campus with Geography located at the far end of South Campus, however, it is only a 10-15 minute walk. Even though we are so closely entwined with the Geography Department and would attend a lot of Geography modules we rarely see or interact with the Masters students or PhD students whose offices are located in the department.
Further, in our building we share a floor with NCG – the National Centre for Geocomputation who clearly would have some close links with ourselves and Geography. Although, we have very strong relationships with NCG, there is still an obvious separation between who is who and who works for who at least at postgrad level, not so much higher up.
As a result of all this, myself and Rachel decided to host a postgrad social/networking event bringing together PhD candidates, Masters students and Post docs from Geography, NIRSA, NCG and other faculties. The intention behind the event was to A) bring people together whose paths may not cross but who are in very similar situations and B) provide respite and breathing space from our research and classes.
We congregated in the NIRSA/NCG kitchen and each of us brought something to share. There was curry, couscous, brownies, crisps, drinks, hummus, you name it we had it (we basically fed our whole floor for 2 days with the leftovers). Our department also kindly sponsored some finger food from an on campus vendor which was just delicious.
Afterwards, we headed to a local pub –The Roost where we had a few more drinks and ended up in the nightclub. Overall, we had a great night that was relaxing for all involved. There was very little “research chat” and a lot more “getting to know each other” conversations. We ate, drank, danced and laughed. It was a well deserved break for all of us, I think every single person who came needed a night off, a night away from research thoughts, which usually occupy most of our thoughts and dreams. People simply seemed happy and happy is a wonderful thing (as you can see from our pics below 🙂 ). I for one cannot wait for the next event.
Now, we are off to catch a flight to Beijing – expect loads of posts and pics of our travels in the coming weeks.