Tag Archives: university of rochester


It’s hard to summarize a month.  I certainly intended to update a few times throughout the month, but one day it was July 1, and the next it was August 1.  So, this month went by a little fast for me.  I think we had something going on every weekend.  July 4 found us at a small party in our backyard, thrown by our neighbor Max.  It consisted of beer and delicious grilled food.  Afterward, Daniel and I walked over to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park to watch fireworks.  That following weekend found us at a party at Luke and Carrie’s place.  As I’ve mentioned, Luke graduated from the University of Rochester and Carrie grew up in Pittsford, so they are very familiar with Rochester.  That was a fantastic party.  Our other neighbors Glenn and Mary were there, along with two of Mary’s sisters.  I learned that I’m really awesome at Flip Cup and that there is no way of knowing just how many back-up plans Big Boi has.  Luke and Carrie actually live right around the corner from Daniel’s best friend’s mom.  Speaking of Daniel’s best friend, we went out to dinner last week with Jeremiah, his girlfriend Mae, and his parents.  This is the second time we’ve gone out with them in the last two months, and they are good people.  We also met up with one of my co-workers, Nic, and his girlfriend Chelsea for drinks at Bull City Burger and Brewery.  Nic insisted on driving us to Sam’s Quik Shop, which used to be a run-of-the-mill gas station, but is now “Durham’s Craft Beer Specialty Store”.  I bought a beer on tap there while I browsed and got to keep the glass.  It was very cool, and they have every type of beer imaginable.

This past weekend was a bit more quiet; Daniel and I drove to the western part of the state to visit my grandmother, aunt, and uncle.  I found out all kinds of interesting things about my uncle, like how he has a meteorite collection and built a decorative water fountain from scratch.

As always, I will strive to update this thing more often during August.  I should have more time, since I will be on a lovely beach vacation in two weeks.  It’s the annual Baroff Family trip to Bald Head and I am so excited.


Living the Good Life

Hello again.  I am actually writing this post from our new townhouse in downtown Durham.  I talked a little bit about it in my last post.  I am extremely pleased with how it has turned out.  We pay a little bit more than we did in Rochester for a lot more stuff, including a washer, dryer, and dishwasher.

So, where do I start?  Daniel graduated two weeks ago with his Bachelor’s degree (finally).  I’m really proud of him, he did great.  I ended up flying to Rochester on Saturday night, and he graduated the following morning.  By the way, I’ve decided that I actually really like flying.  This may be a problem for Daniel, because he hates it.  I can’t stress the word “hate” enough, because he just won’t do it.  I thought it was kind of fun, personally.  But, anyway, I digress.  We moved all of our stuff into a van on Sunday, after graduation, and started out for North Carolina that night.  That was not our original intention, but it worked out.  We spent the night in Harrisburg, PA, and arrived in Durham in the early afternoon on Monday.  I’m so happy he’s finally here, and we’re done moving for a while.

The townhouse looks amazing.  I’m sure there will be pictures coming soon.  We are still kind of settling in.  I’m enjoying Durham quite a bit now that I have Daniel to show me around to all the cool places.  We’ve even been doing some partying.  Last weekend we met up with Daniel’s best friend Jeremiah, and we got to meet his girlfriend Mae.  On that Friday we went to Fullsteam, and then to Bull City Burger and Brewery to eat dinner with Jeremiah’s parents.  I had met Jeremiah’s mom before, but I’d never met his dad.  His dad was adorable.  I don’t know how else to describe him.  He has a beard and glasses and wears plaid shirts and loafers.  He was just an adorable man.  It was great to meet and chat with him.  The following Sunday, the day before Memorial Day, we went to Mae’s parents’ house for a little party.  That was…interesting.  There was a lot of tequila that I wouldn’t go near.  Daniel and I only knew Jeremiah and Mae, but Daniel’s friend Forest did show up later and they all had a little jam session on a makeshift stage in the backyard.  It was good to see them back together making music.  I’m still calling for an Acoustic Satan reunion.  So, that was a fun night.

Last night we were invited to a party being held in our own backyard, which was awesome.  Our neighbors Glenn and Mary were throwing a party, and invited everyone in the 6 townhomes that make up our little complex.  Glenn and Mary are actually University of Rochester alumni, which is crazy and very small world.  I swear we didn’t plan that out.  At the party we also met another guy named Luke, who majored in Optics at the U of R, and his girlfriend Carrie who is from Pittsford.  I was extremely drunk, since I’d had an entire bottle of wine, plus two cups of beer.  I came upstairs to grab something and ended up passing out in bed.  I felt a little bad about that because I missed the rest of the party and totally left without even telling Daniel where I was going.  Oops.  The good news is that I think we are going to meet up with Luke and his girlfriend sometime this week at Bull City Burger and Brewery for dinner and drinks.  He seemed like a cool guy and we both need friends here since we all just moved from Upstate New York (except for Daniel, who’s from Durham).

So, in the few weeks we’ve been here, we’ve met some cool people and done some cool things.  I can’t wait for more.  I should not have waited so long to make this update, because there is definitely more that I want to talk about.  Like The Avengers.  That one really deserves its own post.  And I will have some pictures in my next post.  There are just too many things to do now that I live here.

Rochester Pride Parade

Today was the Rochester Pride Parade.  Daniel and I haven’t gone to a Pride parade since summer 2009.  I think they are my favorite kinds of parades, since they just feel like one giant party, with the music and the dancing and outfits.  This year’s theme was “It’s a Gay World After All”.  We decided to watch from the comic store, since the parade route is right along Park Avenue.

This is a buffalo in drag, NOT a drag in Buffalo. Just to clarify.

University of Rochester in the parade.


New Hire Orientation Day 1

Today was Day 1 of my New Hire Orientation, which I believe is a mandatory, cruel hazing ritual that all new University of Rochester employees must suffer through.  They wanted us to show up at 8am.  One of my biggest flaws is my punctuality.  I showed up to Staybridge Suites across the river from campus at 8am on the button and checked in and got a little binder full of information that I already knew.  I then proceeded to a room where I was supposed to get my ID badge.  I waited in line, got a little sheet of paper with my Employee ID number, and sat down in the chair to get my picture taken.  They then cheerfully informed me that I was “not in the system”.  I have no idea what that means, but it sounded like they said “bureaucracy, bureaucracy, bureaucracy”.

Then we had to go sit in a room and wait until 8:30am, when a woman from Human Resources started showing a powerpoint with all of the information from our binder.  She also read information from the binder out loud as it was being shown on the powerpoint, and as it was sitting in front of us.  Absolutely nothing that she said was new to me.  Right around the time she started reading off of the sheet with all of the “important” phone numbers on it, I decided that I should just start tearing my eyes out.

I was so relieved when she finished around 9:30am.  Then we had a 15 minute break, before a guy presented on Well•U, the University’s initiative to promote a healthier lifestyle for each employee.  He wasn’t so bad, mostly because he presented very quickly.  After that, there was another break, and then a woman came to discuss diversity at the University…with a powerpoint.  The number of useless powerpoints I sat through today was truly astonishing.

My favorite presenter was a woman from Security, who came and told interesting stories about stupid criminals and other crazy things that have happened at the Medical Center, and how to contact Security if you have a problem, etc.  Again, all of this I already knew, since it had been drilled into me during my last 5 years at the University of Rochester.

The last presenter before noon was a woman from Environmental Health & Safety.  This was also probably the most relevant for my work.  Unfortunately it was very boring and felt rushed at the end since we were running a little late.  But I’m sure I will see her again tomorrow, when I have a full day of orientation.  Today was only a half day for me, running from 8am until 12pm.  I have no idea what we will be discussing that was not covered today, but at least I will get a free lunch.

I'm jealous of flowers; they spend all day in the sunshine. Well, except for Rochester flowers, which spend a good deal of time in the rain as well.

Bad Weather Days

I guess this week will be more relaxing that I had initially thought.  With HR being so slow to respond to me thanks to the University of Rochester’s impenetrable force field of bureaucracy, I will be starting work next week.  So I have this week to sit home and chill.  Of course, I can’t go out and enjoy the weather since it is raining and never seems to get above 45 degrees F.  It has been like this for 2 days now, resulting in the cancellation of the Lilac Festival.  I hope the festivities resume tomorrow.

I recall specifically asking them to not get a picture of my feet, since I had taken off my shoes. But I'm not exactly sure who to blame for that.


Today was a very big and exciting day.  I am officially graduated from the University of Rochester.  I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Genetics.  That sounds really impressive, right?

I was so happy to have my family here, and Daniel was amazing.

We arrived on campus shortly after 7:30am.  I escorted my brother, sister, and Daniel to the Eastman Quadrangle so that they could find seats.  Then I wandered over to Todd Union, since that is where the procession would line up before walking to the Eastman Quad.  It was rainy and cold all day.  And before you ask: No, there were no tents and they did not move it inside.  It did not get out of the 40s all day today, so I sat in the front row shivering while everyone gave their speeches.  I must admit, I really liked Class President JJ’s speech.  I thought it was funny and totally appropriate for the group to which he was speaking.

After the Commencement Ceremony, we had a solid two hours before my degree would be conferred to me in the departmental ceremony.  So I met my friends in Rush Rhees and we all took pictures together.  It was good to do this before everyone left to go to their department ceremonies.  I’m glad I got to see everyone one last time.

My family and I relaxed in Gleason Library, until 12:30pm when I had to leave for the Palestra to line up for the Biology department’s ceremony.   My aunt and uncle decided to attend this ceremony, but skipped this morning’s speeches.  Considering the weather, this was a very good decision.  They handed us sheets with a short message that each of us had to write and send in ahead of time, thanking our families, professors, friends, etc., along with information about our future plans.  The best response I heard was from a girl that said her future plans included “getting down to business to defeat the Huns”.  That’s a Mulan reference, in case you missed it.

After I got my degree, we headed back to the apartment, where there was cheese, grapes, crostinis, cookies, and champagne for a little snack before my family had to leave.  It was so great to see everybody.

It feels good to be done, but I’m going to miss it.  What a bittersweet time it is for all college graduates.  Congratulations to the Class of 2011.  I hope everyone has savored these last few moments of undergrad.


Graduation Preparation

Today was my last day in the Graduate Medical Education Office at the Medical Center.  What a strange feeling it is, leaving that place after two years.

Most of today has been filled with graduation preparation.  And it’s the little things that you don’t really think about, like getting a haircut and running to Wegman’s at 9pm to get cheese and baguettes for snacks after the ceremony on Sunday.  Also, I needed to buy a bottle of champagne.  My mother means well, but she bought a bottle of Cook’s, which is notoriously some of the cheapest and worst sparkling wine you can buy.  It’s what they served today at the Senior Toast.  (On a side note:  Thanks, U of R, for letting the champagne sit out in the sun, so that when we finally got around to the toast, it was all nice and warm for us.  Champagne is supposed to be served warm, right?)

Speaking of which, I got a little mention in the Senior Toast.  Sort of.  They threw in something about “And who could forget Bring Your Shovel to School Day”.  Some may remember that I created this Facebook event after the University sent out a e-letter right before a huge snowstorm informing people that they should take proper precaution when walking around campus, like bringing shovels, using handrails, etc.  The event went viral and got thousands of attendees in just a few hours.  It was nuts, but very cool.  The power of the internet…and Facebook.  We united over our bitterness towards the University for their poor sidewalk maintenance in the winter and their even worse habit of not canceling classes during dangerous weather.  Thanks Senior Class Council!

Setting up for Commencement

I definitely made these people uncomfortable with my photo-taking.