* I finally got my master's certificate in the mail, and needed to forward a copy on to Renate Schmidt^ in the human resources department at work. I picked up a reusable interoffice envelope, put in a note and a copy of my certificate, and started to address it. R-e-n-a-t-....then I paused and looked at all the previous addresses on the envelope. Every single time, it had been addressed to Herr this or Frau that...never using a first name. Oops. Some things take a long time to sink in.
^no, it's not her real name
* The readers of my thesis wrote comments about what they thought of it and gave it a mark. I thought these comments were going to come in the mail along with my certificate. Before the certificate arrived, I emailed the secretary in Mainz to see if she could just email them to me. She wrote back to inform me that she was "not allowed" to send me the comments, and if I wanted to see them, I had to come to her office in Mainz and look at them there! Obviously going to Mainz is no small thing for me, plus this was just baffling anyway. I wrote her back, told her I didn't live in Mainz, and asked her why she couldn't send them to me. After all, the point of writing comments is lost if the student can't see them and learn from them, right? I guess she didn't want to argue. Two days later, the comments arrived by email.
* My colleague/office roommate showed up last week with a nasty cold. The week before, the guy in the desk across from her had been sick. She explained to me that she was sick because the previous Thursday, she got soaked in the rain on the way to work and then sat in the office, where there was a draft. Funny, I also got soaked in the rain on the way to work that day and then sat in the same drafty office she did, but I didn't get sick... I don't suppose being right across from the other sick coworker was the real cause. ;)