I quite unwittingly gave a great gift the other day

The year’s ending, and my research project is wrapping up, so I wanted to get a gift for my advisor, Noah. He’s been great all year. It’s been a pleasure working with him, even all those weeks that I came in and said “I didn’t do anything last week” or “Oh my god I’m a failure help.” I’m still bewildered by research and grad school, but everyone’s got to start somewhere, and thanks to his moral support, I’m not ruling out grad school for the future. In fact, I sort of imagine that someday I’ll say “It’s time to go back to school.” Or maybe not, we’ll see, but I feel like maybe someday I could do it.

Anyway, I wanted to give him a gift for all his support. I know he likes wine, and his main computer is called “malbec.” I worked with this computer for MONTHS before I learned that the other computers were called “cabernet” and “chardonnay” and stuff and I realized “malbec” was a wine. So I figured a bottle of Malbec would be a nice gift. I picked one out at the ol' state-run wine and spirits shop, pretty much at random, although they only had like three Malbecs and this one was the prettiest bottle, so okay, cool. And it looked like it was an okay bottle of wine, although I don’t know from wine. I figured maybe it would be good, or maybe it’d just be a joke, “ha ha, malbec, like the computer.”

He sent me an email to say thanks for the wine, and that it should age a few years, so he’ll keep it safe until then. I thought, okay, haha, I bought a crummy wine that might be good in a few years. But then I thought again, and I realized: that’s awesome! Someday in a few years, he’ll be picking out a bottle of wine, and he’ll say “wow, this malbec was from Dan! I remember that project we did together, back in my early days of professorship and his early days of undergraduate research! I wonder how he’s doing now!” or something. I mean, not that remembering me is any big treat, or I’m a great gift giver (like I said, it was accidental), but I’d love it if someone gave me a time-capsule gift like that.

(okay, not wine, because like I said, I don’t know from wine, and (unlike everything else) I don’t particularly care to, but like whiskey or something. Anything that should age, and is then consumable. What a cool gift!)

But yeah. My research project, at least my part, is done. I’m happy about that. I’m not too proud of it, but it’s something, and undergrads don’t usually come up with earth-shattering results anyway. Thanks again, Noah, it’s been a good experience, and I couldn’t have done it without you.

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