Quiet lab

Friday afternoon at the lab. It's so quiet I can hear the water
rumbling in the walls. I have a birthday cake in the refrigerator and
no one to share it with. That, my dear friends, is culture shock.

Many people think of culture shock as just encountering cultures and
customs different from their own, but culture shock is about far more
than costumes or traditions. My form of culture shock is having to
deal with the shift from a close-knit group of friends to an
environment where I don't really know a lot of people yet.

Fortunately, the universe sensed I was about to get depressed, and it
intervened. Melanie walked in and asked if I was still around. I
brought the cake out of the refrigerator and _that_ brought Alvin out
of his cubicle. Alvin and Melanie even sang Happy Birthday. =) We had
more of that wonderfully chocolatey cake.

Now we're down to two decently-sized slices, which I can share with my
roommate later. =)

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