20. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: PhD · Tags: , , ,

Today, my cat, Grady, is meeting his potential roommate, a Beagle-Dachshund mix I will call “Al” to protect his identity. Grady and I are looking to move to an apartment with roommates next year in order to save on rent, gain some more living space, and gain some new friends. We’re still in the beginning of the roommate/apartment hunting process, but today’s meeting will tell us if Al is going to fit with us or if we need to keep looking.

I went through the Boston University housing website to post that I am entering BU as a PhD student next year, and I’m looking for a roommate. Al’s mother responded to my post that she is looking for a roommate in the same area, and is also a PhD student. The next thing we need to determine is whether our fur babies will get along.

My current apartment is under construction in the true Boston fashion of old, old buildings needing repair. Therefore, this weekend Grady is hiding out at my best friend’s studio in Kenmore Square. Grady is hiding because pets are not allowed at my best friend’s building. And because I want Grady to meet Al on Grady’s turf, to give us the maximum chance of Grady not hissing at Al, Al is coming over to the studio as well (the one where pets are not allowed).

Is everyone’s life in Boston this convoluted? I like to think so. Actually, I’ve been very lucky in Boston so far. These old Boston buildings are prone to water leaks, fires, and other natural disasters that occur over time. Unfortunately, a fire just occurred this week in the apartment of some NECO students. Our student council immediately started a donation drive to help these students get back on their feet. The NECO community is great at supporting their students when crises like this occur. They offer housing, donations, new furniture, taking class notes for them, and other necessities of life to help our students recover.

As I have watched friends apply to other graduate programs at large institutions, I’ve seen the benefit of such a small NECO community. From misspelled names on official documents to glitches in the electronic application process, small institutions like NECO seem to be able to consider each student as a person rather than a potential tuition check. At the larger universities and colleges, they don’t seem to be able to offer their students the same personal attention and respect that everyone deserves.

T-minus 45 minutes until “Al” arrives. I will be posting an update on the colliding of fur babies soon. Hopefully with lots of happy pictures of a new roommate family! Have a great week.