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Monitor

If you clicked on this, you're probably why or how I got this monitor for free. Because usually when you hear college students talking about free stuff, they're talking about free school-branded t-shirts, lanyards, maybe a pop socket, but that's about it. It's often a symbiotic relationship, where the college gets free advertising and the student gets a free $5 t-shirt. That was something I expected coming into college, which is why I was especially shocked when the school gave me, not a t-shirt, but a 27-inch monitor. Yeah.

Nick's Crewneck
Just to clarify, we do get free hoodies and stuff! Including this hilarious baby-blue crewneck that just says "School" on it
To make a long story short, on campus I'm pretty involved in research. Usually I'd be in the lab, but because of the global pandemic, the college has some very understandable hesitation in letting undergraduates into labs. And since I do work affiliated with the medical school, I can understand the extra hesitation the college has in letting me into the university hospital where there are a lot of immunocompromised patients. Because of that, this fall I've been doing all my work remotely. To make the story even shorter, my PI (Principal Investigator, aka the person in charge of the lab I'm in), got me the aforementioned 27" monitor to "make my work easier."

Baked Goods
These brownies are the only thing keeping me sane right now
I was immensely grateful, but absolutely floored. Never would I have imagined that anyone, much less a professor, would do something like this for me. But this isn't the first time that my supervisors have gone out of their way for me. I mean, just this last week, my boss (the one who runs this blog) drove over to the dorms of the writers for this blog (including me) and dropped off homemade baked goods. It's really comforting to be able to snack on chocolate chip cookies as you're losing your mind grinding out for your impending physics final exam. 

At the end of the day, what I'm trying to say is this. A lot of my high school friends, especially those at large state schools, complain that the schools don't care about undergraduates. At those large schools, even if they can find research opportunities, it's often just doing grunt work and they rarely ever see the PI. I doubt they can even imagine being lucky enough to have a PI that's so invested in you and what you have to contribute that they'll just buy you stuff. Or even as a student employee, I feel so lucky to have a boss kind enough to not only be cognisant of when our finals are, but to consider that we may be feeling stressed out and show us a little token of appreciation that makes these times just a little more bearable.

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