CERN Diary #4

The three months at CERN went by quite rapidly, especially the second half. There were some comings and even more goings, disappearing Summies, a visit from my brother, another visit from two friends, some new housemates (including a lovely cat), a spider invasion and short trips to Austria.

Spiders. On one evening I was watching an episode of Futurama in my room while leaning back against the wall. From the corner of my eye I perceived something crawling right next to me. I looked … and turned pale. It was a giant house spider with 7 cm diameter. Talk about arachnophobia! I managed to capture the beast with tupperware and a CD slimcase, and released it in the garden. But another beast was sitting in a ceiling corner which I could not reach easily. So I decided to stay awake with watchful eyes. At 4 am I eventually risked my life and went to sleep, but not before pulling the bed away from the wall.

I was miraculously spared by the monster, and decided to conquer my fear by closely watching those spiders at the next 10 or so encounters. That helped a lot – my fear of the large ones has only slightly decreased, but I now feel a lot more comfortable around the smaller species!

Nightwish. I composed the mother of all poems (in a more-or-less sonnet style) for my girlfriend’s birthday. It contained several references to Nightwish song titles, and I decided to enhance it by getting Nightwish signatures on it. For that purpose I went to Bern where a signing session was taking place, and met two nice guys in the queue. The new singer Anette was very friendly, while composer Tuomas seemed a little bored with the whole procedure. In the end my mission was successful. Yay! I then celebrated my girlfriend’s and her sister’s birthday with them in Innsbruck.

Farewell. Almost everyone around me had already left: Albert, the Icelanders, Mykhailo, Fabian, Felix, Hiro, Silke, … and now, in the end of September, it was my own time to say farewell. Working with Gregor, Armin and Luc was really great, as were our conversations during coffee breaks, and the time I spent with Gregor (car lifts, tennis, drinks, …). I will certainly miss them!

Inspiration. On the journey back home I stayed in Innsbruck for a few days. There I visited Prof. Kuhn at his institute, which turned out to be a very inspiring meeting, adding further to my vision of the future. I also remember him speaking remarkable words about his marriage: how he and his wife, having met already at a young age, developed alongside each other. That sounds very elegant and romantic to me. In times of trends of developing in adverse directions, I am glad to know such examples!

And now I am back in Graz, striving to organise myself (getting things done :-)), closing the bottlenecks and pursuing my studies, so that in a few months I can start my master thesis. It’s just about time!

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