Sweet home academia

By Angela Clem

Kristi Curry Rogers & Ray Rogers Where did you meet? Curry Rogers: Our paths first crossed at our professional meeting [the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology] when I was an undergrad and Ray was in grad school. Rogers:That was back in 1993. How and when did you meet? Curry Rogers:Even though we’d met before, we’d never spent any time together or really even spoken for more than a couple minutes until we worked together on a dinosaur wild-goose-chase in Zimbabwe. What was your first date? Rogers:Our first official date was in Chicago. I had to go there to pick up some rocks from my dissertation. I figured I might as well wrap that up with a date. Curry Rogers:On our second real date (after a six week field season in Madagascar), Ray proposed. Describe working on campus with your spouse in three words. Curry Rogers:Collaborative. Crazy (we are both work-aholics). Competitive (we’re always joking about a teach-off). Rogers:Difficult (she has a key to my office, and always takes my stuff—fossils, laser pointers, display port/VGA adapters, etc.). Enjoyable (I almost always have someone to get coffee with). Expensive (two coffees cost more than one). What is it like to married to a fellow academic? Curry Rogers:Most of the time it works out really well, particularly because we do complementary things (I call Ray my “personal geologist”). Since we both do a lot of field work, our projects would have potential to take each of us off to far-flung locations alone. Our tightly interconnected disciplines (sedimentology-stratigraphy and vertebrate paleontology) make it easy to get to really amazing places together (along with our nine-year-old daughter Lucy). We bounce ideas off each other, serve as editors for each other, and crack each other up all the time. What could be better? Rogers:It’s great. That said, Kristi can be tough to live with on those weekends when she is grading 50 plus exams from [her class] Dinosaurs. Raymond Robertson & Sarah West Where did you meet? West:In the Perry Castaneda library at the University of Texas at Austin. He was in the economics PhD program and I was in the Latin American Studies MA program. We both regularly studied on the fourth floor. How and when did you meet? West:I happened to be wearing a Macalester sweatshirt (I went to Mac). He noticed, approached me and said, ‘Say, did you go to Macalester? I grew up about six blocks from there.’ Then we chatted and realized that we had an enormous amount in common. So we can honestly say that it was Mac that brought us together. What was your first date? West: Well, the excuse for our next interaction was that I invited him to submit an abstract to a student conference I was organizing. Hilariously geeky, I know. Describe working on campus with your spouse in three words. Roberston:Great for kids! West:Low transportation costs. What is it like to married to a fellow academic? West: Having the same occupation is a tremendous equalizer. Roberston:It is great…all econ, all the time. It is fun to rate restaurants as having a high MU over P and have them know what you are talking about. Katy Splan & Tonnis ter Veldhuis Where did you meet? Splan:We met at the annual student-faculty hockey game against the Mac women’s club team during my first year at Macalester. Tonnis insists we met in the Olin Rice copy room. He forgets things sometimes. How and when did you meet? Splan:Apparently I dazzled him with my wiley hockey moves. What was your first date? ter Veldhuis:Beers at Sweeney’s after a hockey game. Describe working on campus with your spouse in three words. Splan:Ultimate interdisciplinary collaboration. ter Veldhuis:International multicultural bliss! What is it like to married to a fellow academic? ter Veldhuis:It is great. We discuss quantum biochemistry while doing the dishes. Splan:It’s kind of like the Big Bang Theory, with the obvious exception that we are married instead of just roommates. And Tonnis is cuter than Sheldon. Marianne Milligan & Chris Wells Where did you meet? Milligan: In a coffee shop. In graduate school in Madison, Wisconsin. How and when did you meet? Wells:We met in 2003 after some friendly arm-twisting by mutual friends. What was your first date? Wells:It began as a blind date over coffee, which then morphed into a rather lengthy conversation over dinner, ice cream and a few drinks at places up and down State Street. The next day, when Marianne told her sister about how the date had stretched out, her nephew immortalized it with a bewildered question: “You drank coffee for 10 hours?” Describe working on campus with your spouse in three words. Wells:I love it. (To be fair, you didn’t specify adjectives.) Milligan: Lucky and awesome. What is it like to married to a fellow academic? Wells:Finding two stable jobs in the same city is not fun—academics call it the “two-body problem”—but things for us have worked out pretty well. But it’s also obviously great to be married to a smart, interesting, intellectually vital person who enjoys talking about how the world works and what it all means. (I recommend it!) Milligan:It’s nice. Non-academics don’t usually understand how it works. The intellectual conversations are great. refresh –>