I spend much of yesterday evening remembering why I like being in academia. I met all sorts of interesting, influential people, many of whom knew friends of mine at other universities. One even knew my best friend from high school. We talked about the minutia of our common field, about the things we have in common. At the end, a few of us agreed that, in graduate school so far, we haven't spent nearly enough time talking about our work and our field, not nearly enough time bonding over manuscripts not looked at for homework, and the academic books we've read for pleasure. The geekery of the profession is something we have in common, and that's a good thing. It reminds me of why I like going to conferences.