For the sake of privacy, I will not mention names or post pictures in this section.

All my colleagues were wonderful in this department. The chemistry department was quite cohesive. It could also be that because almost all the faculty was hired in the past one year! There were 2-3 that continued from a few years back but four were new hires (I think because of NAAC evaluation – accreditation). The other strange thing is that among the seven faculty only two were males and both had only MSc, the rest were all women with PhDs. During the course of time, as I had written before about some changes in the department – both male faculty left, one by choice, one not by choice.

All the chemistry faculty were wonderfully welcoming to me. I did not feel out of place. I did feel bad that I had taken one faculty member’s office. She had to share with another one. Well, it’s only for a few weeks.

The chair (HOD) was respected by all. Two faculty sit elsewhere, but all others were conglomerated in one general place, which promotes collaboration and conversation. It also means there is hardly any privacy – but that has never been an issue in India. As I got to know the HOD and faculty more, I liked them all more. There was only one faculty who stayed a little bit away from me but all others were friendly. One of them and I were tea buddies. And during winter time, tea was certainly welcomed.

I got books from my colleagues and any help I needed regarding controlling students or how things are done. For most part my questions got answered.

There is just one thing I find about women in general, they talk too much! I just have to ask a question and they will go on and on and on…….

The interview situation towards the end of February and the two faculty who left the department, mid-semester, and then the HOD announcing her retirement in early April was a lot to handle in one department. The administration did not replace the lost manpower (literally - both men were gone!) and that caused a lot of work increase for all of us. Maybe things could have been different - or maybe not. We will never know.