What are your favorite ways to celebrate good news–papers published, grants funded, tenure received, etc.? What’s the most interesting such celebration you’ve ever heard of? (from Margaret Kosmala)
Jeremy: When I got my first paper accepted, I jumped as high as I could, punched the air, and shouted “YES!” This may have disturbed people in nearby offices. 🙂
After Calgary hired me, I took out all the rejection letters I’d gotten for all the faculty positions I’d applied for, and ceremonially tore them up. (No, I don’t know what I’d have done with them had I never gotten a faculty position…)
I celebrate my graduate students’ successful thesis defenses with a tradition I stole from my own supervisor, Peter Morin. I buy two bottles of champagne, which get drunk at the post-defense celebration. The student then signs and dates both bottles, keeping one as a memento for themselves and leaving the other for me. I line them up on a shelf in my office. So far I only have a couple. Peter has a big shelf full, which looks super-cool.
A colleague of mine has students sign a deer skull after their successful thesis defenses.
Brian: In general, I think academics don’t celebrate often enough. Just for example, I encourage all my PhD students to actually go to graduation because its about the only time you ever slow down and appreciate what the major accomplishment you’ve made instead of focusing on the next to do.
Champagne bottles after defenses seems to be a very common theme.
For more minor things (e.g. paper acceptance), a little celebratory music is apropos (I lean classically so the Hallelujah Chorus or Beethoven’s Ode to Joy or such). Actually just taking time to take a break and go for a walk or treat yourself to a nice and slow lunch is not a bad idea.