How about an Ice Cream Social?

So, as almost everyone reading this already knows, I can be a bit of a social gadfly (I’m not handsome enough to be a butterfly, let’s face it). However, I don’t really know anyone in the Santa Barbara region. But neither do the other 15 or so other new BMSE graduate students that are starting to arrive. So I need to arrange a mixer or activity to get things going.You can’t really just call strangers up and invite them to come “chill”, though, so I need to figure out some good starting activities.

Hiking would be a good option, but is kind of out because I don’t know the hiking around here, let alone feel comfortable enough to lead others onward. I’d love to organize a Poker Night or Board Game Night, but I know I would feel uncomfortable spending the evening in a total stranger’s house. So maybe I need an activity away from my home (cool though it is).

So my current thought is invite people to dinner at a cool (but cheap) Thai restaurant on the town’s Walking Mall (State St), and say maybe we’ll do some city exploration together. I dunno. It seems like neutral territory, and could be kind of fun, with lots of chances to talk.

But I know I am a bear of little brain, so I need more ideas. Got any?

6 Responses to “How about an Ice Cream Social?”

Do you know when the graduate students are actually getting in? Because I know in our department most of them would wait until the weekend or week before orientations began to start showing up. I think it’s a good idea, I just don’t know when people will actually be there. As for activity ideas, I’m always a big fan of movie and consumables. Especially if you see the movie first. That way everyboy has a common experience to talk about over dinner, lunch, or coffee. And I find that movie chats are easily expandable. (“Well, now then, what’s the ‘science’ behind those dragons eating ash?” or “Wow. Our president really doesn’t have any clue as to how the run the country. Did you hear about that new, bogus terror alert?”)

ShortSpeedFreak - August 13th, 2004 at 5:30 pm

That’s a very true concern, ShortSpeedFreak. I was going to bet that of the (remarkably huge) incoming class of 15, at least 4 or 5 might be here a little early. That would be enough to meet up with some of them– especially since we’re not TOTAL strangers– we spent a few nights together visiting the school in January.

I guess a movie might be good, too. It’s just so easy with a movie for people to end up bringing lots of other friends along, or to book out of there right after the movie, avoiding any contact. Then again, do I really want to be friends with people who would do that? 🙂

But you’re right about movie chats being “expandable”. I’d call them gateway conversations, like gateway drugs.

…Maybe a movie AND Ice Cream? Hmm.

Paradoxdruid - August 13th, 2004 at 7:13 pm

That’s what makes movies the perfect “opener” to a friendship…it gives people an easy out if they’re feeling uncomfortable or just don’t know you well enough for anything else. It’ll also let you know how they really felt about the night. If they want to hang out afterwards, they had a good time! And even better if they bring friends. Makes them feel more comfortable about hanging out with a stranger and you get to meet more people! remember that not all people like meeting new friends as much as you do 😉

mallorn - August 17th, 2004 at 10:51 am

I guess that’s true, mallorn. I think movie and ice cream might be the best plan.

By the way, I can see that you’re already surfing the web at work. 😉

Paradoxdruid - August 17th, 2004 at 11:09 am

am not! i’m eating!! *PPPBBBTTTHHH*

mallorn - August 18th, 2004 at 10:58 am

Just don’t take them to see AVP. Please, please don’t . . . unless they’re in the mood for comedies.

I just wouldn’t spring card games and such on them right away. Go to neutral ground a few times. Maybe it’s my paranoid former New Yorker self talking, but being invited to the apartment of somebody I don’t know very well doesn’t seem like a good plan unless he’s a) a friend of a friend or b) also inviting other people I know fairly well along.

ShortSpeedFreak - August 20th, 2004 at 11:44 pm

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