Halloween at MIND Research Institute is really quite special. It could be just another ordinary work day, but our colleagues come together to make the holiday exciting, engaging and of course, filled with math!
For me, the fun started before I even arrived at the office. I drove to work in my Where’s Waldo costume and entered the building with excitement, wondering what costumes I would see from my colleagues.
Right off the bat, I saw the product team dressed in the ST Math® spirit! They wore orange traffic cones and had construction signs like “mathematization in progress” and “building problem solvers” hung from their shoulders. They put together a great group costume and it was so fun to see their passion for mathematics - even on Halloween!
Speaking of costumes, we held an organization-wide contest across our Irvine office and with remote team members. Everyone was encouraged to post photos of their costumes on Slack, one of our team collaboration tools. Voting was done with emojis and the competition was fierce! It was a great opportunity for all of us to share our Halloween plans and excitedly ooh and aah over each other’s costumes - and our kids’ and pets’ costumes as well.
At mid-morning, I took a walk around the office to check out the multitude of spooky decorations and scout for candy. From cute wall hangings, to spider webs and festive string lights, it was clear that each department went all-out for the holiday.
This year, the engineering team set up a series of puzzles which, when solved, helped you to pick the correct witch’s brew from a collection of recipes. After passing Albert Einstein in the hall, along with Lucy and Charlie Brown, I decided to try my hand at the puzzles with a few friends from our engagement team.
The puzzles required adding spaces along lines to equal a same number and reminded me a bit of Sudoku. We completed one puzzle out of three before admitting defeat - no hints were allowed!
The productive struggle was real, but the care that the engineering team took to create a festive environment for fellow colleagues is just one of the things that made this holiday so special.
I ended the day by challenging my team members to the Google Doodle game that was posted for Halloween. It was a multiplayer game that involved collecting “spirits” and bringing them back to your team’s home base. We were randomly assigned teams and it came down to Jennifer and me versus Andrew and Armando who pride themselves on their video game skills.
We’re a competitive bunch here at MIND, so it became very heated and extremely rowdy as we played. The game must have caught on in other departments, because excited shouts and cheers could be heard for the rest of the afternoon. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, team Gen/Jen came out on top!
Between the fantastic group costumes, the outdoor photo shoots (Cinderella looked much better posed in front of our woodland courtyard than by the printer), the mountains of candy, and the general excitement felt throughout the office, it’s easy to see why Halloween’s a favorite holiday for our organization.
Here at MIND, it’s hard to not get swept up in the festive spirit no matter what holiday we’re celebrating. If you didn’t enjoy it, you probably don’t have a pulse! Sorry to all the zombies and undead out there - no hard feelings.
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About the Author
Genna Conrad is the Senior Partnerships Administrator at MIND Research Institute. She is an avid reader, dedicated cat-parent, and crews for her dad’s racecar in the Sports Car Club of America.