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Date Lab: Romance, public policy. They’re the same, right?

Kristin Blagg, 28, public policy graduate student, and David Morar, 27, public policy PhD student. (Photograph courtesy of daters)

Two policy students get nerdy on the first date over dinner at Il Canale in Georgetown, but are there too many variables for conclusive results?

Kristin: He sort of had that academic hipster vibe. He had a pocket square, skinny tie and vest. He seemed cute; he seemed nice.

David: She was dressed really nicely; she was very pretty. I think I went for the handshake, but I was like, Ah, I’ll just give you a hug. At that point, I was very much in my head about the whole thing, the process.

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Kristin: It was awkward. We made a lot of jokes about Date Lab. Our conversation was really meta.

David: The conversation was peppered with a lot of nerdiness and meta conversation, which was great.

Kristin: At one point, I think I said, “Okay, maybe it’s time for us to learn a little bit about each other.”

David: I asked her about where’s she from and she said western Massachusetts, and then she asked me, and I said Romania! And that was like, “Oh, really,” which is usually the case for me because I don’t sound or look like I’m foreign, but I’m very much foreign.

Kristin: He’s only been in the country for 51 / 2 years but apparently had a really great American tutor growing up.

David: We talked a lot about each other. She’s a very, very intelligent, pretty girl from Massachusetts without the accent that has a great, funny, Internet kind of vibe of humor.

Kristin: He’s a PhD in public policy at George Mason, and I was like, I bet I know why they put us together, because I’m in a master’s degree [program] at Georgetown.

David: She’s big into quantitative methods, which for me is usually sort of — this is going to get really nerdy really quick: I studied political science back in Romania, so I’m more on the qualitative side, so the fact that she’s very into quant is interesting to me.

Kristin: We talked about my thesis. He tried to convince me I should publish it. It was fun to talk shop for a while.

David: We were there until the restaurant closed down.

Kristin: It was a long meal. I don’t know whether our waitress sort of allowed it to stretch out as well, but she was pulling for us.

David: It was really cold, and I’m not usually the kind of person who deals with cold real well, so we went into Ri Ra, which is an Irish pub up the street.

Kristin: That was pretty much it. We exchanged numbers, and then we left.


David: 3.5 to 4. I just feel like it was a different kind of first date, and I’d like to see how we interact on a regular date.

Kristin: 4. I definitely think the date was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. I thought he was really interesting. I just wonder how much of it was Date Lab and how much of it was actual chemistry.


Kristin and David both feel like they have more to talk about, just not a lot of time to do it. Between traveling and school, the two have had to stick to texting. “We’re working out a second date through our schedules,” David says.

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