A Day in the Life: Year 2, Part 2

i-9dc84d4d9156dccb30d5f62466b4219a-swblocks.jpgWhere we left our saga, our heroine was getting ready for her class. The work day had begun in earnest.

9:10 am. Start the last minute lecture prep. Decide to not make the overheads I need for an example at the end of class…we won’t get there anyway I think.
9:30 am. Class. Discuss problems with the latest homework assignment, brief student presentations on a previous assignment, lecture with powerpoint and on the board. Damn, I reached the point where I need the overheads. Have to let class out 8 minutes early, even though we’re running a bit behind the syllabus.
10:45 am. Discuss the fine points of bed wetting, sleep deprivation, and potty training with a student. He has a three year old with some of the same issues. Another colleague passes us in the hall and warns that sometimes his 6 year old still has accidents. Oh boy.
11:00 – Begin drafting letters of support for agency personnel to modify and return to me for inclusion in grant proposal.
11:25 – Favorite ex-student stops by for a chat. It’s office hours so my door is open and I enjoy our conversations, but I also like to use the time to work and often the chats run to 30 minutes. Hard not to glance at the clock.
11:55 – Two more students troop in to ask questions about assignments. Wonder if they’ve been waiting in the hall while I chatted with favorite ex-student.
12:05 – Colleague invites me to lunch. Lunch in the faculty cafeteria is a near mandatory form of collegiality at least a few times per week and the best way to get straight answers from people. Plus, the soup and salad bar beats dehydrated noodles.
12:45 – My god, is this lunch ever going to end?
1:00 – Finally back in office. send off letters of support. Check email. See email from collaborator about paper revisions. Need to talk to her about last night’s inspiration.
1:15 – Two colleagues stop by with request for information about advising and curriculum changes. Didn’t we just have lunch?
1:30 Create and print out informal evaluation for tomorrow’s class.
1:40 Email co-author with additional request for help with paper revisions (see 12:30 am)
1:50 Head out door to campus information session on CAREER proposals. The session is led by a program director at NSF and is very informative. I’ve been starting to think about whether to go for one next year, but now I’m leaning towards delaying another year and waiting for some other grants to hit first so that I have decent credentials and preliminary data. I really need a grant, any grant, to get funded. Please.
3:30 Back in office. 10 minutes to gather thoughts and stuff. Realize that I don’t get to have the 4-5 pm hour twice, i.e., I can’t go to the therapist and then grade papers before picking Minnow up from daycare. Stretching time, that would be a very helpful super-power.
4:00 At the therapist. Manage not to cry this time.
5:00 Listen to news on the way to pick up Minnow from daycare.


  1. #1 Sandra Porter
    November 11, 2008

    Hang in there SW, the sun will come out!

  2. #2 makita
    November 11, 2008

    If it’s any consolation, by the time my F1-3 was about Minnow’s age, she would pee in the toilet every morning, and at 26 months, she declared herself potty trained. She wore a diaper at night for another week, then moved permanently into panties. Hasn’t had an accident since.

  3. #3 Kate
    November 11, 2008

    Next time, manage to cry in therapy! It is very useful to get it out. Clears your system of stress hormones.

    And maybe we should write a grant proposal together to figure out how to stretch time?

  4. #4 older & wiser
    November 11, 2008

    Does the therapy help? I gather it is about family matters. I went that route when my family life was in trouble and found that therapy was helpful for a while, but soon I got dependent on it and the cost was becoming prohibitive. It was hard to break free.
    It is a good idea to try waterproof diaper covers at night; it worked for my little ones.
    Good luck and take care of yourself first at some point a few times a day.

  5. #5 Katie
    November 11, 2008

    I also have to stop myself from checking my watch during lengthy conversations – I have stuff I need to do while I’m at work! So those parts of the post made me smile.

    On a more serious note, I recall therapy being rather exhausting (though it did help me considerably). I hope your day will eventually contain some quiet time to process and rest. If not, then I’ll shake my head in awe over you and continue wishing you very well.

  6. #6 Sicilian
    November 11, 2008

    I must admit that I stressed to much for the first child and potty training. They get it. . . . just make it fun. . . . and realize that there are not many kids wearing diapers to 1st grade.

  7. #7 Ewan
    November 11, 2008

    I know this is kinda off-topic for the thread*, but: I’d *REALLY* appreciate hearing more about the CAREER session. I just started thinking that I should maybe try for one next July.

    *OK, back on track: yes, my 6 year-old still has (very) occasional accidents, too. But in better news, I find that a Boppy cushion allows me to type pretty well while still holding the 3-week-old, and working at 2 a.m. was always my most productive time anyway :-). No, serously.

  8. #8 Lab Lemming
    November 12, 2008

    Please don’t stay up past your bedtime to type these up. We can wait, and it sounds like you need all the rest you can get.

  9. #9 DaybyDay
    November 13, 2008

    I sometimes measure how I’m doing (and how therapy sessions are) by whether or not I cry during a session. I can even remember the first time I DIDN’T cry during a session! (that was a very big deal!) Sometimes therapy is the only time you get to slow down enough to process your own thoughts. At least, that what it’s like for me 🙂 I hope it’s being helpful for you too! You are doing so well, especially considering all you’ve got going on in your life. You continue to inspire me 🙂

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