Day in the Life

I saw a few friends doing these Day in the Life posts and thought I wanted to do one, too. It turned into a massive, nearly 3000-word commentary on way too many details of my day. You’ve been warned. It was rather interesting to me — I get a much clearer picture of how my day is set up and why I feel such an intense desire to just sit quietly for an hour in the afternoon (so intense that I basically cannot be relied on to do ANYTHING during the hour after I get home). My day is entirely weighed to the morning.

Anyway, here you go: read on if you feel like it, or if you’re curious what a typical classroom day looks like for me. I won’t blame you if you don’t, though.

5:00 My alarm goes off, apparently, and I hit “snooze” twice, again apparently, without remembering that I did so.

5:18 The alarm goes off for what is now, apparently, the third time and this time I wake up for real. “Damn,” I think to myself. “Daaammmn.” I lie in bed for another five minutes, awake and thinking about how much I wish I could stay in bed for much longer than five minutes.

5:23 I get up, find my glasses, and make my way to the bathroom. I have to turn on the shower all the way to the hottest water for a few minutes before it’s even tolerably warm, so I get that started then stand there contemplating life for a minute or two before braving the water. It’s warm….enough. Somewhere along the way, I decide to start this post and begin narrating my day to myself in the present tense. It annoys me but I won’t be able to stop for a while. I finish my shower, get out and put on the clothes I laid out the night before, and dry my hair.

5:45 I head into the kitchen and hit the start button on the coffee machine (I set it up with grounds and water the night before), get the dog out of his crate and take him to the bathroom (due to his paralysis, I have to express his bladder for him, which I do over the toilet). I clean out the cat box, feed the cat, and then feed the dog. When Egon knows I’m on my way to get his food, he spins around in excited circles, looking at me the entire time. It’s one of my favorite things about him.

5:55 I start breakfast for myself: a cup of coffee with almond milk and cinnamon, a toasted English muffin with almond butter and cherry preserves, a clementine, vitamins.

6:00 I’m eating breakfast on the couch, jealous of the dog, who has already finished his own food, pulled his blankie out of his crate and onto his bed, burrowed under the blankie, and gone back to sleep. Only his tail is sticking out. Stupid, lazy, peaceful, sleeping tail. Why won’t that dog GET A JOB?!

6:08 I’ve never timed myself before, but evidently it only takes me eight minutes to eat my breakfast. This includes drinking about 12 ounces of hot coffee. Should I be proud, or embarrassed? At any rate, at this time I head back into the bathroom to brush my teeth and put on makeup.

6:17 I emerge from the bathroom and blunder around the dark bedroom (my husband is still asleep) looking for my jewelry and perfume. As I was with the dog, I am jealous of my still-peacefully-sleeping husband, who doesn’t have to wake up until some vague time after I will have already left for the day.

6:20 I have to wake the sleeping dog up again to give his bladder one last post-breakfast squeeze before I leave (it’s important that it be as empty as possible when I’m going to be gone for several hours). He’s pissed off when I pull the blankie off his head and he barks at me. Nice. I take care of his business and then putter around finding my coat and bag for school and making a to-go mug of coffee to bring with me.

6:25 I say goodbye to my still-mostly-asleep husband before leaving.

Arriving at work, morning sky

6:33-6:43 I drive to work, think about how there’s never anything tolerable on the radio at this time, and try to appreciate the pretty pink morning sky — although I feel slightly resentful about being on my way into work while the moon is still visible overhead. These 5:00 wakeups are not my favorite.

6:43 At least it’s easy to find a parking space this early? I park and walk to my building, chatting with a colleague briefly in the elevator.

6:50 I’m at my desk and ready to work.

6:50-7:15 I make a midterm review guide for one class, print notes and activity for another class, post announcements to the course websites.

7:15-7:25 I make some copies and cut up scraps of paper for an activity. Arts and crafts in the morning!

7:25-7:35 I update my attendance spreadsheets, make a review guide for the other class, and post materials to their course website. The time of day before my first class is my most productive time of all — I do as much as I possibly can.

7:40 By this time, my coffee (2 cups, by now) has kicked in, if my manic Oprah-voice tweeting is any indication.

7:45 Cue last-minute panic that the Prezi I have made for my lecture-type course is inadequate and that I’ll be flailing for things to talk about in the last few minutes of class. I review the Prezi and realize there’s no time to change anything.

7:52 I call the elevator and head to class, which is in another building.

8:00-8:50 I teach the large lecture-type class. As usual, the Prezi I made turns out to be more than adequate. There is plenty to discuss and we have a fairly packed day. I head back to my building for my next class.

9:00-9:50 I teach another version of the same class in a smaller-group setting with less lecture and more discussion. Another action-packed session. I think to myself that I need to spend two days on this material next time instead of only one. But then what other reading would I cut out? Decisions, decisions.

9:50-56 I’m back in the elevator to my office, where I run into a colleague and have a quick chat about life and our weekends. It’s a long ride because the elevator, over-filled with people, is acting possessed again and going down when it’s supposed to go up. Almost everyone has been stuck in our elevators before, so a simple malfunction like this doesn’t faze us.

9:57 I’m back at my desk thirsty and hungry and tired after two classes and, most of all, not sure how to manage my time before my next class. I start by updating some attendance information and following up on a few email requests.

10:09 It appears I’ve spent several minutes catching up on Twitter, eating a clementine and some stale granola I found in my desk. I decide to turn this into a general break before my office hours begin at 10:30.

10:24 There’s a knock on my door. “But it’s not 10:30 yet,” I whine to myself. WHO COULD BE HERE? Oh, it’s my husband, stopping by to say hello, looking adorable in his sweater vest. We work in the same department and his office is one floor down from mine, so we occasionally get to drop in on each other’s work days, which I really enjoy.

10:30 All right. Time for office hours. I will get myself a drink and check my department mail prepare to sit here and work until my next class.

10:40 Hmm. What to do? I decide to start typing up this post from the notes on my phone.

11:00 Here we are. I’ve typed all this. No one has stopped by my drop-in hours for help. I check and respond to email, look at some student work being submitted in the online course management system, and peek in (online) to see how my TAs are getting on with their share of the grading. (I’ve finished my share of the grading for that particular course already, go me.)

11:12 I turn my attention to the other course and start looking at the essays those students submitted on Friday. I have about 50 of those to grade this week (no TAs on this course) and I don’t want to start officially dealing with the grading yet, but I do want to look through them and get a rough, unofficial idea of what to expect.

11:26 It turns out I don’t really want to look at those now after all. Hmm. I shift gears to looking at the poetry, notes, and Prezi for Wednesday’s classes. Thankful that Past Me prepared this stuff pretty thoroughly and I won’t have a lot of prep to do before Wednesday. More time for grading, then.

11:40 Oh, I need to round up materials for my next class!

11:53 It’s not even noon yet and I feel like I’ve already lived three days today. This is how my days are: heavily weighted to the morning. Time to hop back on the elevator and hope it works well enough to get me down to my next class.

12:00-12:50 I teach my last class of the day (another small one). It’s another section of the smaller one I taught earlier, and it goes pretty much the same.

12:50 Back to my office and gathering my things in a hurry — I have a lunch date with Becky!

1:00-2:00 Lunch at a new farm-to-table sandwich shop on campus. I have some kind of wrap involving black-eyed-pea fritters, which are amazing, but which I promptly realize I should not have ordered due to their crispy deep-fried fabulosity being full of a million calories. Oh well! Let’s assume the kale salad on the side healthed the whole thing up a notch. It’s good to sit and talk with B.; I haven’t hung out with her one-on-one in a couple of weeks.

2:00 B. is on her way to class and I’m officially leaving campus for the day — I don’t have a Monday committee meeting today and my students have all just turned in papers, so no one is exactly clamoring to meet with me. A nice opportunity to leave at 2:00. (Sounds like a short workday, but a lot of my job happens at home, on nights and weekends.) I have some errands to do and I try to decide where to go next as I walk to the car.

2:00-2:08 Driving out of my way to a grocery store I dislike. It’s more expensive and it’s not in my neighborhood and the employees are busybodies. The only reason I’m going there is that the “Soviet Kroger” was out of two things we needed when CW and I shopped yesterday, so I’m completing the mission.

2:08-2:17 Shopping. I see three people I know in the store, but I manage to avoid being seen, so I don’t have to speak to them. I am stealth like that. I grab the last bag of kale, a few rock-hard avocados (I guess we won’t be having those on tonight’s sandwiches after all), and a couple of personal items.

2:17-2:27 Driving home. I remember on the way that when I get there I’ll have no mail awaiting me (it’s a postal holiday, which I hate, because mail is my favorite thing) and I’ll have to drag the garbage and recycling bins back up the driveway. I am already bummed about these two facts.

2:27 Home. Move garbage bins.   Sulkily do not check mail. I come in and put away the groceries, get the dog and take him to the bathroom, and change into sweatpants. That feels goooood.

2:45 I sit down on the couch and just stone cold chill for a few minutes. It feels so good to slow down after a busy first half of the day. I check up on Twitter and pet the dog a bit. The dog is being annoying however, barking at something going on outside. Dude. Chill. The doorbell rings. My first two thoughts: 1) “That explains the dog barking, anyway,” and 2) “Who could that be? The only people who ring our bell are USPS and UPS, but there’s no mail today.” Well, I guess I was wrong about the mail holiday, because it WAS indeed the mailman, with a Crappy Day Package for me from Miriel! Talk about a good surprise!

[I notice as I’m typing this that this is the second time today I’ve been pleasantly surprised by someone at my door (work or home). Maybe I should adjust my attitude! Sometimes that knock is a friendly one.]

3:25 I excitedly tweet back and forth about it with Miriel for a few minutes, get the dog calmed back down, and resume my busy plans of “chilling” and “relaxing.”

3:45 I decide to kick this relaxation up a notch — or, I guess, down a notch. I let the dog up on the couch and cover us both up with a blanket for some primo snuggling. I decide to read on my phone (blogs & a book on the kindle app) and see if I fall asleep. I decide to set the alarm for 4:30, just in case I do doze off.

4:30 Quiet time is nice, and I didn’t need the alarm because I didn’t sleep at all. Rather, I got caught up in the book I’m reading (Jo Nesbø’s The Redbreast) and I decide I’ll keep reading a few more chapters.

5:00 I reluctantly put the “book” (iPhone) down and get up. I putter around the house unloading the dishwasher and putting away some laundry, then get some red cabbage slaw started for tonight’s dinner. I want it to have time to sit for a couple of hours before we eat. I also make a marinade for the portobello mushrooms I’ll be making and worry that I didn’t make enough — it barely covers one side, but I figure it’ll be…fine.

"Sit down please. I require a lap."

5:42 I’m twelve minutes late to feed the pets their dinner and they are letting me know it. I head into the bathroom where Flannery the Cat’s kibble and food dishes are kept and discover that she has dropped a SUPER stinky deuce on the bathroom rug. She does this every couple of months or so. It’s seriously gag-worthy, you guys. I’m dying. I clean it up and flush it and put the rug in the washing machine but the bathroom still smells highly objectionable. I demand to know why the cat is ruining my life. She has no response. I feed her and the dog and decide I need a gin and club soda to help me get the smell of cat poop out of my nose (SCIENCE).

5:50-6:10 I sit down with my cocktail and laptop to type more of this post.

6:10 Gin, tweeting, texting. Avett Brothers Pandora station. I’m trying to decide when to set dinner in motion to have it ready around 7:30, which is when CW gets home from his evening class.

6:30 I’ve had half of my cocktail and I already feel quite tipsy. Time to get out the knives and start peeling potatoes!!! On second thought, I’d better finish this drink first, while I preheat the oven.

6:45 General dinner prep. We’re having BBQ portobello mushroom sandwiches with smoked provolone, slaw, and oven fries.

7:13 Fries are in the oven, other items are prepped, and I’m waiting waiting to start the mushrooms. Did a few other kitchen tasks as well.

7:15-20 I squeeze the dog again, turn the fries in the oven, and apply lipstick. Time to put the mushrooms on.

7:30 These mushrooms are going to take longer than I thought, which is fine because CW is not home yet. Just as I’m thinking this, he calls me to let me know he’s finally leaving work.

7:40 Dinner is shaping up nicely!

7:45 CW is home! Hooray!

7:50-ish We sit down to eat. The meal turned out well and the oven fries (which I made spicy) were the big hit. We basically wolf down dinner then sit and talk, then do a quick cleanup.

8:27 I’m hanging out on the couch while CW does his laundry and putters. Looking at possible travel for the summer, getting depressed about prices. Europe, why are you so expensive?!

9:10 CW puts on episode one of The Borgias, which I suspect will be a show he watches and I semi-ignore. (He claims to have heard it’s “like Game of Thrones but better,” which to me sounds HIGHLY SUSPECT. Who would have said that?!) I decide it’s time to do my PT exercises for the day: a variety of leg lifts, bridges, single-leg balances, and hip stretches.

9:35 Done with PT. Make a second gin and soda to have before bed. CW starts a new episode, I lounge and look at the internet. I’m not really paying attention to the show except to google-image Lotte Verbeek because we are mesmerized by her (me: her hair, CW: her fivehead).

10:45 I’m ready to start moving in a bed-ward direction. I help Eegs go to the bathroom one more time and settle him into his crate with his blankie. I brush my teeth and floss but (as often) am too lazy to wash my face.

11:00 In bed to read another chapter of The Redbreast while CW finishes his last few tasks.

Annnnnd goodnight!

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