Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Day in the Life

A lot of times, people assume that a professor's professional work consists of that time that they spend in the classroom. You know the claim: that we work 6 hours a week or whatever, while we ramble about whatever our area of specialty is, and that otherwise we're off eating bon-bons and mowing our lawns and knitting and playing with our cats or something. So toward a goal of demystifying the life of the professor, I shall give you a play-by-play of my day:

7:00 AM: The alarm goes off. Motherfucker.
7:10 AM: Make coffee. Feed Man-Kitty. Mmmm, coffee.
7:15 AM: Set timer on stove so I'll be sure to get ready at a reasonable time. Turn on the today show, and drink coffee and then doze a bit. (I showered before bed last night, so as not to have to worry about that this morning.)
8:15 AM: What the fuck am I going to wear?
8:30 AM: Pack lunch, appease Man-Kitty with treats (meOOOWWWW, meOWWWW), grab bags, etc.
8:40 AM: Drive to campus, curse people who don't know how to drive.
9:00 AM: Power up computer, feel anxiety about the fact that I've not heard back about the final permission on my book, check email, etc.
9:25 AM: Teach class. First, comfort students and answer some questions about their paper proposals that will be coming due. Two students are supposed to give presentations, but only one is there. After 10 minutes, get on with the first presentation. The second student never shows. Return midterm exams. Lecture and lead discussion on the reading for the day.
10:45 AM: Head over to Administrative Gig Office in order to work over there. Chat with office admin. person, talk with "boss" (although there are no real bosses in academe), work for an hour on duties, chat with another office person whom I think is fabulous, work for another hour, say goodbye to "boss" on the way out.
1:15 PM: Lunch. Lunch is glorious.
1:30 PM: Email student who apparently had a major meltdown and that's why she didn't show up for her presentation. Attempt to console and offer solutions.
1:40 PM: Update CV for award thingie. Also work on revisions of cover letter thingie for same award thingie.
2:00 PM: Deal with Annoying Email Thing related to a registration issue with a student, which was very annoying mainly because I had thought this was resolved a month and a half ago (a) and because the only reason I'm in this situation is because I only allowed it to exist in the first place because I was trying to be a good department citizen and apparently no good deed goes unpunished.
2:20 PM: Work on conference abstract.
2:40 PM: Chat with a colleague.
3:00 PM: Department meeting, in which I participate periodically and when not participating I a) write notes back and forth with my dept. peeps and b) comment on a student's thesis.
4:30 PM: Fuck, that meeting took an hour longer than it needed to take. Email my chair in frustration about reply I received about 2 PM item, and then drive home, in which I have serious road rage at two vehicles piloted by idiots and buy wine.
5:00 PM: Talk to A. on the phone for two or so hours.

And now here we are. And I should grade, or work on the collection essay, or something. But I'm planning to drink some more wine and to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I will be on campus tomorrow from 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Yeah, this is a cushy job. Totally.


Brian W. Ogilvie said...

What a coincidence that this post was right before 12 Essential Rules to Live More Like a Zen Monk in my feed reader.... :-)

JJ said...

A Day in the Life: Staff version.

0830 Radio alarm goes off; listen to news.
0900 Shower, dress.
0935 Start car. Realize trunk is a mess; reorganize trunk.
0945 Leave for (audit-only) class. Late, dammit.
1005 Arrive in class.
1050 Done with class. Drive to Purchasing Office to drop off statement.
1110 Arrive in Building In Which I Work. Breakfast. Mm, organic food!
1130 Attempt to read for class.
1140 Nap.
1235 Supervisor arrives, ending nap.
1240 Catch ride with supervisor to meeting; forget check for Money Guy.
1300 Meeting with colleagues.
1420 Meeting done; return to Building. Assist students with setup for concert.
1430 Discuss parking issue.
1440 Drive golf cart to Admin building to attempt to resolve parking issue.
1450 Parking issue resolved; drive golf cart to next meeting.
1500 Meeting.
1600 Meeting done; return to car to collect forgotten check.
1620 Research billing; verify check amount. Deliver verified check. Check voicemail; return call.
1700 Return to car.
1710 Depart campus for dinner.
1720 Order food; flirt with register/prep guy.
1730 See landlady; chat & catch up.
1735 Dinner & e-mail to landlady.
1820 Return to campus from dinner.
1830 Begin event prep.
2000 Show begins.
2215 Strike complete. Continue paperwork begun during show.
2230 Done with paperwork (I thought). Begin reading blogs.
2255 List of day's activities almost done; remember that paperwork's not really done.
2257 Paperwork done; crew will now be paid for tonight's work.
2259 Post this list; depart office for supervisor's, binder in hand. Soon, to home; back at noon.