Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Day in the Life...or Tenure Gets You This?

5:35 am: Coffee machine gurgles. Open eyes. Still dark. Sleep or get up?

5:47 am: Crawl downstairs in dark. Blow nose, etcetera. Flip open laptop. Write novel in dark.

6:49 am: First child awake. Reads to self in armchair in dark beside me.

6:54 am: Hubs stumbles down, flicks on tube to see how EU and Asian markets fared. Boo-yah!

7:17 am: Gotta shower. No, not enough time. Damn. Maybe tomorrow.

7:58 am: Second child wants to bring lunch after assuring me last night he wanted to buy pizza. Whip together Fluffernutter, throw in Sun Chips and a Capri Sun. And to think I used to be macrobiotic.

8:23 am: Policeman with K-9 patrols every car on train. Drugs? Explosives? Who cares? I'm gonna be late for graduate seminar - and I'm the speaker.

9:06 am: Stare longingly at Starbuck's.

9:12 am: Natives restless. Presentation... goes.

10:00 am: Meeting with Dean. In another building. Clouds open. Umbrella buried under books/sports equipment/sweathshirts/what-have-you in car back in metro parking lot.

10:10 am: Drenched. Meeting cancelled.

10:28 am: Free time. Hide with latte in Dental School. What the heck?

11:00 am: Lecture pharmacy students on Prescription Drug Abuse and Diversion. Realize half-way through that slides are from last year. Realize colleague in back row of lecture hall is frowning. Realize said colleague is one of peer teaching evaluators. Gulp.

12:30 pm: Emails replied to, memos written, fires snuffed. Time to sit down and revise manuscript for Psych Services.

12:42 pm: Grad student enters, crying...

1:44 pm: Back to paper.

2:17 pm: Fire alarm. Walk down 12 flighs of stairs. Starts raining - again.

2:43 pm: Back to paper.

3:00 pm: Someone's cloned me - meeting with Gero Psych research team vs. meeting with Department Chair. Hmmm... flip a coin.

4:03 pm: Promotion and tenure packets due tomorrow. Xerox machine: 1, me: 0. There's always Kinko's...

4:23 pm: Back to paper.

4:34 pm: Colleague barges in without knocking, berates me for making her Chair of a committee. I inform her of my new management credo - the squeaky wheel gets the grease - and because she squeaks louder than anyone else. she can be in charge this year. Humph.

5:08 pm: Adrenalated from shouting match. Wander down hall to see Grants Specialist. Shoot bull while inhaling mini Milky Way darks from her bowl.

5:13 pm: Oh my - how did the time get away? Two paragraphs finished on paper... Maybe tomorrow.

8:16 pm: Damn. Forgot to bring stuff to Kinko's. Gulp.


The Writing... Going good. Very good. Er, going well. Very well. Whatever.

Reading... Whipped through LOVE STORY by Erich Segal (yard sale freebie). Clocks in at 131 pages - I see why he's a screen-writer. Into SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS by Marissa Pessl and SIDE EFFECTS by Alison Bass. Good stuff so far.

No wonder I'm so tired... Peace, Linda


  1. Linda, hadn't popped in for awhile, so I thought I'd see what's new in your corner of the world. Chaos. I can relate. Hang in there. Keep writing. Don't let the bastards get you down.

  2. Gulp, it makes me glad I'm retired, though I do miss those sort of days on a certain level. They offered me the stimulation to write on a regular basis, what I'm saying here is I need more stress in my life and that is pitiful. Take care, Gillian

  3. whew, what a day. and getting up THAT early to write? i bow down to you, that's dedication, linda!!

  4. Greta! Chaos indeed. I chose academia for a lot of reasons, but the only job harder is being a mom. Really. I write for relief...

    Gillian, here's some of my stress - take it, it's yours. Actually, to tell the truth, I work better under deadline. When I take a week off just to write, I end up frittering much of my time on thankless tasks, like cleaning commodes. Thank goddess for NaNoWriMo...

    Cindy, if I dont write in the morning, it doesn't get done. And everyone suffers if I don't write cuz I get vair cranky. I'm in your neck of the woods next week for a conference - I'm hitting that Extraordinary Desserts joint - yahoo!!! Peace, Linda

  5. Hey NaNo-buddy!

    I can't wait to see what your list looks like in the middle of November =) You may want to go ahead and call your doc for some anti-freakout pills, just to be on the safe side!


    It won't be that bad, I promise. Besides, you're a pro at getting the words out, so I bet you'll leave me snacking on your dust from the get-go!

  6. Hey Hope, caffeine will be my best friend in November.

    It will be a tricky month, lots of travel, but I just bought a cute little wifi netbook so I can constantly write - in the airport, the doc's office while waiting for my dad, the cafeteria, whatever. And I'm busting hump to clear the day job decks... three more lectures to pull together... And there's that promotion/tenure packet to finish, but hey...

    NaNoWriMo will be my salvation. Believe me. The best therapy. Peace, baby... 10 more days...