Hump Day.

7.00 In shock at quite how dark it is this morning and, for once, I look forward to the clocks going back.

7.30 An email from a seminar participant prompts some revision of my plan for today’s session.

7.40 I find out that I know as much about Jane Austen as my mother.

8.15 Head to campus. I read the news on the shuttle bus from the parking lot.

8.40 Arrive at the English department, stop by my office, and then head to the classroom to set up.

9.00 The third session of the current Graduate Seminar in Academic Writing begins. Today was very focused on writer activities so I avoided hovering over them too much by triaging emails, reviewing a Writing Center conference’s call for papers, and reading a few work-related articles online. I still hovered (helpfully?) a lot.

11.10 Individual consultation with a seminar participant.

11.40 Send some emails and then walk over to the library.

12.00 I eat lunch during the Writing Center leadership team’s weekly staff meeting.

1.10 Again, I check emails.

1.15 In what will prove my only real break during this work day, I decide to venture out into the sunshine and grab a smoothie. I bump into a friend which makes this even more of a valuable time for self-care.


A rare day of November sunshine, viewed from a conference room in the library

1.40 Back in my office, I grab the opportunity to look at more of Coleridge’s letters. He complains about swellings of the testicles repeatedly but also thrills at the birth of his daughter.

2.00 My office hours begin: I meet with two students from the seminar and conduct an intake meeting over the phone.

4.00 I head up to the Humanities Institute to hear a colleague’s presentation on iconoclasm in Renaissance literature. As always, George impresses with his clarity.

5.25 Having chatted with George and a professor about metaphor and Edmund Spenser, I walk back to my car.

5.45 I make it home and relax for the evening. Plans included some excellent chicken and a bonfire.

Work for the Writing Center: 6 hours 45 minutes

Research time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Total: 8 hours 30 minutes

Let me end with a moment of reflection. It is easy to become swept up in the minutiae of another busy day, but this is not how we count our days. Today, and indeed the last few days, have brought far more significant challenges and joys than I can recount by telling you about the details of my labor. The sun shone blindingly today, and it is what blinds us with tears of joy and grief that stays with us. I know I’m lucky to do what I love and be with who I love. I feel that more intensely than ever as I come to the end of a day that will never come back again.


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