When I woke up this morning, I had to check because I thought I had only dreamt that the Cubs won the World Series. But it was true and 108 years of hurt are over. Good morning, Chicago: how’s your hangover? Apparently, UConn’s very own Jonathan the Husky got caught up in the celebrations. I had somewhat of a “meeting hangover” this morning but luckily I was able to take some time for myself today.
9.25 Arrive at the English department to open our Writing Center in that building for the day. I read and respond to emails, and do some preparation for a meeting tomorrow.
10.00 My first tutoring appointment hasn’t been booked so I use the time to continue skimming Coleridge’s letters. It’s hard to know whether to count this as Writing Center or research time as I am “on the clock” and, if I was paid hourly like most of our tutors instead of via my stipend, I would still be paid for unbooked appointments. I have to always be prepared for walk ins and to (wo)man the receptionist desk, after all.
11.00 My next appointment is booked, however, so I work with a student on a critical reflection essay: it’s about a play she saw about abusive relationships so I spend much of my time prompting her to analyze her reactions in more depth. After a forty-five minute appointment, I take the last section of the hour block to write up a “tutor note,” a summary of the session that is sent to the writer and—if they wish—their instructor.
12.00 We’re finally getting to a quieter time in the semester so again I don’t have an appointment. I was fully booked until some last minute cancellations so I’m partly relieved and partly disappointed. My shift last week was one of the best ever so I’ve been feeling more energized about my tutoring hours. I finally finish my current volume of Coleridge’s letters as he returns from a trip to Malta.
12.15 I start working on an outline of major ideas for the dissertation chapter I want to start drafting this weekend. Using pen and paper, I am able to materialize much of what has been circulating in my head for weeks.
1.00 I have an (re-scheduled) individual consultation with a seminar participant, including a detailed review of his article’s introduction.
1.40 I walk to the Student Union to grab lunch (my treat after packing sandwiches or leftovers so far this week!) and bump into a former student. He tells me he’s been accepted to the study abroad program for which I wrote him a recommendation letter, which is very exciting.
2.00 My afternoon of freedom begins. As I’m coming to campus for all of Saturday, I need some taste of a weekend! I run errands, including getting my car’s oil changed and picking up dry cleaning. I also stop by a friend’s house for tea and a catch up.
5.50 Back home, I transform into a domestic goddess: putting away laundry, making dinner, and doing dishes.
7.45 Start this blog. I haven’t decided whether or not to read for some of this evening, but more likely I will take a breather so I have energy for writing after my meetings tomorrow morning.
Work for Writing Center: 2 hours 15 minutes (+ 2 potential hours counted below)
Research time: 2 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
I know I have been lucky enough to gather some readers for this blog so please let me know if you have any thoughts, suggestions, or reflections. As I look toward the end of my seven-day exercise in transparency, I know what I am learning, but what about you? How does this compare to your experiences or understandings of graduate school?