A Day in the Life

27th March 2015


I just love Trish. Her blogging is always so honest and refreshing, and I truly feel like I know her and definitely count her a friend. So when she announced that she wanted to host a blog event, I thought I should try and get my act together. Alas, this week has been…a bit crazy, so I’m just now sitting down to do this Friday morning. But I still want to jump in! My days vary a good bit, depending on the semester, the point in the semester, etc., but it means my work is never boring. So here is the day in the life of…a writing center director.

6:20 a.m.: Wake up because the pup is moving around. I know I need to take her out, but if I pet her in her cozy little bed, I can usually get her back to sleep for a bit.


7 a.m.: I get up and take Maddie out for her morning constitutional. This week is very humid with just a little (final) chill in the air, so I break out my fuzzy pink robe for this. If my neighbors catch me, I’ll just pretend I don’t see them.

7:20 a.m.: I know I shouldn’t, but I hop back under the covers – just to warm up! Then I quickly make the bed. This is a MUST.

7:30 a.m.: Pick out clothes; toss them on. Wash face, brush teeth, put in contacts, pull hair back. Do makeup. Breakfast! This week has been scrambled eggs, black beans, and pepperoncini rings. Yum. Clean up. Fill water bottles.

8:10 a.m.: My “get your ass in gear” alarm goes off. Prep work bag. Put on shoes. Give the pup kisses and a treat.

8:15 a.m.-8:21 a.m.: I never know where this time goes. It just flies by.

8:21 a.m. to 8:29 a.m.: Drive to work (and yes, be jealous. I live super close to work. If it wasn’t a horrible biking town, I’d bike there).

8:30 a.m.: Roll into the office in the university library.

8:35 a.m.: Check Facebook to make sure all friends have survived the evening and no new pregnancies/engagements. Check email. Respond to email. Tap my toes waiting for college student employees to show up (the Center opens at 9).

9:05 a.m.-9:10 a.m.: Greet student employees. Talk about anything that has to be done that day.

9:10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.: Respond to any lingering emails from the day before/morning. Clean up inbox a bit. Organize to-do list. Check Filofax for tasks. Add anything new from incoming emails. A professor checked yesterday to see if he could bring in his class for a special assignment. Facilitate group tutoring sessions. Talk to professor about a National Poetry Month event for April.


10:30 a.m.: Check my favorite blogs.

10:45 a.m.: Get back to working on a Prezi for an APA presentation I’m giving for the nursing department on Monday. Decide template.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 10.45.16 AM

11 a.m.: Professor comes back in for update on NaPoMo event.

11:10 a.m.: Continue going through flagged APA manual to determine organization for Prezi. Reorganize layout of Prezi.


11:30 a.m.: Prof comes in again to ask a question about NaPoMo event. Agree to check on availability of space and get back to him. (Get a little frustrated by the interruption.)

11:45 a.m.: Keep working on presentation.

12:30 p.m. Grab sharp cheddar and almonds and check Facebook while I eat.

12:40 p.m.: Back to work.

1:20 p.m.: Check with 6th floor about space for NaPoMo event. Figure out availability. Call professor to confirm.

1:40 p.m.: Back to my office. A former student comes in to catch up and ask for help on a research assignment.

1:45 p.m.: Continue work on presentation.

2 p.m.: A new ESL student comes in to ask questions about the WC. I had visited her class the day before, and she wants to know if the tutors can help her with her daily journal assignment. I tell her yes and set her an appointment.

2:15 p.m.: One of the tutors comes in to ask if she can have some time off because she has a relative in the hospital.

2:30 p.m.: View slide show thus far to see flow for presentation on Monday. Looking good, but I need to create sample documents. Create sample documents with pull outs to explain different elements.

3 p.m.: Check online class for emails and discussion board posts. I need to grade, but that will have to wait for this weekend.

3:30 p.m.: The boyfriend texts to see if I’m leaving anytime soon. Find a stopping place. Leave desk entirely too messy. Pack up.

4 p.m.: Home.

4:15 p.m.: Change clothes. Let Maddie out. Plop myself on the sofa in my bedroom and read. The book I’m reading doesn’t hold my attention, so I switch to a new one. Check email (always a mistake). Presentation for Monday is cancelled. Kind of feel like crying. Headache worse. Correspond with the author I’m working on an editing project with.

5:15 p.m.: Boyfriend is hungry. I am too, so we run to the store. We made spaghetti for the week, but he wants wine, and even though my head aches, it still sounds good. As does French bread. And chocolate.

5:45 p.m.: Food! Wine! Things are looking up. Clean up after dinner while talking to the bff on the phone. Feed the dog. Let her out.

6:45 p.m.: Hot bath. Take the wine with me. Pick up a nonfic book I keep beside the tub for bathtime.

7:45 p.m.: Last episode of Empire (addictive). Season finale of The Mindy Project (felt a bit scattered). New episode of The Flash (so damn good). We only watch TV once a week and usually on Friday, but I have to judge a UIL competition Friday, so tonight it is.


10:40 p.m.: Think about reading. Too tired. Lights out.

Thoughts: Man, some days I have no interruptions. Others… It’s all part of the job, and I love working with students, but days like today feel a little futile because I know I could be finished with a project much faster with my door closed. But I never liked when my boss closed the door, so I try to always keep it open. Maybe I should institute “door closed” time.

Also, evenings are hardly ever so lazy. Usually, it’s P90X or a bike ride for a few hours followed by a beer on the porch until the sun goes down. Not today. I needed to decompress.

Thanks, Trish! It kind of feels good to see what I’ve actually accomplished in a day – even if it doesn’t feel like much.



  • First, you are so sweet. xo Second, I’m SO sorry about the presentation. I had to google NaPoMo but then smiled when I saw what it was. And wine and chocolate and bread and pasta all sound delicious. Sometimes decompressing is the best medicine.

    And cat?!!?

    • Me too. The good news is, I can still use the work for other workshops, but I had gone all in. Ah well, today is less stressful, and I’ve gotten quite a bit done.

  • Cindi B.

    So fun to read about your busy day. We have to make the bed too or everything is just off all day.

    • Totally, right? I can’t stand an unmade bed. I loved yours too, especially the alternate versions. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kay

    OK, first, love the idea of the walk in fuzzy pink robe. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And an unmade bed just makes the whole room look messy. And the opposite is also true. Sorry about the presentation being cancelled after all that work. But the hot bath and chocolate sound good. LOL

    • Ha! The boyfriend calls the robe Big Pinkie. Cracks me up.

      SO agree with you. Even if I happen not to make the bed (only if I’ve slept super late), I have to make it as soon as I get home.

  • Ti Reed

    I work in a university library too, the building, not where the stacks are though. But with a skip and a jump and two flights of stairs, I can be near the stacks. I used to make the bed but since my hub is still in it when I leave, I have to skip it.

    • I knew you did. And I’m not near the stacks either. First floor – where the computers are. But I love our location, so no complaints.

  • I don’t make my bed, usually because the dog is still laying on it. I think my commute is actually shorter than yours. I could easily walk it, but it’s a step hill, so if it’s too cold it’s miserable and if it’s warm I end up sweaty.

    • Oh believe me, I wouldn’t do it either. Plus, it gets seriously hot here April and beyond. Don’t want to be a sweaty mess at work.

  • I like your colorful work pictures! I didn’t even think to take a picture of my very boring desk… though I do almost everything on the computer. And I know what you mean by a day of interruptions… those can be frustrating.

    • Thanks! I try to add some color every now and again. I love my office, but with no window, I need it.

  • Akilah

    When I have stuff I need to do, I totally close my door. I feel anti-social, but I love to talk and there are people in my unit who love to talk, so sometimes it is really the only way to minimize interruptions.

    Also, I love the Writing Lab about my job, so A+++++ on being the director!

    • Oh yea! I love the work we do too. And I just found your blog today. LOVE the name and the history behind it. Added you to Bloglovin.

  • Tanya Patrice

    There are some evening I totally veg out and do nothing much, so I feel ya!

    Tanya Patrice

    • It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it is necessary.

  • Michelle

    My favorite part is that you checked facebook just to check for engagements/pregnancies. That’s all it’s really good for.

    • Haha! Being a *bit* facetious, but essentially, yes.

  • Florinda Pendley Vasquez

    One advantage to having an office with a door is the ability to close it! But I understand why you don’t–it’s why I usually don’t, either. I am totally envious of your 8-minute commute, and I enjoyed reading about your day.

    • I know you’re right, and I finally did this afternoon. Plus, some days I just can’t tune out the work the tutors are doing. I love that they’re working, but the din of it gets to me on occasion.

  • I just had a flashback of what it’s like to work in academia. Headache inducing, indeed. It seems to me like you do a lot during your day!

    • Yeah, but I’d only trade it to work in books full time. I really do love it, even when it’s a bit frustrating, like that particular day.

  • BethFishReads

    Oh man the frustration of the cancellation. Yikes.

    • The good news is that I can definitely use it – for other workshops and for our website – but it was a matter of prioritization. Ah well.

  • Words for Worms

    Things I love about this post: Super cute puppy dog, cheddar and almonds, argyle socks. Things that made me sad: cancelled presentation you worked so hard on. Boooo!

    • Those things make me happy too!

  • Irene McKenna

    Your work as a writing center director fascinates me. I am so sorry about the cancellation.

    • It’s a very interesting job. I just started my third year, and I love it.

  • literaryfeline

    I love your dog! So cute. And I really enjoyed hearing about your work. I understand about constant interruptions. It’s a constant in my job too. Thank you for sharing your day with us!

    • Thanks! She is pretty cute. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, interruptions. Thankfully, it’s about even in terms of the days when it happens non stop and then none at all.

  • I really like the idea of watching TV one day a week. I don’t follow a ton of shows, but either I watch all the time or I forget and get behind. Hmmm…

    That is a fantastic description of what happens during my first Facebook check of the day, too! Aaaaand now I want some cheddar and almonds (yum)…

    • Well, I haven’t had cable since I started grad school about ten years ago, so I haven’t watched anything regularly until I got Hulu. I do follow certain shows these days, but I wouldn’t trade it because I love getting to watch when I want. Plus, for $8, I don’t feel guilty about it.

  • Cool to have a job that involves both Prezi and NaPoMo. When I worked in a Library, I had times where those two phrases might come up in the same day.

    Oh. I almost cried, too, when I got to “presentation cancelled.” No fair! Hopefully, you can find a way to reuse that material.

    • Yes indeed! And I love Prezi. I know there are a lot of people who don’t, but I do. And yes, I can definitely reuse it, so it isn’t a waste. I just could have split my day other ways.

  • I love these posts! I love seeing how others fill their day and are unapologetic about their food choices or lack of exercise or TV watching or other supposed vice. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with us!

    • I have loved these posts too. So fun!

  • I feel the same way about interruptions. We have a pretty open office, and so there’s lots of distractions — customers, phone calls, chatting with my boss — that make it hard to settle in and focus sometimes. But I think I’d get bored if I didn’t have those things either. Thanks for sharing your day!

    • This is true. Some days I welcome distraction more than others. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’d bike to work, too, if I wasn’t scared of the drivers! Well, that and helmet hair.

    • Haha! Helmet hair is another good reason.

  • purplemoonmyst

    I enjoyed reading about your day. I have always wondered about the job of the boss of a college writing center.