A day in the life …

I was recently asked to kick off a new feature for my department social media site, documenting a typical day in my life. I went through my day with my phone nearby, taking photos throughout. Here’s the essay that I wrote at the end of the day. It will be cross-posted over to the FSU ISLT blog.

A day in the life of an ISLT professor.

What does a professor do all day? Especially when it’s not a teaching day?
Here’s a glimpse at how I spent Monday, March 26.


I am lost without my morning tea. It helps me do my best!

My work day started at 8 am, when I woke up. I spent 15 minutes checking in with email and double-checking that everything for my online class successfully opened up to my students overnight. Then it was time to get my first hit of caffeine brewing – earl grey tea with local honey – and get the kid off to school. By 8:45 I was drinking my tea out of one of my favorite mugs, and checking out my to do list for the day.

Butter and candy … a 9 year old’s dream?



I spent the bulk of the morning working through some data and creating tables, and then realized that I needed to finish preparing slides for a Webinar. In the midst of my work I discovered the grocery list my daughter had sent to my printer. Needless to say, I do not plan to shop from this list.





Ready for webinar!

Before I knew it, it was 12:40 and I had 20 minutes to get situated for the Webinar. I cleared my desk, discovered that my desktop computer wanted to restart, and quickly substituted my laptop.

The Webinar was recorded — a full hour of my day documented! Feel free to watch. I  worked with Dr. Tami Im on this study and we’re finalizing a manuscript to send out for publication.




Lunch, aka leftovers converted into a salad. It was yummy.

When the webinar ended at 2, I assembled lunch. A great perk of working at home on Mondays is that I get to eat lunch with my husband, who is also a professor and who also works from home on Mondays. We don’t see each other most of the day, because he works in the apartment in our back yard while I work in a little office nook off the kitchen (or in the dining room, or in the living room).

After lunch I had a call to return. Dr. Klein! I started the call outside on my screened porch – after being inside on the computer all morning I wanted some fresh air – but then I had to look something up and ended up inside on the computer again as we finished our call.

Getting some fresh air while talking ISLT business


And … back at the computer again while we finish the call.




Spinster? Really? That term is still in use?

Once we ended the call I started to catch up on email again and work on some visa paperwork for an upcoming conference trip to Hong Kong.






working hard? or hardly working?

On a typical Monday, I would head to campus by 3:15 for the Graduate Policy Council meeting, but this week it was canceled. Lucky me! I got some extra time to work. I had some administrative tasks to take care of, checked in with my online class (it gets relatively little action on Mondays), and then grabbed another cup of tea while I triaged my to do list. I feel like the afternoon just evaporated, which happens sometimes when I do a lot of smaller tasks. As you can see, my co-PI wasn’t being very helpful today, either.

When I next looked up, it was 5:15 and time to head out the door for Pilates. I find that it’s really important for me to have some interests outside of work, and to make sure I get out and stretch. One of the things I like about my Pilates class is that I’m a student, and I’m not in charge. I’m happy to listen, follow directions, and learn new things.


IMG_8121When I returned home, it was time to focus on being a learner in another context. This year I started taking viola lessons, and I had to practice. As a beginner, I only practice for about 10 minutes at a time. I get tired quickly, and discouraged easily. Tonight I sounded so scratchy, and felt like I couldn’t remember the new bowing technique my instructor taught me next week. Being a novice and having much to learn in this context helps me remember that my own students may also get tired and frustrated.



I love having a garden. I visit my garden when I feel stressed. Or when I need fresh herbs.


Next I took a trip to the garden, grabbed some rosemary for dinner, and proceeded to cook while watching a show on Amazon Prime.







After dinner was over and cleaned up, it was around 9 pm. I’d taken almost 4 hours of a break from work, and it was time to get back to work. The evening’s work? Editor stuff. Several new submissions accrued over the weekend, and I started going through them.


Manuscripts. So many manuscripts.

The day ended, and I felt like I’d accomplished relatively little. Looking at all of the items crossed off in my bullet journal, I see that I did quite a lot – it was a jam-packed day, even if I did mostly sit at home on the computer.


Sleepy time tea, updating the bullet journal, and then off to sleep.