Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another "one of those days"

This is not an untypical day at SRU for me right now.

7:20a: late getting baby to day care because of a melt down. My goal was to leave the house at 7:00a and be into work by 7:15 to finish setting up an elaborate lab for 8:00. Luckily, had a highly competent work study student working yesterday and lab was very well prepped.

8:00 Was able to start lab right on time with complete set-up.

9:20a: At this point, I am working very hard, as the students are unsure of what they are seeing in the microscopes, so I must go to each one (in the order that hands are raised- not spatially efficient)... a lot of "waitressing" type of work.

9:30a: students start wrapping up lab activities, and as they clean up, I give a very short lecturette/ demo introducing a new concept.

9:33a: in the middle of my talk, the Babyphone rings, I answer, apologizing to the class. I listen (with the entire class watching) as the day care director explains they have discovered a large injury on Boy that looks like a burn. I ask to call back in 5 minutes. I finish explaining the concept. I explain what the call was about.

9:37:, I slip out and call the day care back. I say, "If I can't be there in the next 5 minutes, I won't be there for another two hours."

9:38: I determine that I can make it to the day care and back before the next lab section starts at 10:10a. I ask the students if everyone can carry on in my absence, and check to make sure there are no potential safety issues. Then I leave.

9:45a (yes the day care is close... so close it is embarrassing to drive there). Boy certainly does have a huge welt of unknown origin. I decide some Greer's goo may help and run home (also close) to get it. Boy wails after he sees me and doesn't want me to leave.

10:00a drop off the goo. Boy wails after he sees me again and doesn't want me to leave.

10:08a back in the classroom again. Since the last section used all the materials that had been set up by the work study, I must rush to 1. give instructions and 2. distribute new materials. I would have done this in the period between labs had I not gone to the day care. This section is considerably more chaotic due to the lack of adequate preparation. This is a lot more "waitressing" work as I am running to get materials to everyone as needed AND answer microscope questions. Demo again, ask the students to clean up completely after themselves AND the previous section that didn't do so adequately because I want there to supervise them. There is lab from a different class immediately following mine.

11:55a, though there are still students working I leave early for a pre-natal appointment.

12:00 I drive by to get a decaf latte for lunch since it seems to be the only option. My joints ache from the "waitressing".

12:20 I arrive at my 12:00 "Centering" class... Centering is prenatal care in groups. The theme today is proper prenatal nutrition. I gulp down my latte for lunch during the talk. In addition, the group was asked to place ourselves on a series of continua: how well we eat, our dental hygiene, how stressed we feel, how well supported socially we are, how much caffeine we drink, etc. I was standing alone on the very stressed side. I decided that the stress has to go down, that my baby (fetus) may be at risk if I don't just let some things go!

2:00p centering over... important information that could have been conveyed to me in about an hour had it not been in the group setting. I have mixed feelings about this chunk of 2 precious hours used. I get fast food on the way back. It was totally unsatisfying.

2:30p: back at work. Immediately greeted at my door by multitudinous requests for my time starting with my research student working on the experiment for the big presentation. We discover my lab microwave is coated with unknown purple stuff. I am thoroughly irritated!

3:15p go into my office to send an e-mail request to my colleagues for information about the purple explosion, and am cut off by a student who is desperate for help on a paper presentation on Thursday. She waited too long to start, but I will help her nonetheless. She sits while I finish the e-mail, and then I start working with her.

3:40p Another student who is failing (and again, waited too long to talk to me about her grade) approaches and asks, "are you busy?, should I come back?" [Uh, yes, see this student in my office and the papers we are pouring over?] "Well, what is about?" "My grades" "Uh, no, please come back. I'm sorry". I choose the senior level procrastinating student over the freshman-level one whose efforts are likely futile. They were both drop-bys. Triage, I guess.

3:45p Research student returns to interrupt for some quick info. I have to send an e-mail to the other research student to make sure they don't duplicate effort. All while the "paper presentation" student is waiting.

4:00 I tell paper presentation student, that she's on her own from there.

4:10 A student with a dilemma about which summer research opportunity she should choose has her folks call me to ask about what to do. She has several deadlines and they are all tomorrow. She is in a Kibbutz in the Middle East on a semester abroad and needs her folks to do a bit of legwork for her. They aren't helicopter parents. We have a nice, but long talk.

4:45 Research student again, confirming plans for the week.

5:10 *&@#$^)@*&!!!! Where has my day gone!?!?!? I only wanted to accomplish ONE tiny project today: get ONE problem on a test graded, and I couldn't even get that done. AUUUUUGHGHH??!?!? Ah, yes, must not stress. Relax for the baby... deep breaths, deep breaths. Stress must come down for the health of the baby....

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