7:00 AM Wake up. Bathroom, check email

7:15 AM Wake up the Littles (i.e., the younger two). Give them breakfast, pack lunches for all kids. Eldest does his own morning routine.
Drive Eldest to school at 7:50. (Some days he takes my car when he has swim practice right after school; not today.) Back to finish getting everyone and self ready. Make coffee to take to work

8:20 AM Out of the door with the Littles, drop them  off at school barely before 8:30

8:50 AM At the office. Work on grant proposal. During the day, take 30 min to meet with a visitor, 10 min to chat with a junior colleague, a few bathroom breaks. I eat at my desk.  I brought cans of chicken soup, pretzels, and graham crackers to the office on Monday, so that’s what I have been eating during the week. Last week one of my grad students walked in on me (the door was ajar) as I was at my desk, eating soup from a can. “Is… that what you eat every day?” She seemed positively heartbroken for me, so I lied to make her feel better. “Oh, no! I forgot my lunch, this is just my emergency soup.” She breathed a big sigh of relief. Little does she know that her advisor eats like a bag lady. Or, as a sage youngling once said, I eat like… like… like a grad student!

8:40 PM Leave office, go to pick up Eldest after swim practice. DH had already picked up the Littles at 5:30, fed everyone, and drove the two older boys to their 6 PM and 7 PM swim practices. Have 5 min to spare, so go get self a burger at a fast food place, and eat in the car while waiting for Eldest

9:20 PM Bedtime routine with the Littles, accelerated. They don’t want to go with DH, so both are past their bedtime, and Smurf most definitely so. Both are tired, so bedtime routine doesn’t take long

9:50 PM Shower

10:20 AM Sit down to write this post

10:40 PM Second work shift. I have a certain number of faculty applications to screen and score before a meeting tomorrow at noon. I also have a midterm tomorrow at 9:30, thank godness that’s done at least. If in bed by 1 AM, I will consider today a smashing success.

??   Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Next week things will go back to normal, where normal means less time at work, more time with the kids in the evening, more cooking, and less uninterrupted intellectually stimulating work. All temporarily suspended activities — like reviewing papers, proposals, and varied other service — will resume on Monday. My students are also eagerly awaiting my return to the world of the living,  with their many, many manuscript drafts. Like this:

Graduate student waiting for advisor to emerge from the grant-writing cave

Graduate student, waiting for advisor to emerge from the grant-writing cave



  1. I am pretty sure that I spend far less money on lunch than most students do. Everyone talks about how disadvantaged and unfortunate our students are…but the line of students buying a $7.99 lunch combo is pretty long. And I’m eating leftovers from homemade dinner. Or ramen.

  2. Every day: $3.59 grilled chicken breast sandwich without the bread, takeout from the hospital cafeteria, eaten at my desk. I used to eat cheaper or junk food, but that catches up with you. The high protein works for me and keeps me going until dinner, which is critical since my work days end up being 16 hrs at times.

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