A day in the life of an assistant professor [supposedly found on the net by Frank Ritter, but, written by him]

revised 8dec21


7:05 am Wakeup and lie awake in bed

7:13 Realize you spent $180 last night surfing the web for new CDs, means no new stereo components

for the next 6 weeks

7:32 Hit snooze button. Go back to sleep.

7:45 Wake up suddenly with heart in mouth when you realize you didn't hit

the snooze button--you turned it off.

7:50 fall asleep again.

7:55 Wake up with heart in mouth again.

7:59 Ready to go to school, will shave tommorrow, will eat early brunch at

(Denny's/Pamela's/Lenny's/Dinko's whatever cafeteria).

8:45 Get hour of work done at Denny's over 6 cups of coffee

9:08 Arrive at school

Realize your admin assistant arrived earlier today

must think you're a layabout. Realize that your urine smells like coffee. Wonder if this could be a problem.

9:24 Pass by Head of Department's office, chat with Secretary to find out if he is

coming in today. He is, darn.

Need to start work on the grant proposal due this afternoon.

9:25 Read electronic mail

9:28 Delete mail from students taking CMPSC201 regarding questions

about the class and from the poor TA now looking after it.

Hate your teaching job; hate your TA.

Depression: too much work to do today

9:29 For jumpstart: go to Pepsi machine.

9:30 Kick Pepsi machine; promise yourself to call up the company

and ask for your money back.

Wonder why they would believe you now when they would not believe you as a graduate student. Wish you worked for a university that did require you to drink Pepsi but allowed Coke.

9:45 Google yourself, you are rated 1,4,8 and 10, 23, 38, 45, 46, 48, 110, 112, and 513, not bad! Google your blog/diary, find out it is popular too!

10:33 Start printing out loads of stuff that may be vaguely related to

your work. Glad you have a faster printer than you had as a grad student.

10:41 Mid morning stupefaction.

Mutter comments to yourself about missing your grad student officemates.

10:43 think about emailing old officemate but put it off.

Feel good about saving time again.

10:59 Damn layabout grad student stops by to borrow pencil, give him a box of pencils to stop further nonsense like this, have trouble getting back on track.

11:08 Search for more grant proposals to not write from funders

'round the world (using the "google" search engine, of course)

11:19 Feel sleepy, should not have stayed late surfing the web last night.

11:21 momentary panic attack!!!!!!!!!!!!

11:33 edit home page. write a shell program to edit web site more easily to help recruit "better quality graduate students"

11:49 Drop in at Dean's office and borrow something you dont need like more space

& and kinda make him aware you are working hard on your courses and proposals

12:05 perverted daydreams about being given grants just for showing up

12:07 read electronic news

mid-morning yawn time

12:14 Start typing junk at a very high key-in rate to pretend

you are working hard as head of department's admin assistant passes by from outside.

12:15 Press the BackSpace key for one and a half minutes until all

the garbage you typed in is erased.

Realize that you can type more than 256 characters per half minute, plan Chi letters article about this.

12:21 Flirt with the new professor in the department and with dean for gender equity

12:25 Print out some slides for afternoon's draft + presentation

12:27 Print them again, you forgot to change the date from last presentation and the sponsor's attribution

12:29 Print another copy in case this one gets lost

12:31 Completely forget about sueing the coke-machine company. Notice that you have a Starbucks coffee cup holder that you can return for a 10 cent refund, ka-ching! only 25 more for a free cup of coffee.

12:32 Hunger pangs:

12:35 Hamburger/Fries time at faculty club

Drink a cup of coffee from Starbucks. Spend five minutes waiting in line to use flavored sugars to get flavored coffee instead of paying for syrup.

Ch-Ching, you just saved 30 cents by not buying flavored coffee. Save cup holder, because you heard rumor that they will give you a dime for each holder too!

Faculty club was only $15 so saved something there as well.

Met fascinating biological paleo ethno-metaontologist who you could collaborate with on quite interdisciplinary project

12:40 walking back, calculate at that rate you saved about $15/hour of waiting!

12:45 realise that you only saved only $3.60 per hour of waiting,

12:46 comparison with minimum wage leads to impending feelings of wasted day and fear of discrete and indescrete math lecture you have to give

1:05 Group Meeting with your research group, you are late again

1:14 sudden awareness of one's shallowness

resentment towards students not doing all your work for you and their brown nosing

Get reminded by your students that you need to comment on their work more.

Remind students to get to work.

1:51 turn back student manuscript that was crap with lots of red marks on it, can't they try harder? Student gets a strange look on their face, and then thanks you!

remind student to do more literature survey

1:59 Check electronic mail, don't reply though, you are still too busy to do that

2:06 More generic cola

2:30 Sit through the class you were told to teach, get students to make 'presentations'. Why can't they teach better like you do?

2:39 Look outside the window make unrealistic plans to quit

this tenure-track thing and take up a real job.

Wonder why blonde girls are still so pretty.

2:48 More perverted day-dreams.

Meet with work study to give them grant to write.

sharpen box of pencils for that lazy grad student who keeps stopping by asking for pencils

3:43 pm watch the clock

make plans to do a all-nighter tonite

Vow to watch only 1 TiVO'd program

3:51 Senior professor hands you the reddened copy of your joint grant submission for corrections

(that you wrote alone)

3:51:02 The 49 second period of rage / angst begins!!

3:51:52 Realize that he controls your assistantships/promotion/

tenure possiblity/course load/graduate student admissions/all job opportunities/

and the rest of your life.

3:52:53 Thank him

3:52:54 Thank yourself for not saying something stupid to your new "mentor".

3:53:00 splitting headache #1

4:06 pm worry about never publishing

time to write a submission letter--NOT! no time for that.

rearrange desk

call up bank; see if you have any student loan left, you do, lots!

fear of losing small grant next Fall

Read latex manuals to figure out how to put &$%&% in %$^% format

4:56 Notice Head of department leave

4:56:01 Sudden sense of freedom

4:58 Go home for quick, short dinner break with wife, kids, and dog.

9:00 pm Come into the office

9:01pm The hard working professor you are, you have to come to the

office late at night to "get the work done"

9:03 Check electronic mail

Decide it would be a good time to attack those ftp sites you didn't

get to as a grad student so long ago

since network wont be loaded and is even faster now, and sites are now full-blown web sites with snazzy interfaces

Run into "since network wont be loaded and not a grad student" traffic and get the

pictures and syllabi into your machine.

Compress all unwanted research/class directories to make space.

Back up all your pictures and copies of other's syllabi

10:11 Admire pictures and syllabi

Begin work; Realize you need references

Realize its too late today to go to the library or send a work study to the library

Sudden feeling of having wasted the day

10:49 Sudden feeling of possibly having to waste the night

Decide to turn in early and come back very very very early tommorrow morning

Decide to surf the web to put yourself in a good mood.

11:15 Surf page after page from online humor journal to improve your knowledge and

'help your teaching'.

Realize that you still don't know anything

12:20 Play until you beat your old officemate's old score at tetris into the 7th place.

A sense of achievement!! Yes, today was not wasted!!

Revise online faculty diary to amuse your friends and family

Return home to find your wife watching David Letterman reruns

on CBS. Tell her about the "old-style hard working grad student day you had"

Listen to wife laugh unkindly, sarcastically, and your fear a bit bitterly.

1:09 Think about becoming a philosopher and dining with 4 others

(The Dining Philosopher's problem, hee hee :-) (Comp Sci joke, still funny after all these years)

Argue with her about politics, life insurance, why people prefer Japanese

cars and whether it is better to set the heat to "hot" or "cold"

to defrost the windshields faster.

1:19 Realize neither of you have bought milk or bread today and children will have penicillin supported bread for school lunch

Get reminded of the "too little milk problem"

1:24 Forget about getting up early. Turn the phone ringer off

and go to sleep.




Source: unknown Internet hero

Copyright is asserted by the Author, 2004, 2009.