Day in the Life of a Johns Hopkins Grad Student

6:30 – It is way too early to be awake in my opinion, but the sun is shining brightly and the bun is digging furiously into my pillow and hair. She believes that breakfast is late because the sun is bright and high, but I feel the need to disagree. She calms down for snuggles for a little bit, and we check emails and read the news together.

7:10 – Time to get out of bed. I give Bun her breakfast cereal and refill her water bowl before getting ready and heading to the gym. It’s an hour of weights, thirty minutes of Couch to 5K, and ten minutes of abs today. I am feeling pretty good about my workout, but my Bose wireless earphones are not the best at staying in my ears while running. I am grumpy, but I’ll bring a second set tomorrow for the running. Workouts keep me grounded during school, and I use the time to mull over readings and papers.

10:00 – Home, showered, and now it’s time to let my hair dry and drink a protein shake (almond milk + water + Vega protein powder + frozen fruit) while I check emails again. Then, I catch up on some blogs and a couple of Youtube videos before getting ready for the day. I like to let my hair air-dry as much as possible, but during the school week I frequently can’t wait. I prep my snacks and tea for the day, pack my bag, and spend a few more minutes cuddling with the bunbutt before she settles down for a nap and I head to campus.

13:00~16:00 – I have a short day of classes today. Fascinating and thought-provoking and all-in-all a great afternoon. I like all of my classmates, and some of us were together in the summer. It’s nice to be together again.

16:15~18:45 – Library time! I do some readings and outline a paper while eating my snack. I brought cucumber and carrot wedges with hummus, peach and pear slices, and raw walnuts. Carrying the ziploc containers gets a little obnoxious, but at least they can be nested after I’ve eaten. I just dislike feeling like a pack mule.

18:50 – I head to another building to hear April Ryan’s talk. I normally would stay in the library longer, but I am trying to attend as many lectures as possible. I attend 2~4 per week and make up the study time at home or over the weekend.

18:55 – I met April Ryan! I purchase her new book and grab a tea sandwich before finding where the other graduate students are sitting.

20:30 – I enjoyed hearing everything she had to share about working in the White House and what she’s seen over the years during the four presidencies she has covered. Some of the freshmen could have been a bit more concise with their phrasing so everyone who desired could ask a question, but I shrug off this feeling by remembering that they are young and enthusiastic. My fellow graduate students do not share this feeling and grumble up and down our row.

21:00 – I apologize to Bun for being late with her dinner and promise to feed her on time tomorrow. She eats while I check emails and finish some readings. After she is done eating, she crawls onto my back and takes a nap there. I disturb her slumber when I realize that I am still hungry. I make a Vega nutritional shake with almond milk and eat some chickpea chicken salad I had in the fridge.

22:30 – Oof. Time to get cleaned up and ready for bed. TRX day in the gym tomorrow, and I need my rest.

On Autumn Semester and Entertainment

The 2021 Blue Jays have joined the Nest, their banner is in the library, and Homewood Campus is running at full capacity again. There are symposia and colloquia on fascinating topics pretty much every day, autumn sports are off with a bang (we defeated Goucher 0-2 last night, #packthenest), The Beach is littered with undergrads, and free food is everywhere. I have registered for a number of speakers and related events, and it feels good to be back for this semester.

However, I did make sure to enjoy my brief vacation. I visited Charm City Cakes and bought a lemon layer cake in a jar. I visited the Baltimore Museum of Art and contemplated purchasing the prettiest coaster for $18. (I did not buy it.) I read and read and read some more in my favorite chair in The Hut. I got in good workouts before taking off from training for two sessions to enjoy some time with an old friend. (I might pay for this next week.) I deep cleaned the apartment, purchased a few new clothes for fall, trimmed Bun’s claws, and ordered textbooks. I went to the Hopkins-Goucher soccer game and am looking forward to football and soccer games for the rest of the season. I ate lots of vegan cake, drank too much coffee, and slept just the right amount. All in all it was a vacation well spent.

Classes began last week, and I am pleased so far with my courses. My schedule is a little rougher this semester because of the extracurricular activities which are beginning, but it is the very best kind of frantic frenzy of busy and I have no complaints. I will report more about the classes later, but for now I am optimistic.