A Day in the Life

I’m so tired!

And I know, I’ve been missing blogging days, haven’t I? I’m sorry about that. I thought you might like to know why, and what it is that makes me so tired at the end of each day. (Or the beginning, take your pick.) So I’m giving you a photo essay: a day in the life. My life, of course.

Today was a teaching day for me. Here I am about to leave, with a shoulder bag filled with my teaching binder, the Bedford edition of Dracula I helped annotate, papers, and the scheduler I can’t go anywhere without.

Breakfast is whole wheat toast and light cheese. In the car, which I know is a bad habit. Here is the car, which is basically a truck. Yes, I drive a stick shift. You need one, in the weather we have up here.

It’s a long commute, about 45 minutes on a good day. But finally I arrive at the English Department.

I have office hours, so I either meet with students or work in my office.

I spend a lot of time pondering. Well, no, I actually don’t. But I wanted to include this picture. Don’t I look thoughtful? And tired.

I buy lunch at the Campus Convenience: yogurt, a banana, and a cereal bar. I know, I should be eating better. It’s across Commonwealth Avenue, which students risk their lives crossing every day. It makes life so much more exciting. (You get that I’m joking, right? Mostly.)

This week, there are groups of prospective students all over campus.

I walk back to my office by Marsh Chapel. You can see the law school in the background. It’s not particularly attractive, is it? Things built in the seventies by famous architects rarely are.

Through the archway is the nicest green space on campus. That river in the background is the Charles. It’s too cold today, but usually walking through this space involves convincing yourself that no, the frisbees aren’t going to hit you.

I have no pictures for the next portion of the day because it involves teaching. I teach for three hours, going over an assignment, having the students meet in groups to talk about their papers, finishing Dracula. It’s hard to believe there are only two weeks left in the semester.

And then, I drive home. Here is the small gray house we are renting. It’s surrounded by tall trees, and in the back there is a sort of farm, with a white pig, some chickens, and tame deer. I like the sense of peace it gives me, being surrounded by trees.

And now I am sitting here typing, eating whole wheat toast and low-fat cottage cheese, tired but also glad that I don’t have anything due tomorrow. Yesterday, I turned in part of the Secret Project, about which I can tell you the following: (1) it is a project, and (2) it is secret. I should be able to tell you more in a month. So I don’t have anything due for a week. Tonight I’m going to rest for a while, and then catch up on grading. And maybe go to bed as early as midnight. That counts as restful for me.

Soon, the semester will be over, and I will be able to work on projects I’ve been putting off, but that I’m very excited about. I’ll tell you more about them when I get there. My days will be different then, not so much rushing about. I’m looking forward to it.

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4 Responses to A Day in the Life

  1. Sofia says:

    Lucky you, teaching Dracula!

    I’m reminded of Joan Acocella’s wonderful comment: “In this bold clarity, Dracula is like the work of other nineteenth-century writers. You can complain that their novels were loose, baggy monsters, that their poems were crazy and unfinished. Still, you gasp at what they’re saying: the truth.”

  2. Jeff P. says:

    I didn’t know you helped annotate an edition of Dracula! I’ll have to look for it. The only one I have is the original hardcover coffee table version by Leonard Wolf.

    Glad to hear things will be winding down in a bit. So you can pay more attention to the tress and the farm animals and your writing.

  3. I helped annotate the Bedford/St. Martin’s critical edition, edited by John Paul Riquelme, who is a fabulous scholar and my former teacher. The more I read Dracula, the more I’m convinced that Bram Stoker consciously or unconsciously encoded a whole other story into it: the true story of Dracula and Mina. Maybe I’ll write that story someday . . .

  4. Jeff P. says:

    I think someone has done that (Fred Saberhagen, maybe, in “The Dracula Tapes”?) but I would very much like to read your version. You’d be the perfect author for something like that.

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