If you’re a regular follower of Hopkins Interactive (and you should be), you might have noticed that several bloggers have posted microblogs–an in-depth look at what a day in their life looks like. I’m not as on top of my life as they are, and it took me until this evening to realize that today was in fact October 26th, and the day my blog was due, so I don’t have the same minute to minute updates you’ll find on other blogs. What I do have, though, is a semi microblog of my week. Last year, in response to frequent questions about the workload, I wrote about what the workload is like. This time, after getting several questions about this at the most recent Open House, I’m focusing on balance between classes, extracurriculars, and having a life, and demonstrating that maintaining all of these is completely possible!
Saturday, October 20
8am-3pm: FOHOP, Part II! Most of SAAB has an online focus, but we also help out at the fall and spring open houses. Open Houses aren’t really on the traditional college weekend schedule (aka we have to be there at 8am, instead of noon), but they’re usually fun (unless it storms, but this year we had two beautiful days!), and a good way to get to know new SAABers.
3pm: Catch up on email, and start preparing my lesson for Mock Trial tomorrow. This year, I’m the Curriculum Chair, which means I’m in charge of training everyone in the ins and outs of mock trial generally, as well as specific information for the case. Every Sunday, I present about two hours worth of material (which typically takes anywhere between 4 and 10 hours to prepare) on something related to case material or presentation. This week, our focus was on trial procedure, behavior, and successful cross-examinations.
6pm: Dinner break from Nolan’s. One of the biggest advantages about being in Charles Commons is that I’m able to get dinner without leaving the building!
6:30pm: Back to finishing up Mock Trial–I want to send it out to the other captains for any suggestions/comments that night, so that I can get any feedback.
8pm: Mini staff social on duty! One of my friends was on duty, so several of us visited her (which involved food and Bananagrams, easily one of the best games ever).
Midnight-ish: Bedtime, since last week was full of midterms and tests and I miss getting 8 hours of sleep.
11am: Sterling Brunch! Basically a reason to gorge ourselves–the other development teams captains and I met up for brunch (partially since we’re all good friends, and partially since we needed to catch each other up on where our teams were, figure out logistical info for our upcoming scrimmages/tournaments).
1pm: Mock Trial! Two-ish hours of explaining various aspects of trial procedure–my favorite part was seeing the improvement during the Attorney Workshop–our newbies went from not knowing what impeachment was to being able to work as a team to successfully impeach someone in half an hour!
4pm: Homework (because that should happen sometime, right?), with a dinner break somewhere in there!
Monday (super packed, so here goes!)
10: Developmental Psychology
11: Spanish Elements II
12-1:30: My break, aka reserve rooms for our scrimmage, grab lunch, pay my library fine, figure out how to order transcripts, and send out a meeting reminder for Mock Trial
1:30: Work at Admissions
4: Tutorial Project (1 on 1 tutoring with a 2nd grade Baltimore City student). Tutorial is always fun, and today I also got to learn about how bad I am at football (in the form of two second grade boys showing better football skills than I have ever demonstrated at any point in my life).
6:15: Mock Trial team practice
8: Duty, aka JHU_Kevin and Cara coming over and making plans for MT fundraising, and then watching the debate.
10:30: Introduction to Race and Ethnicity. I love this class. The professor is incredibly engaging, and this class has been a really good complement to the other policy and education classes I’ve taken.
12: Lunch at Levering. Three of my friends and I have standing Tuesday lunch plans, and this Tuesday is no different! We were all on the same team last year, and now we’re on separate teams (and miss seeing each other for 10+ hours every week in practice), so this lunch is our catch-up session for the week, as well as a chance to hear about how Carolyn’s tournament went this past weekend.
1: Homework and meet with one of my witnesses for our attorney-witness meeting (if you’re getting the sense that most of what I do revolves around Mock Trial, you might just be correct!).
3: Comparative Political Theory. We’re finishing The Analects by Confucius, and doing our summary of this section, and getting ready to move on to The Prince on Thursday.
4:15 onwards: A mix of homework and dinner. Faculty-Student Interaction, which is part of the Charles Commons ResLife program, is hosting a dinner with Dr. Lisa Folda from Public Health Studies, and so I went with a group of RAs to mingle and eat some very delicious food. We also had our staff meeting for Charles Commons, which I love because of the fun activities we do in them (we all left this meeting feeling very loved and appreciated, as well as with our sweatshirt design in place!). I also had a paper for Developmental Psych due the next day, so I stayed up too late finishing it (and not remembering my lesson from last time about putting these off until the last minute).
Everything up until 6pm is essentially the same (except I do different things on my lunch break!).
After Tutorial, we had an event called Fall Fun at the FFC, which meant there was apple cider, caramel apples, pumpking carving, cookie decorating, and lots of faculty members and their adorable children. After that, my super helpful friend and co-RA drove us to Giant, where we picked up program supplies. A lot of my residents had a big test on Thursday, so I got food for a study break program, and set it all up in the common room at 9 for an ongoing study break.
Same classes as on Tuesday, but different evening plans! I spent my breaks working on homework for Friday, and finishing up edits for documents for my team attorney meeting that evening. I had SAAB from 6-7:15, and then headed over to Maryland to finish up a little more work before my attorney meeting.
8-9:30: Mock Trial attorney team meeting, which today meant going through all potential objections (so we don’t end up like this) and discussing openings and closings (reading over this, I realize how little sense this will make to anyone outside the crazy MT world!).
9:30 onwards: Finish up homework, and take a study break to get frozen yogurt from Nolan’s (clearly the purpose of having an unlimited meal plan!)
Same classes as Monday and Wednesday!
Every other week I have an interview for Admissions Representatives (where we interview prospective students), but this week was my off-week. I took that opportunity to meet with my other witness for mock trial in Levering (I just started to type what we worked on and realized how incomprehensible it’ll all sound again), and then met up with some fellow RAs in the FFC for lunch, and then over to Mason for my tour. There wasn’t a huge group, and JHU_Ian and I ended up not having to give tours (and instead invented a new sport called BrainBall–I beat Ian 7-2 in the first game!). After that I headed to the library for an hour before dinner to get most of my Mock Trial curriculum finished, and then to dinner at Nolan’s with my fellow RAs! Right now, I’m finishing up this blog and then my best friend is coming over to hang out and watch a movie!
With Zoe on Hadrian's Wall this summer!
And now for a few more questions that inevitably follow…
How late do you stay up?/How much sleep are you getting?
At least 7 hours per night, and during most weeks, at least 8 hours. I’ve been able to take classes this semester that work most realistically with my sleep schedule, and I also know how much sleep I need to be functional, and I work with that.
Okay, but how many other people have schedules like this?
More than you would probably expect. Hopkins students are quite driven, and you’ll find many students with multiple extracurriculars and jobs and research commitments. Something we’ve all learned how to do is balance our commitments, and not waste our time so that we have time for what we want to do.
But how much caffeine are you all consuming to do this?
This varies student by student (you’ll definitely see lines at Starbucks and Cafe Q close to midterms, and abandoned coffee cups everywhere). However, I’ve been doing Hopkins completely caffeine free for almost a year (and decaf only for a year before this), so that’s proof that this is all possible as well!