The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Day in the Life: Professor Gemma Sala, political science

Professor Gemma Sala outside her office in Carnegie where she meets with students and is thankful for the invention of daycare. Photo by Sarina Lincoln

1 a.m. — “Mhmhmhmh (pause) mhmhm.” Baby Nora is humming and moving in her crib. Please, please, please, let her find her thumb and fall asleep. Full on, deafening “Nghaaaaaaaa” ensues. Wasted hope. After a whole summer of sleep training, Nora still wakes up three to four times a night and this is progress.

1:20 a.m. — After two Twinkle-Twinkle’s and a duérmete niña she is back asleep and so am I.

5:30 a.m. — Last “Nghaaaaaa” of the night. She calls it. It is officially morning time. Milk for her, coffee for me. Did you know it is possible play peek-a-boo in the dark for an hour?

6:30 a.m. — Showers begin. Husband John prepares breakfast. Since the kids exist, I made the point of not learning how to use the coffee maker, and much of the stove for that matter.

7 a.m. — Lucas wakes up. This four-year-old boy sleeps like a log (Is this English? Como un tronco, anyway) and wakes up like a clock at the same time every day. Want-to-Play v. Late-for-School is our daily rerun. I always win!

7:50 a.m. — Kisses at the door. John takes them to daycare. Great invention, daycare is. I close the door. I have the house to myself! Well, usually I would, but this month we have my father-in-law Jeffrey (“Pop pops”) with us, though he is still sleeping.

8:20 a.m. — I am out of the house. Another beautiful day. I walk three blocks to my office trying to retain the blue sky in my retina and the breeze in my face before I lock myself in an office with boarded windows. Check email, write a to do list, wrap up class prep.

10 a.m. — Comparative courts seminar. Constitutions help people coordinate to limit their politicians. Students know it! I always like seminar. It reminds me of grad school.

11:50 a.m. — Already? I find out time is up only because a student hesitantly looked at the clock. Time flew for me but was not so fast for my students …

12:15 p.m. — Lunch. I walk the three blocks in reverse to go home. More blue and more sun. All is well in the house but the kitchen is a mess. Flour is all over. Pop pops is making pizza, but I don’t panic. I have fresh pizza for lunch!

1 p.m. — Class prep for Nationalism. How industrialization led to the rise of nationalisms. Or was it democracy? Or was it the printing press?

2:30 p.m. — S&B photographer takes my picture for this piece.

3 p.m. — Class meets. Lots of fun (for me). Students participate a lot — you have got to love the beginning of the semester. Don’t give up!

4 p.m. — First student comes to my office hours. She does not think she has a paper topic but she actually does! More email.

5:10 p.m. — Run to McNally’s to buy cake. They have a fabulous Tiramisu in a box. Friends have invited us for dinner and I offered to bring desert. I thought I would make it myself. Wishful thinking. 

5:29:59 p.m. — John and I pick up the kids from daycare. They are happy. They are tired and dirty. The plan worked!

5:40 p.m. — Dinner with friends. They are brave. They have invited all five of us, three different generations. Lovely barbecue chicken and lots of salads. Cake for dessert, as you know. The kids play together really well and we can actually have a conversation. Remember those?

8 p.m. — Having overstayed our welcome, we leave their house with lots of toys on the floor. Classy.

8:30 p.m. — The kids are exhausted, which makes the bedtime routine short but challenging. Anything can easily turn into drama when they are this tired.

8:45 p.m. — Kids are asleep. What is tomorrow? Revise some docs for an early morning meeting.

9:30 p.m. — John and I try to watch a movie but fail quickly and are asleep … at least until Nora decides it is time to get up again.

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