The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

A Day in the Life: Paula V. Smith VP for Academic Affairs & Dean of the College

Paula V. Smith

Photograph by Kathlyn Cabrera.

6:16 a.m.—Wake up to hungry cat ambushing the pillow during NPR story on Tea Party debate.
6:25 a.m.—My turn to brew tea and bring mugs to family members while they’re still in bed.
7:15 a.m.—Send huge number of e-mails from my Drafts folder to conceal that I worked late last night.
8:00 a.m.—Walk to work. Campus appears idyllic on this bright, crisp morning—a wellness moment!
9:04 a.m.—President’s Senior Staff meeting—weekly news-trade, collaborating on academic and other programs at Grinnell—attempt to keep whole curriculum, entire faculty and details of every campus policy in my head at the same time.
12:17 p.m.—Lunch at desk to catch up on email after a morning of back-to-back meetings: granola bar, sun-dried tomatoes, spiced pecans, water and Trader Joe cookies with coffee.
12:32 p.m.—Take call on cell phone from daughter Nora who is at home brewing kombucha and can’t find our supply of cinnamon sticks.
2:09 p.m.—Allot 15 seconds to sign a collective birthday card for one of the associate deans. Experience a moment, looking at their names, of gratitude for the people I work with
3:13 p.m.—Chase a large fly around my office with a rolled-up issue of Academe while trying to carry on a dignified conversation about analytic support and institutional research.
5:39 p.m.—Dash out of Curriculum Committee to catch dinner at the Marketplace before yoga class.
7:00 p.m.—Om.
Late evening—Interrupt long e-mail session, because it’s more fun to write about my day for the S&B.
10:36 p.m.—Get ready for bed and read The Woman in White (found at Drake Library Book Sale).
11:25 p.m.—Sleep.

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