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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

A Day in the Life: Leonya Ivanov, Online Media and Web Coordinator

Photograph by Joanna Silverman.

6:45 a.m.—“I know it’s time to get up,” I yell at my alarm. I’ve been awake since 6 a.m., trying to decide if coffee/life are exciting enough to get up…

6:50 a.m.—…as it turns out, they are. I have 25 minutes for coffee and shower. Then it’ll be time to wake up my son, Eli, and take him to school. He is (objectively!) the best kid on earth. He is also the world’s fastest showerer: 5 minutes in and out, and no traces of shampoo, I check.

7:35 a.m.—Here is a dilemma: Do I show up for work early to impress my new boss, or do I stay home and do actual work?

8:00 a.m.—Look at the ’fit I’ve prepared since yesterday. Today is going to be a cold palette day, probably, black and blue. If my socks don’t match my pen, my lighter and my scarf, I just don’t feel right. I justify it by the fact that my work is somewhat design-related. Not that it shows on the website much (yet!)

9:00 a.m.—Meeting with Arts & Science consultants. Their questions seem insightful. I can’t wait to see results of their study.

10:00 a.m.—Communications Staff meeting. I hate meetings. Maybe it’s my background (in Soviet Russia, meeting runs you). I tend to get bored and start talking a lot, until I just can’t stand my own voice anymore. But this meeting is surprisingly productive. My new boss, Jim [reischej] seems nice and smart so far. He also has new ideas, which is refreshing. (As an anarchist, I hate to praise authority. But I must be fair.)

11:05 a.m.—Even so, it takes me some time to regroup after meetings. I spend it desperately trying to annoy Ben Brewer ’11. He is the most even-tempered person I’ve ever met, and it drives me nuts. Also, I try to recruit Mona Ghadiri ’11 to start a “Fashion Police Tehran” TV show. She doesn’t find it as hilarious as I do.

11:20 a.m.—Respond to some support emails, because my partner in webcrime, Donna Dralus ‘89, is out sick today.

11:45 a.m.—A quick chat with Alison from Rogue Element, a Chicago company that helps us with web design and branding. Talking to Alison always puts me in a good mood for some reason.

12:00 p.m.—My cat Norbert meets me at the door with more guilt-tripping on his face than my Jewish mother. He is starving, he says. It’s tragic, he says. I haven’t paid enough attention to him lately, he says. I will, but first I have to change back into my home clothes. During lunch, Norbert and I are watching “Together,” a Swedish movie about a hippie commune. I really like Swedish movies—they tend to show beauty in non-glamorous, simple things. Also, I love the Swedish language. I took it for two years in college, and enjoyed every moment of it (without much reciprocity, since I got a solid C).

1:30 p.m.—Coffee with Mike Thielmann ’70 at Saints Rest. It’s a tradition since 2002. Students and alums drop by to chat about life and the web. People have been known to turn off I-80 on their way somewhere to swing by. Mike is a great guy, one of the smartest people I’ve met. Jeff Phelps ‘71 stops for a chat about #occupy. His revolutionary spirit makes me want to fight something, starting with Apple, who’s dragging its feet to register our iPhone app.

3:00 p.m.—Meeting with Kabenla Armah ’04 and Jim Powers about the mobile app for the College.

3:45 p.m.—Rush into Jim [reischej]’s office to show him the prototype of the IPad version of the mobile app. Everything seems to work, except the map identifies Windsor House as “San Francisco.”

4:00 p.m.—Work with Kabenla Armah ’04 on the app. It’s going to be awesome.

5:45 p.m.—Skype with Doug Dobrzynski ’13. Doug is working for us, even during his semester abroad. I don’t understand how Poland can be more exciting than Grinnell’s website, but I give him some leeway. Doug is the spider of my Web. He cares deeply about the ‘cause,’ and doesn’t require any babysitting. Plus, he is really interesting to talk to, which, to me, is a job requirement.

7:00 p.m.—Dinner, highlighted by Ingmar Bergman and the iceberg lettuce I’ve recently learned to pickle. Norbert demands we eat kibbles and watch “Nazi Collaborators” on the Military Channel instead. It’s about Amin Al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. After five minutes of fighting for the remote, culture loses to fuzzy history.

8:05 p.m.—A phone call from my research partner in Mayo Clinic. Kabenla Armah ’04, Yaw Nti-Addae ’04 and I have been developing software for them for the last six years, NBD. There’s one procedure left to code, but for the last six months, there was so much exciting work to do for Grinnell, I had absolutely no time for my other projects. I feel guilty, so I switch our conversation to Zen Buddhism. My research partner is Russian—he can be easily distracted.

9:15 p.m.—Negotiate with Andy from PrometSource (our Drupal consultants) the date when we accept the virtual campus tour. Technically, they were done on Dec. 1, but I want to drag it a little, to give us more time to find bugs. Andy wants it to be this Thursday. We agree on Monday. He is nice. He also never sleeps, so I can call him any time.

9:30 p.m.—Work on the specs for “GrinnellWire” which is going to be the coolest thing in the world. We are presenting it on Dec. 20.

11:30 p.m.—My cat Norbert tells me it’s time to watch Stewart, Colbert, and Seinfeld in bed. He is addicted.

12:37 p.m.—I suddenly have an idea for the article I’m supposed to be working on for a Russian anthropological journal. The deadline was Oct. 1. I haven’t started it yet. I have to write this idea down, so I can use it when Grinnell’s life will become less intense. Norbert falls on the floor as I run to my computer. He is not hurt, except his dignity. By the time I’m done apologizing, I completely forget the idea. Norbert is boycotting me, so I decide to read a book, “The Sexual Life of Savages,” by Malinowski. I need it for the anthro article, that I will wri…

6 a.m.—…I don’t need an alarm this morning to tell me that life is exciting enough to wake up.

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