4:55pm: I check the clock to realize class is finally over. It should have been over five minutes ago, but yet another dippy blonde has asked yet another question that really doesnít pertain to the subject at hand, in my one blow off elective. I get up, and head out, after packing up my laptop and checking what time weíre meeting to study this evening. My friend Matt says 6:30, meaning I have about an hour at home. Thatís actually a lot.
5:00 pm: Iím in the car, driving with the radio on when I feel my pocket vibrate. I check the number and realize itís a Minneapolis code. Oh yeah, there is a meeting for my research group tonight in the cities. I answer it, trying to remember if Iím currently angry at my research partner or not. Iíve recently learned the hard way that a person should not make out with their research partner shortly before leaving the state and months before publishing their research. Ooops. We discuss for a minute as to whether we should try to conference call the entire meeting, or just have him call me with the results toward the end. I nominate the end result call, and hang up just as I find the keys to my apartment.
5:10 pm: I walk inside and go find my slippers. I stop at my desk to do the hourly ritual of checking my e-mail. I never even sit at the desk; I know Iíll be moving again soon. As the page loads I look at my desk. Nothing too messy, but there are a few piles. The Halloween cards I have yet to respond to, electric bill, check book unbalanced, day calendar set on June, papers I am supposed to read on my research subject before I get around to writing my own, notecards on the hindlimb of the dog, a napkin since I usually eat here, and a folder containing the papers for owner transfer of my cat (Iíve only had those for a month). As if on cue, my cat emerges from under the couch and meows at me.
5:15 pm: I pet her and then throw her a glitter ball while I grab my physio notes from my backpack and a diet coke from the fridge. I acknowledge that Iíll need the caffeine tonight. I call my dad briefly as I give my cat a treat. We discuss when weíre leaving for the cities on Thanksgiving and I tell him about my research and about my cat learning how to beg on two legs for a treat. I then make it to my recliner with my physio notes. We have a study group tonight, and I know if I donít read over some of this now, itíll go right over my head. The cat comes over, interested in my coke and then proceeds to hop up into the chair and sit on my notes.
5:30pm: I get up and grab the half a can of soup out of the fridge left from the previous night. Iím not really hungry, but I know I need to eat something before I head back to school. I donít want to eat from the bloody vending machines yet again. I pause at the fridge. I need to go shopping since all there is is lettuce, some condiments, expired milk, and a few cans of beer that I wonít even touch. Thatíll wait until the weekend.
5:35pm: Soup is hot, and I throw some crackers in for some form of nutritional value? I actually sit down at my table to eat so that I can continue going over my notes. I rarely eat at the table, mainly because Iím usually on the computer looking at dog slides while I eat. But today I have soup and papers notes, so I sit down and try not to stare at the empty chair across from me. I read, eat, and my cat stares at me some more.
5:45pm: Having given up on the endocrine system for the moment, I decide to take a study break and do the dishes. I know Iíll need my coffee cup clean for tomorrow morning. I love that doing dishes has become a nice break from reality for me. While putting them away I find chocolate covered espresso beans in the cabinet. I pop a few, pushing for yet more of a caffeine rush.
5:55pm: I check my e-mail yet again to see that someone has sent me a study guide and that my friend Matt has typed up and sent out the case studies weíre supposed to be going over tonight.
6:00pm: I start to get ready to leave, since my research group might be calling anytime now. The cat stares at me again, knowing that Iím leaving. I look in the mirror for a minute after brushing my teeth the make sure I got rid of all the espresso beans. I realize Iím still wearing my glasses, having given up on my contacts earlier in the day. I walk around the apartment for a minute, hanging up clothes and making sure things are clean.
6:15 pm: I know I need to leave soon, so I put my notes, laptop, water and ipod in my backpack. I go to the closet to get my shoes. I stare at my heels for a minute and then put on the gym shoes Iíve been wearing all week. I check the lights and the stove, and finally turn the stove light on so I can see when I get home. I say goodbye to my cat, and wander out the door. Just as Iím locking up, the phone rings in my pocket again.
6:20 pm: Once again, Iím in the car, on the phone. I talk to my research partner and he outlines how weíre planning on going about writing this paper. I was supposed to have had the introduction done by today, but I fudge things and forget to mention I havenít even started writing it. He gives me a summary of the meeting. It turns out our data is flying in the face of thirty years of behavioral theory. Which means we have some pretty cool stuff to publish. I try to get excited and we set another meeting date, one in two weeks, which I will actually be able to attend.
6:35pm: I am now late, since Iíve been standing outside school trying to finish up this call for ten minutes. I stare up at the building Iíve left barely an hour and a half ago and I start to head in. It throws me how much has happened in that time. Then I say hello to my study group and jump into the argument on how the dex suppression test works.