Day in the Life, part 2: Oh, just another day at HGSE

Monday, April 9th, was an amazing day.  So amazing that I wanted to share it with you.  I suppose the trend with our posts lately have been about finishing strong, looking back, or reflecting on what we learned.  Well, I have come a ways since my first (embarrassing) post (on my lack of productivity) or my second post on how I never sleep.  To redeem myself from those first semester posts, I’m posting a day in the life, part deux.

2:43 AM – Finished my taxes and rejoiced at the Lifetime Learning Tax credit — this year I’m getting money back!  Opted to fall asleep with a small light on because I realized that a bright room helps me wake up better in the morning.

7:51 AM – Woke up before my alarm.  Decided to snooze fifteen minutes longer.

9:35 AM – Overslept! Quickly got dressed.  Out the door 15 minutes later.  Some things never change.  On the bright side, the neighbors’ tulips and daffodils are about to bloom! Spring is so beautiful.

10:00 AM – Walked into office hours with Dr. Reimers.  Talked about a group project and got some specific, helpful feedback.  Talked about potential summer opportunities and got some specific, helpful feedback.  Talked about my cousin’s interest in medicine and disruptive innovation (a la Christensen) and got some specific, helpful feedback.  Do we see a pattern here?  Mad respect for this man.

10:15 AM – Left office hours early and called my partner to update him on my meeting.  My partner will meet with Reimers later to discuss more general questions about the project.  Enjoyed the new library, greeted some people, and ambled home.

10:55 AM – Walked to work.  I tutor at the Harvard Bridge, a really cool branch of the University’s Human Resources – Harvard workers can access ESL, GED, etc. classes!  Been teaching this student how to use e-mail and how to type.  He’s a fun guy.

12:50 PM – Go to the HGSE Admissions office for a fancy photoshoot.  Just kidding, not fancy.  It’s for publicity next year.

1:30 PM – Went to get lunch to go from the ever so faithful Cronkhite cafeteria.  Had a tofu parmesan sandwich.

2:00 PM – Downloaded my readings and did my readings for class that night.

3:30 PM – Set my alarm and decided to take a nap.

3:51 PM – Jolted awake when a floormate knocked on my door to return something.  I thought I overslept, but I didn’t!  Left for class and called a friend and sang Louis Armstrong songs to her.  Flowers make me feel goofy and happy.

4:00 PM – Dr. Merseth’s Charter school course.  So interesting.  We have 2 more classes after this class and we spent some time quickly synthesizing and recapping.  She also casually mentions that Mike Feinberg is dropping by.  Yes, one of the co-founders of KIPP.

4:30 PM – Our Teaching Fellow (TF), Kyle Hartung spoke about Envision Schools and how they assess and gauge learning with their project-based learning model.  Super interesting. Super packed.

5:30 PM – Dana Lehman, managing director of Uncommon Boston (part of Uncommon Schools), gave a jam-packed talk.  Walked us through a lot of Professional Development ideas.  My mind is spinning.

6:30 PM –  Mike Feinberg and four students talk and answer questions.  At first I wasn’t sure what to ask.  Then, I wasn’t sure how to phrase it since actual KIPP students were there.  I think my thinking about these no-excuses schools is still evolving (probably due to the fact that I’ve read the KIPP case study in 3 of my classes this year).  Regardless, when I left the classroom, I was sort of shocked.  Really?  Was I just with a guy whose making waves in U.S. education today?  Woot, HGSE.

7:10 PM – Talked with a friend from Arts in Education about the speakers today and saw Dr. Merseth and her teaching partner, Nelson Smith (CEO of NAPCS) leaving HGSE.  I told them today was crazy.  Nelson reminded me that I’m meeting with him for office hours tomorrow.

7:20 PM – Walked into Gutman library and made a poetry card for the HGSE installation at the Arts First event in April.

8:00 PM – Student Government Association meeting!  We’ve definitely come a long way (evidenced by the chatty, comfortable banter AND a quick meeting).

8:55 PM – Met my friend and went to Cronkhite to study.  People came in and out.  We chatted.  Then got to working.  We were pretty productive.. for about 4 hours!

Anyway, Mondays are not always so full.  But, I wouldn’t say these events are unusual, because, simply put, at HGSE there really is always an opportunity to do or see something.  (Case in point: John Wood is coming to Dr. Reimer’s class this Friday!)

It’s funny how I’ve come to a point where I harbor an almost “no big deal” response to the reality that CEOs and founders and board directors stroll into various classes and give presentations and earnestly answer our questions.  But if I stop to pause, I realize that, hey, it kind of is a big deal!  Oh HGSE, I’ll miss you.

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