8:00 am Wake up.
8:01 am Hit snooze.
8:05 am Actually wake up.
8:45 am I live off campus. This has been great: I go into downtown Grinnell more, I get to have my own fridge and attend Vegan Coop, the off meal plan rotating dinner cooking group. The only time this becomes a disadvantage is when I try to make it to class: I’m a perpetually late person, and I still haven’t gotten used to the extra five minutes it takes me to walk to class. Of course, my friend at school in Washington D.C. says it takes her an hour and a half to get to class by bus.
9:00 am I have Sociological Theory with 21 other students, a slightly larger than usual class for Grinnell. The professor tries to take five minutes at the beginning of class to let us announce events and activities happening this week that we would like other students to attend. This usually takes about twenty minutes (rather than five) – we could go on for another hour if the professor didn’t cut us off.
10:00 am Class is over, so I head to the gym. I was the opposite of athletic before I came to Grinnell. However, the gym is free, and the facilities are wayyy nicer than any gym I’ve ever been to before. I’m currently involved in the Jiu-Jitsu and conditioning groups on campus, both just started a couple of months ago because some students were interested and took the time to set up the class. Many of the people in my Jiu-Jitsu class compete in national tournaments! … I don’t do that, but I always feel super tough after class.
12:00 pm Lunch with my Mentored Advanced Project advisor. I’m working on a project where I will go to Fort Benning, Georgia, to study the School of the Americas Vigil, the longest running peace protest in the country. I’ll pick ten students to help me with my research that weekend (and get paid for it!). The challenge, of course, is choosing the students. We spend a long, agonizing hour reviewing researcher applications.
4:00 pm I have a meeting with an administrator in Student Affairs about planning a a panel discussion on class at Grinnell. I’ve known her for almost four years now and we’ve gotten close: the conversation turns more to her new baby than planning the event. I’m really lucky to get to know the administrators at Grinnell since it is such a small school.
5:00 pm I go to Newton Prison to teach “The Sociology of Health and Illness” to some of the inmates. The Liberal Arts in Prison program is one of the best things about Grinnell: I have taught classes and tutored there since my first year and I’m still impressed by how thoughtful and engaged the students are. I planned a lesson on conflict theory and the criminalization of poverty that I figured would take the entire hour: the guys get it in about ten minutes. “We’re kind of familiar with the subject material,” one of the guys says. Good point.
9:00 pm I have a meeting for the Anti-Oppression Peer Education Network, the social justice center on campus that we started this year. Each OPEN member goes around the table and says something about the event they are planning this semester: one person is starting a disability rights zine, another is working to increase minority representation in the Student Senate, and one is putting together a fundraiser for the local food pantry.
10:00 pm Time to start homework. I have a reflection paper on the role of race in the presidential election due tomorrow. It’s not so bad: it means that I read political blogs for an hour or so, which is how I probably would have procrastinated anyway.
12:00 am Bed, finally! I can hear the train very clearly from my house: it’s been a constant in my time at Grinnell and weirdly, it’s become a piece of Grinnell that I love, and don’t experience anywhere else.