A Day in the Life: Graduate School

­Today was a quiet Monday for me. It was still a long day, of course, with meetings and class and Kapisanan work, but having submitted my CIP in the early hours of Monday morning was so good for my soul – and my body, which at this point was so sick of the effects of caffeine that I had to sleep 9+ hours everyday to compensate, with multiple naps on the weekends.

I was able to take my time waking up, and spent a good half an hour doing absolutely nothing of value other than scrolling through my Instagram feed and looking at the lovely warm morning light streaming in from the window. I finally got my lazy bum out of bed when it got too warm under the blanket, and heated up last night’s stale coffee in the microwave, using my favourite mug in a bid to pretend that this particular crime against coffee was not egregious.

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The big task of my morning off was laundry. It takes about two weeks of not doing laundry before I hit my personal danger zone – which is when I start running out of leggings and pants. And yes, I was, by Monday, running out of leggings and pants. I went to the communal laundry room in the basement at 7:45 in the morning, so nobody was there yet. Score! Thirty minutes in the wash, then another 20 minutes hanging them up to dry, and the biggest chore of the day was done!

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After a quick shower, I hopped out and made my way to campus. There are several routes from Bathurst & Steeles to the UofT St. George campus, but my current favourite station involves taking the 60 to Pioneer Village Station, then riding it all the way up to St. George Station. Having a commute that is mostly by train is wonderful – it makes my commute that much easier (and quieter)!

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A glimpse of a view from the train – I think of Yvonne whenever I look out at the landscape. She’s from Berlin, and came to Toronto over the summer last year, and on our commute from Pearson back to North York she exclaimed “It’s so FLAT!”

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This Monday was quite warm, which meant that while the snow had mostly melted away, there was a bit of a chill in the air. Some icy chunks were still lingering on the pavements, though – here’s an interestingly-shaped one, featuring my favourite pair of Timberlands:

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This is the basement of Sidney Smith Hall, which is where a lot of the Department of Geography and Planning’s graduate school offices are, including mine. It’s actually quite cozy in the lounge, and the shared office spaces are nice! My only gripe is that I personally would love sunshine, but hey, I’m almost done with this program.

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Here’s my desk! It looks cluttered, but it’s how my brain works. Everything I need to use at any single time needs to be within arm’s reach. You can see a small array of my favourite water containers/mugs/my french press in the far right.

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A closer look at the stack of books on my desk. All of these are related to my research (although two or three might or might not be for fun). Bonus points if you can tell from this pile what my research is!

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I wanted to put in a photo of me because that shirt is one of my favourites, and I have no qualms about wearing a Fall-themed button down in the middle of winter.

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Here are my notes down for a 1:45PM meeting. I’d been having tea, hence the mug. That particular clock app is also one of my favourites ever that I’d installed on my laptop – because it covers the rest of the screen, I’m less prone to distractions.

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Here’s the pretty afternoon view as I walked out to Spadina Station. My next meeting is at Yorkdale Mall, and I have just about enough time to get there.

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Yorkdale Station, finally! I was a little late, but the meeting went well.

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Back at Pioneer Village, but heading home now. This coat is quite possibly my favourite winter coat – the clasps are such a point of interest. I’m really hungry and can’t wait for dinner. Whee!

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And that was a day in the life of a graduate student. See you next time!

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