What did you do today? I wrote this a little while ago … it seems representative still :)

There’s a lot on twitter today about #SciComs – Science Communicators. How many scientists communicate daily about what they do?

The other thing is, that the #SLPchat is soon to be about ‘what other people think you do vs what you actually do’, in the world of Speech Pathology. Should be an interesting discussion! (Sunday, mid-march, to be announced).

So I will write about what I did today, and you will get an idea of what an Early Career Researcher Academic does. In Speech Pathology.

1. Left home at 8 got a carpark at 8.30 the last one in the staff section (yes!). I like it!

2. Made a list of essential things to do today – sending off ethics forms (information sheets and consent forms WITH logos, to honours students). Top of the list. Do it then return to making the list. Remember an item called ‘librarian.’ Add it to list. Stop writing list.

3. Visit librarian, make sure readings for the courses I co-ordinate make it up to the online reading section. Photocopy exactly 10% of the book for a librarian who says it is a huge list of things to be done. I want mine online! This takes a few minutes, especially counting exactly 10%.

4. Make a budget for a grant, costing out what technology equipment/supports I want. Email potential colleague. Try to win over. Send the blank application form. Pitch the grant in an email.

5. Re-send an attachment to an email sent on Sunday that wasn’t attached. Feedback on a conference abstract due in a few days.

6. Visit clinic and make a plunger coffee – take away lines are too long on day 2, plus the coffee isn’t always hot. And strong. And yesterday it was accidentally with caramel added (ew). Meanwhile in clinic, score half a muffin (thanks!) and chat to colleagues about Twitter. Offer to do a lunchtime seminar for clinic staff. Twitter twitter twitter.

7. Return to desk for intake of daily dose for the morning. Arrange to speak to a consultant in Sydney and find out what she can do and how much it costs. She will ring me back later with the price.

8. Give feedback on method section / data collection forms for another project, to student researcher. Outline process for project management over the next 3 months. This project is going to work! you can do it!

9. Re-draft journal article and send to second author before submitting prior to grant submission. The timeline has to be right, because we want to cite it as submitted, even though it would be better I did this three months ago, and it was cited as in review or accepted. Nevertheless, better than nothing.

10. Send major grant app proposal off for final round of feedback from professors. They might or might not have time now in the final two weeks to give feedback. If I’d done this before I moved interstate changed jobs and got my boy into a new school, they would have more time, but other things happened. That’s life! Of course, finding a place to live permanently can wait until after the grant is submitted. Kinda.

11. Various items relating to – various students who seem lost and don’t know where rooms are and rely upon asking people verbally. We need a Uni map app!!

12. Put 73 students into tutorial groups. Double check the outline against the additional information sheet on blackboard. Post an announcement on blackboard that groups will be finalised after the lecture then on blackboard.

13. Introduce guest lecturer to 73 students. Kick off the semester of lectures. Drive to post-office pick up package wrongly delivered to another address. Drive back to meet lecturer.

14. Write an email responding to the consultant in Sydney. Tweet details of a conference coming up in NSW on disability. Tweet out a few blogs.

15. Come home cook dinner eat it get dessert talk to son (lol).

16. Do blackboard updating tutorial groups, do twitter, write grant plan for 2012 draft for discussion with mentor professor tomorrow morning, no need to help with homework these days, apparently there is none in this new school. Get shown the little dinky (not the word he used) laptop he now has for school, find out that the NSW school system has an address about 4 years old for us. Asked about what jobs can earn some pocket money for the night – referred to previously sent email listing jobs for each day (sent yesterday in desperation) and system for earning pocket money from jobs. He washes up then uses up some of the funds to buy 2 songs on itunes, for $3.38. He figures out this is better pay than he might get at a fast food joint if he worked that long for 15 minutes and got $3.38 straight up. This means he might never go out and get a job.

17. Put all 73 of the student names into tute groups, make an announcement that they’re all allocated. Respond to three emails from students saying stuff about Echo recording system.

A researcher’s day ideally contains

– grants, writing, reading, talking, collaborating, teaching, and learning.

I think I did a bit of all that today. That’s a typical kind of day. One thing missing – travel organising. There’s a bit of that to do, but I will leave that until tomorrow.

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