Day in the Life: Professor Ross Haenfler

Photo by Sno Zhao

Photo by Sno Zhao

3:00 a.m. – Get up to administer cough medicine to two-and-a-half-year-old, Wren, or to help her recover stuffed friend inadvertently ejected from bed.

3:45 a.m. – Hopefully have fallen back asleep.

6:35 a.m. – Attempt to wake up River, my grumpy six-year-old.  Sigh. Resort to threats. Wonder what teen years will be like.

6:50 a.m. – Turn on Iowa Public Radio. Make River’s lunch. Pack a small bit of chocolate for a surprise. Feed her breakfast. Totally mess up trying to put her hair in a simple ponytail. My partner, Dr. Snook (Skadi) takes over. Feel shame.

7:30 a.m. – Ride bikes with River to school.

7:45 a.m. – Breakfast, cereal and soymilk, with Wren and Skadi.

8:00 a.m.  – Decide which band shirt to wear (Slayer, Rise Against, Have Heart) or which Star Wars shirt to wear (Millennium Falcon, Admiral Ackbar, Robot Chicken Emperor). Wonder if I’m too old to be wearing such shirts. Dismiss that thought.

8:20 a.m. – Skadi takes Wren to daycare. I begin checking email and preparing for class.

10:00 a.m. – Teach SOC 111. For fifty minutes, enter another world. Lose track of time, live in the moment, experience “flow.” Joy.

11:00 a.m. – Help students with research projects. Get excited.

12:05 p.m. – Walk home for lunch with Skadi.

2:30 p.m. – Teach Deviance and Youth Subcultures. Talk about skinheads, goths, punks, hip-hop, riot grrrls and gamers while teaching theories of deviance. Joy.

4:10 p.m. – Pick Wren up from daycare. Experience momentary bliss as she runs towards me full speed across the playground shouting “Daddy!”

5:40 p.m. – Eat incredible veg meal prepared by Skadi. Try to slow down and enjoy the food while increasingly wired kids make slowing down and enjoying food difficult. Remind River to eat her food sixty-five times. Clean kitchen.

6:00 p.m. – Participate in an insane dance/mosh party in the living room with kids, alternating Tegan and Sara, Megadeth, K’Naann and 1990s German techno.

6:30 p.m. – Get kids bathed. Attempt to wash Wren’s hair. Refused. Attempt to use reason. Refused.

7:00 p.m. – Read books to Wren before Skadi sings her songs. Marvel at how adorable she is. Still cheer when she goes to bed.

7:15 p.m. – Help River get ready for bed. Sometimes read some comic books with her. Bone is a favorite.

7:20 p.m. – Read course work.

8:05 p.m. – Play Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag on Xbox, i.e. reenact with uncanny realism my nine-year-old dream of being a pirate. Scratch/massage 15-year-old spirit animal/pet cat Akira. (Or on nights before my seminar, read until 10:30 or 11:00 p.m.)

8:20 p.m. – Frantically pause violent/vulgar video game as River bursts out of bed, down the stairs and into the living room with a ridiculous request.

8:55 p.m.  – Lament that another day goes by with too little physical exercise.

9:00 p.m. – Take care of the cats, turn out the lights and head to bed. Read some fiction. Attempt to quiet my mind. Fail.

10:00 p.m. – Lights out.