Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Day in the Life ...

Believe it or not, I have received a few requests to explain my daily life on the ship. So, by popular demand, here it goes** ...

0600  I hit snooze on the alarm clock I bought in Cozumel, Mexico. The LED on this alarm, along with the reflective life jacket stickers, are the only sources of light in my cabin when I'm sleeping.

0610  I usually get up after the first snooze and begin my morning routine.

0630 My workout. I usually do at least a half hour outside with a mat. I like to do a full round of sun salutations and then either more yoga or stretching before going into the gym. With a thousand passengers on the ship and only a handful of cardio machines, the scheduling process is a little daunting. With all of the time changes, people often miss their scheduled time. I use the treadmill and elliptical when I can, but my trick is to use the triathalon bikes. They are the only machines that don't have a sign-up sheet, so they are almost always free whenever I'm in there. They are also the closest thing to spinning I can re-create on the ship.

0800  Breakfast. I always eat on Deck 6 aft, which is outside of the "Garden Lounge," after checking to make sure my work study arrived at their morning shift. My breakfast is almost always the same: yogurt with bran, fruit, hard boiled egg (when they have them), and sometimes I'll splurge on either an english muffin with honey or a pan au chocolat -- which are my favorite food item on the ship. They of course in no way compare to Chef Kristin's croissants of Laurel Avenue Bakery, but they are a close second.
0830 The clean. I have an entire operation to perform in terms of my french press and my limited bathroom space. It consists of a strainer I bought in panama, coffee filters that my cab driver in costa rica tipped me off to (from days when he used to make coffee on a cargo ship), and a fair amount of patience. After I clean up my coffee mess, I jump in the shower. 

0850 Global Studies is a class that happens every morning and is mandatory for all. For the old skoolers, it is the rebranded "CORE." We operate on two different academic days, A and B, so classes meet every other school day, again, with the exception of global studies. Our main union on this ship only seats around 400 on a good day, and we have over 700 students, so we set-up all of the classrooms each morning as satellite rooms. The class begins at 0920 and goes until 1035. My three workstudy students, Jocilyn, Mike, and Z are required to be in class, so Sparky (my crew counterpart) and I are in high gear for this class, which typically involves a lot of multimedia and cues.

1200 Craig, our assistant Dean, gives us the noon report over the loudspeaker. We hear about the sea depth, our speed, our location, seawater temperature, air temperature, etc.

1230 After morning classes, where we set up for professors and troubleshoot their various AV problems, I take my half hour lunch break. 

1500 This is when my official break of the day begins. I created the schedule so that I have the afternoon covered by work studies so that I can relieve myself for awhile. I have two favorite spots: Deck 4 aft, where I can lay in the sun, or my friend Anne's balcony, where I like to paint or read.

1700 The Lifelong Learners, which are the adult passengers, meet in the faculty lounge on Deck 7. I usually sit-in on the meeting after helping them set-up. They often do fun things, like wine tasting, or slideshow viewing. I'm still hoping to learn Bridge, so I do admittedly have an ulterior motive :)

1730 Classes end. We lock down each multimedia lectern to prevent students from hijacking the equipment. We've already had two situations. One involving a laptop hook-up, and another involving video games.

1800 Every once in awhile, I eat in the Aquamarine Lounge on Deck 5, mainly because you can have wine with dinner, and it's the only place large enough to accommodate my family when they join me. However, I can usually be found on Deck 6 aft --- outside.

1900  Evening programming can vary. I usually check back in around this time to get things started. Lately, the most popular evening events have been: ballroom dancing, bible study, and coffee house performances.

1930 Staff meeting with my students and crew

2000 Community College. Again, these are lectures given my members of the community at large.

2330 On the average, this is when I hit the sack, though it just depends on what is going on. I am almost always working in the evening, whether it be a dance, movie night, or a pre-port presentation. When I can, I pop into the faculty/staff lounge, which is the one place we have to ourselves on the ship. No students, and a full bar!

** this is an idealistic day. I sometimes sleep in, omitting the workout, and oftentimes work throughout the afternoon. Really, I just live in the AV Booth.

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