Alisha Mitchell-Roberts is an Associate Director for Research Administration at the University of Florida. She manages a fee for service metabolomics center and a National Institute of Health (NIH) funded coordinating center. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Santa Fe College. She has 2 daughters, Leila (10) and Lani (8).
My alarm goes off. I struggle to get out of bed because I am not a morning person. I head to the kitchen where I prepare breakfast and lunch for the girls and myself, and I pack our lunchboxes.
The girls’ alarm goes off. Lani wakes up right away. Leila is not a morning person like myself, so she struggles to get out of bed. They get dressed and brush their teeth.
I am a little bit OCD, so by this time I am making the beds and straightening up the house a little.
The girls come out to the kitchen to have breakfast. I head into my room to shower and get dressed for work. They usually talk to their dad on Facetime during this time.
I drop Leila off at the front, park and sit in the car for 10 minutes with Lani to kill some time. School starts at 7:45 a.m. 7:15 a.m. is a little early for her to be getting to school, so I try to spend some alone time with her. We listen to music, we talk a little and then I walk her to her class.
I get to work and start my day by checking and answering the most urgent emails while I sip on my coffee. Then I write down what tasks I want to accomplish for the day.
I eat my breakfast at my desk and begin working on my task list. I email caterers for an upcoming event, organize meeting spaces, work on budgets and resolve a few conflicts.
I take a conference call with a client for the service center that I manage. It goes well, and he decides to use us for his project needs. I send him follow up new-client information and forms.
I have a recurring conference call with a group that is part of the coordinating center that I manage. I only listen in and take notes, but they talk about the progress they are making as part of the consortium. I note any follow-up items.
I have a coordinating center operations meeting with my team. In this meeting, we prepare for our upcoming NIH meeting, discuss plans for our upcoming event and our plans for promotion and outreach for the year.
I eat lunch at my desk and continue working on my task list, my follow-up and action items from my meetings. My emails have piled up since I last checked them at 11:30 a.m., so I also respond to any that need my immediate attention.
4 p.m.I leave the office to head across town to pick up the girls. They have cheer practice today. We live on the northwest side of town and cheer is on the southwest side of town. It takes me an hour to get them and drop them off to practice.
I head to Santa Fe College. My class starts at 5:30 p.m. I teach college chemistry, and I have a class of 24 students. I really enjoy teaching, and I love it when I see the “ah ha” moment on my students’ faces.
Class is over. I speak for a few minutes with some students, and then I head to pick up the girls from cheer practice. Practice ends at 7:15 p.m. so I get to see the last 15 minutes. Their faces light up when they see me, and they love it when I watch them in practice.
We make it home. Usually, I prepare a couple of meals for the week on Sundays, so I heat up some dinner for the girls. I had a smoothie during my class, so I am not hungry. As the girls eat, I stand in the kitchen listening to them talk excitedly about their cheer practice and all the new stunts they are learning. I ask about their day, ask if they completed their homework and have them show me when they are done eating.
The girls have showered and head to bed. I start cleaning up the dinner dishes; I cannot go to sleep with dishes in my sink. I check the girls’ homework, pick out clothes for the next day, refill water bottles and head to the shower.
I am finally sitting down in my living room to decompress and enjoy some quiet time. I am a little hungry, so I make myself a small plate of crackers, cheese, coppa and salami. I pour myself a half glass of red wine and catch up on one of my TV shows. This is usually how I wind down.
My eyes are getting heavy, so I head to the bathroom to brush my teeth and head to bed. Tomorrow is a gym day. I love gym days!