Day 18 (Sept. 21): Please leave a message . . . BEEP

Goodness, how the time flies! It’s 11:28 p.m. and I’m going to set an overly optimistic goal of finishing by midnight.

It was another early day today. What can I say? I’m a morning person. But even morning people wouldn’t mind sleeping in until at least 8 a.m. everyone once in a while. Not so this morning! I was up at 7:45 a.m. to squeeze in some research time before the mad rush to organize phone interviews before class starts.

Today was a little more fruitful than yesterday – emphasis on “little.” It was two solid hours of leaving message after message, shooting out email after email. By the end, I’m afraid my messages were sounding more and more like the automated phone lady, but I suppose the point is I got the job done.

Of course no one was at their offices during their office hours. Where would the fun be in that? And so I Googled like a madwoman, trying to find a string of secretaries who could maybe somehow find out where my interviewees had gone. I managed to set up an interview for 4 p.m. with one crucial source. Yay. Only four more to go.

Just as I was packing up to go to class – it was 10 a.m. and I had class in 30 minutes – my cellphone rang. Wouldn’t you know it, it was Guelph’s director of Human Rights and Equity. I really needed this interview! Truth be told, he was the most efficient out of all my contacts. He actually returned my call and email in an hour! So I squeezed in a solid 15-minute interview. I was finally getting somewhere!

I had my first seminar today for political science. It was one of those awkward first seminars where no one talks and everyone stares at the TA who blabbers on about formalities for most of the class. I hope people warm up soon because silence can be painful. I’d like to hear a little more than the creaking of a chair when someone decides to wiggle around into a more comfortable position. I tried to contribute – I offered a definition for “Realism” – but I think our seminar was past the point of no return. Time to put the stick down. That horse is dead.

From seminar, we all went straight to lecture. I took a second to check my phone and just as I expected, I had about four new emails and two missed calls. People really need to just answer the phones when I call them or at least read my emails before just calling me back. There’s a reason I refer to a follow-up email, people! It’s not just because I like to do everything twice!

Frustrating timing problems aside, I had a chance to actually focus on non-Charlatan things, namely class. It was actually pretty interesting. We’re learning about the different theories used to look at globalization. So far, we’re focusing on Realism and Liberalism. Or at least, our prof tried to cover both of those. But there was so much information to cover, it ended up being a lecture more along the lines of Realism and Liber- I guess I’ll have to look up the rest myself.

After class, I had conveniently scheduled 30 minutes for me to get back to res and grab something to eat before the calls started rolling in. 2 p.m. came and went, and still no one decided to call me back at the time I specifically mentioned. Let it be known those who sent me emails had actually put in writing that they would call me at said time. But people are fickle like that. They all have their own busy lives and sometimes they need a little reminding. So I was spending some quality time with my land-line again.

At one point, I couldn’t reach a contact from Carleton Equity Services Office and decided to make another impromptu visit to their office. I’m really getting into this spur-of-the-moment decision-making business nowadays. Watch out world, who knows what I’m going to do next! At times it works, but for the most part, it’s a lot of thinking on my feet and seeing if my half-baked plans happen to fly. In this particular instance, it kind of flopped.

My source was in the middle of an important conference meeting. I stood at the front desk for about 15 minutes, notebook in hand and recorder in pocket, waiting for her to emerge from her office. No luck. Another staff member whose office was right in front of the front office saw me pacing around for a while and he was nice enough to fire off an email to see how long I was going to be waiting. That’s when I received these lovely instructions: “Why don’t you call back first thing tomorrow morning?”

“Great. What time do your office hours start?”

“8:30 a.m.”

Well I guess I’m going to have to be fully functioning at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow then. On the plus side, I had a pretty good interview with my 4 p.m. appointment and I scheduled another phone interview for tomorrow at 10 a.m. I think it’s safe to say (if my two interviews work out tomorrow) that I’m in a pretty good position with my article. There’s still one more source I’d like to talk to, but I’ve got back up quotes for that. I don’t want to jinx anything, but it may be okay for me to breathe again!

I had swimming tonight. Butterfly’s really killing me. After a long day, I really don’t have that kind of energy. What did I have instead? A foot cramp. But even with that unexpected guest, I still had a pretty good swim. There’s something calming about swimming back and forth for an hour. Mind-numbingly, carefree, physical exertion. I think I’d go crazy without it!

Now I’ve floundered my way through five different news outlets and . . . (drum roll please!) I’ve finished blogging at only 11:58 p.m! I have two whole minutes to bask in the glory of my victory. Let’s all take a moment and revel in my productivity.

Okay, that’s enough revelling. Time for bed!

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