A typical schedule for the week before the new academic year starts:
6:45 a.m.: arrive in office to deal with one department chair’s overnight emergency. 7:30 a.m.: eat a banana at the pancake breakfast with 2,700 new freshmen. 8:00 a.m.: help get 4,000 people lined up for the New Student Convocation (piece of cake compared to the 40,000 people who gather for Commencement). 10:30 a.m.: still sitting in the hot sun in a heavy black regalia. 11:00 a.m.: help a different department chair resolve his crisis of last Thursday. 11:30 a.m.: put in appearance at the Dornsife College welcome picnic. 12:00 p.m.: deliver homemade gazpacho to the farewell potluck in my old School of Policy, Planning, and Development for a former staff member. 2:00 p.m.: race against the clock to real work done. 5:30 p.m.: help staff set up for MLS welcome dinner. 6:00 p.m.: start greeting new MLS students. 7:00 p.m.: serve my signature German chocolate cake at MLS dinner. 8:30 p.m.: listen to the tuba section of the USC Marching Band practice as I leave my office and not think about the cramps in my leg and tired feet in heels.
And here we go for another year.