A day in the life (2019)

[Sorry for posting this almost a year late – it was in my drafts for ages and I didn’t realise I never actually posted it!]

Today is Monday, 20 May 2019.

I am an Edinburgh-Zhejiang lecturer at the University of Edinburgh (UK).

This is a day in my life.

7:00 am – My alarm clock goes. I hit snooze. A few times.

7:45 am – I finally get up and have a shower.

8:00 am – I get up and head out for breakfast. I am currently in China, at our Zhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Joint Institute. It is a short walk from my faculty apartment to the university dining hall. I love the food here, but breakfast is hands-down my favourite meal of the day.


8:30 am – After breakfast, I head over to the Institute. This involves a morning walk across our very lovely campus.


9:00 am – I settle down in the office and start the work day. Some marking, talking to a colleague about data analysis training for a new postdoc, e-mailing potential summer interns, working on the schedule for next year’s Biomedical Informatics courses, and finding out which students won the Revision Quiz for Integrative Biomedical Sciences 1. A stuffed-toy Loch Ness Monster is at stake!


12:00 pm – I go for lunch with my colleagues. A Chinese steamed bun and some cabbage

12:30 pm – After lunch, I decide to not go back to the office, but instead make use of the fine warm weather and sit outside the cafeteria for some iced coffee and a view of the campus lake – and of course, more marking!


2:00 pm – I meet with Christine Lee, who is a PhD student in my lab. Christine is based in China full-time, and we therefore don’t get many opportunities to meet face-to-face. Today, we discuss research on a learning analytics project – and have some ice-cream.


3:00 pm – I have a quick skype test call with a colleague in Edinburgh – We want him to join in remotely for tomorrow’s Question and Answer session in Integrative Biomedical Sciences 1. The classroom technology seems to work OK, thankfully.

3:30 pm – Back to marking! There is soooo much marking to do.

4:00 pm – I attend my colleague’s lecture on Global Health Informatics for our first-year Biomedical Informatics students. I am helping facilitate the global health informatics practical on Wednesday, so I need to know what was discussed in the lecture. This is also an opportunity to observe a colleague and learn from her teaching.

5:00 pm – After lecture, it is time for dinner. Earlier than my usual dinner time back in the UK, but the canteen closes early here.

6:00 pm – It is quite a beautiful evening and air pollution is low, so I go for a nice walk around campus.


7:00 pm – I am back at work. There is a workshop proposal that needs to be written, and of course more marking!

10:00 pm – That’s it for work. I waste a bit of time on social media, and do a bit of reading before turning in. The book I am currently reading is Maestro by Cécile Balavoine, a novel about a music writer and her close (and slightly obsessive) relationship with Mozart.

The cover of the novel Maestro by Cecile Balavoine







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