Faculty Describe Delightful Days

What constitutes a Great Day?

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Faculty Describe Delightful Days

What constitutes a Great Day?

April Bleich
April Bleich
Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine

I drink my coffee in peaceful quiet before anyone else in the house stirs. It’s a day without a morning meeting so I am able to bring the kids to school, sending them off with hugs, kisses and wishes for a great day. Then a full but manageable schedule of patients, one that allows me to take the time to really visit with them, discuss their concerns and, hopefully, allay their fears. A day in which the good-news visits outnumber the bad-news visits and one in which I am able to inspire my medical students to see the wonder and beauty in what I have the privilege to do each day. Top this off with a family dinner and an evening walk around the nearby TCU campus. Perfection!

Harry ParkerHarry Parker
Professor and Department Chair of Theatre, College of Fine Arts

The best days are those where most of my time is spent in the classroom, rehearsal room or in conference with students — learning and creating together. We are blessed to have remarkable students at TCU. They are more than smart; they are also vastly talented, highly motivated and deeply engaged. When I have a day where most of my time is spent with them in the classroom or working on theatre productions or talking one-on-one, I finish the day exhilarated and optimistic about our world. In the TCU Department of Theatre, our goals are to create art that teaches all of us what it means to be human in this world, and I learn as much from my students as they do from me. Those days are certainly more satisfying than the ones filled with academic meetings and administrative duties!

Becky TaylorElizabeth “Becky” Taylor
Professor of Counseling, College of Education

For me, a great day starts by being grateful — for my family, good friends, colleagues and students. It continues when I get outside and walk or ride my bike, take photographs of awesome scenery and breathe fresh air. It is intentional — intentionally noticing what is good, intentionally finding ways to help my students learn and grow, intentionally spending time with people I love, intentionally looking for ways to help others. When I am intentional about my day, I learn so much about myself and others and go to bed with a feeling that maybe I made a difference in my little corner of the earth. I hate it when I mess that up, and I do, but hopefully I can do it all over again tomorrow.

James ScottJames Scott
Herman Brown Chair and Professor of Political Science, AddRan College of Liberal Arts

For me, a good day begins with an invigorating (early) morning run, followed by some good, strong coffee. I like to get an hour or two of writing done in the morning as well. On campus, a good day includes classes in which to engage with students. In fact, no matter what a day is like — good or bad — it’s always better if it involves classes and students. Opportunities for one-on-one mentoring of student research projects or other things make a good day even better. If the day includes a chance to get together for coffee or something with a colleague, that is always a welcome addition. Bringing the day to a close by making dinner with my wife and enjoying the meal together finishes it off nicely. And, of course, on THE perfect day, this all leads up to an evening in which the Chicago Cubs complete a comeback and win the World Series!

Robert BittleRobert Bittle
Associate Professor of Engineering, College of Science & Engineering

A sunny sky, calm winds, low relative humidity, 75-degree outdoor temperature and a bike ride along the Trinity. One of my children calling my lovely wife, Becky, and telling her about a good thing that happened to them. My friend Teresa getting her favorite parking space in the morning. A student coming by my office to tell me of a thermal science-related observation they made. Taking doughnuts to my 8 a.m. class on Friday. Students in my senior design project class telling me they finally solved an impossible problem. Former students stopping by with their young families just to say hi to the department old guys. Looking forward to a burger, fries and a beer at Fred’s after work on Friday.

Becky BittleBecky Bittle
Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Engineering, College of Science & Engineering

I don’t have a single great day scenario, as there are many things, both large and small, that make me think just how great one’s day can be. Having my breath taken away by suddenly really seeing the beauty of the world God has made for us. Think of the amazing green of the first leaves unfurling in early spring. Seeing an epiphany moment on a student’s face — this is when you know you have truly helped someone open a door to a new world. The journey has been challenging but oh-so-worth the trip because of what you do and see along the way to that amazing place. Spending time with my husband, family and friends makes for some of the greatest days ever. We share lots of love and laughter when we are together.

Johny GarnerJohny Garner
Professor of Communication Studies, Bob Schieffer College of Communication

As you probably know, the two biggest parts of my job are teaching and research. So a great day involves success in one or both of those. What does success mean? In terms of research, it’s easier to quantify. A journal article accepted. A study completed successfully. Recognition from a peer or mentor for work that I’ve done. For teaching, it’s feeling like what I did today mattered. We’re so busy. And most of what we all do each day doesn’t really matter in the big picture. But sometimes we connect. Students are engaged in the course material, thinking about old ideas in new ways, applying it to situations in their lives. That’s a great day.

Adam FungAdam Fung
Associate Professor of Art, College of Fine Arts

A great day for me always includes learning something new: learning about the world we live in, learning more about myself, learning a new painting technique, learning how to be a better parent. Having taught for six years now at TCU, I would put learning from my students and seeing their success at the top of the list of what constitutes a great day!

Uche OnyebadiUche Onyebadi
Chair and Associate Professor of Journalism, Bob Schieffer College of Communication

A professor’s job is a tsunami of activities. And in my case, you can add my administrative duties as a department chair.  So, whenever I cross off something on my daily to-do list, I say: Bravo! Then, next?

Steven MannSteven Mann
Associate Professor of Finance, Neeley School of Business

Every day I’m still breathing is a great day! But an even better day is if I can brighten some other person’s day along the way.

Share your thoughts: What makes a great day? Comment below.