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A Day in the Life of a Carl

Kai walks through a typical day in his life, featuring a special appearance from a Carleton alum!

Kai walks through a typical day in his life, featuring a special appearance from a Carleton alum!

Here’s a post to give you an idea of what a Tuesday for me looked like this term. Excitingly, a famous Carleton alumna made a special guest appearance in my Psychology class.

8:30 am: Breakfast at LDC

A standard breakfast of pancakes, eggs, yogurt, and fruit.

At this hour of the morning, I woke up and grabbed a quick breakfast at the Language and Dining Center.

9:15 am-10:15 am: Lift

As a student-athlete on the baseball team, we have team lifts three times a week. Our coach gives us three time slots on each lift day to choose from. This allows us to prioritize attending classes and going to office hours while still putting work in for athletics.

10:45 am-11:50 am: Japanese 205

Because it’s a character-based language, my Japanese class meets 5 times a week. This is unlike my other classes, which meet less frequently (either on Monday/Wednesday/Friday or on Tuesday/Thursday). I love Habuka-sensei, my professor who also taught Japanese 204. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she is a super caring person!

LDC winter image
Lunch and class in LDC.

12 pm-1 pm: Lunch with Barbara Fredrickson

Onto the highlight of today: I had lunch and class with Barbara Fredrickson. My favorite course this term (and one of my favorite at Carleton so far) is a 200-level class called Positive Psychology. Not only is Professor Fredrickson one of the leading scholars in Psychology, she is also a Carleton graduate ’86 and former student of my current professor Neil Lutsky! Neil ordered us all pizza and snacks to eat, and the class had an hour of casual discussion with Professor Fredrickson.

1:15 pm-3 pm: PSYC 244 Positive Psychology

In class today, we all got to ask our special guest, Barbara Fredrickson, all kinds of questions. These involved inquiries about her personal research, her thoughts on the future of Positive Psychology, and her memories of being a Carl herself. It was an awesome experience.

It also served as a reminder of how wonderful it is to take a class from a professor the caliber of Neil. Neil has been at Carleton for 48 years (!!!) and recognized for his teaching not just at Carleton, but nationally. Impressively, he was the American Psychological Foundation’s Charles Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology award winner. Additionally, he was the recipient of the Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring prize from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. His dedication to teaching has been evident throughout the term. I’ve enjoyed stopping by his office to chat and appreciate the thoughtful and critical lens through which he teaches.

Almond croissant
An almond croissant in between class and my piano lesson.

4 pm-5 pm: Piano Lesson

I take hour-long piano lessons once a week with my professor Nikki Melville. Piano gives me a great excuse to spend time at Weitz Center for Creativity, my favorite building on campus. This term, I am working on Chopin’s Ballade No. 3. At the end of each term, I either perform in the recital (as I did in fall term), or perform for a “jury” (every Piano professor at Carleton) that provides feedback on pieces that are still works in progress.

Steak, mashed potatoes, clam chowder, and Bundt cake for dinner
Dinner consisted of steak, mashed potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts, clam chowder, and bundt cake.

5:15pm: Dinner at LDC

Today, I grabbed an early dinner with some of my teammates before practice. We stacked up plates of food to serve as fuel for practice and schoolwork.

A glimpse of a beautiful sunset by the Rec Center! Photo captured by Sherry Zhang ’25.

6 pm-8:30 pm: Baseball Practice at the Rec Center

Following NCAA rules, we had captain’s practice in January three days a week before transitioning to practices with our coaching staff six days a week on February 1st. With our first games at US Bank Stadium (the Vikings Stadium!) on March 8th and March 10th, plus our spring break trip to LA, these practices are important to our season’s preparation!

9:30 pm and on: Productive hours

After getting back to my dorm (the beloved Evans Hall), I take a nice shower before starting my homework. Tonight, it was workbook pages for my Japanese class and readings for my Environmental Justice course. I didn’t get to talk about my Environmental Justice course much in this blog post, but it has been an interesting course. The professor, Kim Smith, is incredibly knowledgeable on all the topics we cover in the class.

I hope this was an informative glimpse into what a day in my life looked like this winter. I am looking forward to spring term in Northfield!

Kai is a sophomore from Charlottesville, VA, who probably spends too much time enjoying meals (and desserts) with friends in the dining halls. He is a prospective double major in Political Science and Psychology, potential Public Policy Minor as well. He loves volunteering for Project Friendship, playing piano at the Weitz, hanging out at Sayles, taking walks around the Lakes or in the Arb, and pitching/playing infield for the baseball team. Meet the other bloggers!