Hi, my name is Hassan Hussain and I am second-year PhD student in the School of English at Birmingham City University. My research explores the de/construction of gay men and the representation of homosexuality in 21st century British Theatre. I am a Research Assistant for the PGR Studio, a Theatre Director and playwright.

A day in the life of Hassan Hussain.

8.20:    This is the time that I wake up without the aid of an alarm, noises from family arguing for the bathroom or unwanted phone calls about PPI.

This is when I should get out bed.

I fall back to sleep.

10.00:  After snoozing for longer than I should (and replying to abuse received from friends for getting up late) I finally get out of bed and get ready.

10:40:  My books are in my bag; my lunch is packed and my Uber is ordered.

10.45:  My Uber has arrived and I begin the usual conversation with my Uber driver about how I’ve got a busy day ahead and what the fastest way to get me to university is, despite what the Satnav says. They ask me what I study and I explain my thesis which either ends up in a really stimulating conversation or a really awkward silence.

11.00:  I arrive at university, I make my way to Curzon, fourth floor: C425

I am welcomed by a chorus of hellos and a morning hug from Selina and Emily. We briefly catch up and fill each other in on any important events from the previous evening while making our tea and coffees.

My tea is made, my shoes are off (for optimum comfort) and I am finally ready to work.

11.15: I open my emails and reply to anything that needs my immediate attention.

I open a word document with my ‘to-read-list’ and continue to work on my literature review, which seems to be taking over my life.

I work through my list of journal articles, Guardian reviews and online books to make my necessary notes.

(This is also the time that I have my PGR Studio meetings which last until about 12.30ish but that’s probably best saved for a whole different blog post)

12.30:  My attention wanes; I need a stretch. I decide to stroll down the corridor to get some water. I see somebody I know, I chat for a bit until I realise I should probably get back to work.

Back in the office I finalise whatever section I’m reading/analysing/writing in preparation for lunch.

13.00: Lunchtime! Selina, Emily and I are usually rushed by Niccolò who is teaching after lunch. We warm our food up while abusing each other and talking about things that are probably best left out of this blog post.

13.45: Lunchtime draws to a close which means coffee and an almond croissant if I’m feeling fancy. (I blame Selina for this)

14.00:  Back in the work-zone. I carry on reading and making notes. I do this for a while.

I check my phone; I reply to messages.

I go back to work.

I get distracted.

I go back to work.

A debate arises in the office about the most obscure thing and we spend a while discussing this.

I go back to work.

15.00: I need some time away from a computer screen so I grab my pillow and sit on the floor with my back against the radiator, a book and some sticky notes.

I read here for a while. This is my favourite part of the day. This is when I’m most productive.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I work better after 1pm/lunch.

16.00: I summarise my readings in a word document and update my to-do-list for the next day and email everything to myself to make sure I have a back-up and can access things from home if needs be.

16.30: I clean my working area which can usually get quite messy with paper, books and notes strewn across my desk.

I shut my computer down.

I shut myself down.

I put my shoes on.

I order my Uber.

20.00: [redacted]

23.00: This is around the time where my productivity levels peak and I get most of my best ideas down and my work done. When this happens I usually work until about 2am.


*repeat until completion*

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