The new nine-to-five: Jung Woo Lee

Reading time: 4 minutes
Within the space of a few weeks, the nine-to-five changed completely and we want to know what yours looks like now. Each week we’ll be sharing your new daily routines.

Here Jung Woo Lee, Programme Director of MSc Sport Policy, Management and International Development, explains a typical day.

7.00am – 8.30 am – I live in a village on the outskirts of Edinburgh, and I am lucky to have a small garden. One of my joys nowadays is to gaze at my plants on a fresh morning while having a nice cuppa. This uninterrupted relaxation at the beginning of the day is a luxury that remote working brings. Otherwise, I would be stuck on a busy Edinburgh tram, checking emails through my phone while travelling to the University. Such a hectic commute is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, after more than two months of staying at home, I occasionally miss a vibrant morning bustling with life. Yet, I want to enjoy the peace that red tea in the green garden presents for a bit longer.

9.00 am – When it comes to work, my mind is occupied mostly with the symposium that our research group is organising for next week. It is about the impact of Covid-19 on the global sport industry. By the way, I teach sport policy and management at Moray House School of Education and Sport. Coronavirus has halted many sporting activities, but my academic life as a sport sociologist is busier than before. Hosting a special symposium exemplifies this. It is an international event, but no one needs to travel because it will take place virtually. This is the wonder of digital technology. Later today, I will also have an online meeting about the symposium preparation. When I open my emails, my inbox contains many enquiries about the symposium. Hooray!

11.00am – The meeting is about to start. Alas, my internet connection is getting very sluggish unexpectedly, and this prevents me from joining the virtual team meeting. I reboot my PC repeatedly but to no avail. One colleague texted me, asking my whereabouts. I explain my unfortunate situation. Kindly, he tries to mediate all conversations in the meeting through the phone. Suddenly, my network begins to revitalise, and it gets back to normal eventually. After 30 minutes of struggle, I finally enter the online session room. It is good to see the faces of our team again. The meeting lasted more than 90 minutes but I feel no single moment was wasted. We all exchanged productive and constructive ideas throughout. I am privileged to work with such supportive and collaborative people.

1.00 pm – I have a cheese and blueberry jam panini for lunch. I am sure most people at Moray House know the small but popular panini shop on Holyrood Road near the Parliament Building. Before lockdown, there was always a long queue inside this bistro at lunchtimes. The shop is temporally closed with social distancing measures in place. My homemade panini is my homage to this unofficial canteen of mine. A small business carries a heavy economic burden due to the pandemic, and I guess the panini bar is no exception. When the University resumes its ordinary life, I hope this place also begins to serve delicious food again.

2.00pm – 3.00pm – As a father of two teenage boys, helping their home learning is my new responsibility during the school closure. It is, by no means, easy to support their study at home. I pay respect to school teachers for their tireless effort in these unusual circumstances. There was much confusion at the beginning but now we are getting used to the routine of this online education. The remote learning brings family closer too. I really enjoy spending time with my children when they do their homework. My conversation with my adolescent sons sometimes turns into a quarrel as you imagine. Nevertheless, it is certainly an invaluable moment to understand how they see the world.

3.00pm – 6.00pm – Back to work. I have a book contract with one of the major academic publishers, and I need to deliver a complete manuscript to them by the end of this year. It is still more than six months away, but I know the deadline will be approaching faster than I feel. The pandemic, however, has disturbed my writing plan. I intended to devote the entire summer period to this book project. Now, I need to prepare for an online class too. This surely slows down my writing process. Suddenly, I realise that it is Friday and I have agreed to finish a review of an article by next Monday! Probably, I am not the only one whose time sensitivity is getting numbed since the lockdown began.

6.00pm – 7.00pm – It is time for a stroll. My wife and younger son join me. Evening sunshine creates a relaxing environment. After yet another busy and messy day, this natural beauty offers an ideal remedy for my groggy mood. It was not a bad day after all.  Stay optimistic during the pandemic. This is my motto during the lockdown. And finally, the weekend lies ahead!

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