Day in My Life : Chengdu Diary A day in the life of a radio producer - Chengdu edition.
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Day in My Life

My messy desk, apple core and all. Didn't realize how cluttered it was until I took this photo. Yikes. hide caption

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When I tell people I'm a producer, I often get blank stares in return. It's understandable, since what we do is not any one thing, and also because what movie and music producers do is something totally different. So this morning, I thought I would map out my day for you, to give you a sense of some of what goes into the reports you'll hear in May.

5:15 am Got up. Can't tell you how thrilled I was that it was already 5 when I woke. I've been so jetlagged, I keep waking up at 2 or 3 am. So I feel really refreshed today, finally.

5:45 am Called Chris Turpin, my boss and executive producer of All Things Considered. Got cut off a few times, because I'm using Skype, which is great, but not always stable. Filled him in on everything we've been doing so far and interviews we've set up.

6:30 am Wrote and answered emails, mostly for work, but a few personal ones as well. Read a press release about a mass wedding taking place this Sunday. Read an article about the suicide yesterday of the deputy director of the Beichuan Propaganda Office. He was 33 years old. His 8 year old son died in the earthquake last year.

7:45 am Started writing this blog entry.

9:00 am Get in touch with the Chengdu News and Information office, to check on the status of our request for interviews with a family planning official and with doctors at hospitals in Chengdu.

Figure out where their office is and go there to try to get a press pass (I got one in Deyang yesterday).

Write another interview request, this one for an official from the provincial development and reform commission, which is overseeing reconstruction. This request will have to go through the Sichuan Foreign Affairs office.

11:00 am Go get cash from the China Construction Bank ATM (no fees for Bank of America cardholders, yay) and then go buy Melissa's Beijing-Chengdu air ticket. As I write this, she's in the air, on her way to Beijing. Once she gets there, at about 2 pm, she'll get on a flight straight to Chengdu.

Write up notes from all my meetings so far so Melissa can read them on her blackberry when she gets to Beijing, and start thinking about the interviews she'll be doing tomorrow.

12:30 pm Take a mandatory lunch break. I'm only half kidding. In China, everyone stops to eat. I've gotten past the point of insisting on just grabbing something on the go. That doesn't work here.

2:00 pm Meet with Heifer International's China representatives to learn more about a ceremony they've invited us to Friday in Pengzhou. They're delivering chickens to farmers who suffered losses in the quake.

Mid-afternoon Run over to the Sheraton and make sure they're installing the second internet line we need so that Melissa can talk to folks back in Washington and at member stations across the country in studio quality.

Make a bunch more phone calls and write a bunch more emails.

5:30 pm Have dinner with Philip, our wonderful translator from last year who has a new baby since we last saw him.

6:30 pm Dispatch our other very wonderful translator Xiaoyu, who's back with us this year and hard at work already, to pick up Melissa at the airport.

8:00 pm Stop by and chat with Melissa about our big day tomorrow, which starts with an interview at 8 am.

Come back and make sure all my gear is ready for tomorrow - recorder, microphones, cables, camera.

10:00 pm Hopefully go to sleep, but it'll probably be more like 11.