Sunday Routine: Dr. Gittens


Dr. Gittens

Interview by Nyjáh Harrison, Layout Editor

On Sundays, Dr. Angela Gittens, a member of the World Languages department and Upper School DEIB coordinator, takes part in what she calls “culture Sundays.”

On a typical Sunday morning, Gittens wakes up before 9 a.m. Once she’s ready to put on her “mommy hat,” she and her husband prepare a home-cooked breakfast for the family, in a manner they like to call “kitchen choreography.” During the week, her family usually has separate breakfasts as they make their way to work and school, so the weekend, Sundays in particular, is the perfect time to sit down all together for the most important meal of the day. Her favorite weekend breakfast is homemade pancakes with cinnamon and fresh banana, paired with turkey sausage. 

Once done with breakfast, Gittens’ Sunday is spent either participating in worship or meeting with friends. “Depending on the season,” Gittens explained, “[we’ll] either go to the park where there can be performances,” or events that their friends may be putting on or performing in. Gittens values quality time as a pillar of her weekend routines. 

Gittens uses Sunday afternoon to prepare for the week ahead. Gittens says that she likes for her Sunday meals to extend into the week. That meal usually lasts until around Wednesday. This is where “kitchen choreography” makes a reappearance in Gittens’ Sunday routine. She and her husband will work together to make one, sometimes two meals; one for Sunday and another for the earlier weekdays. As they cook, Gittens and her husband will have music playing in the background. “Earlier in the day, I might have gospel music on, or West African music on,” and while cooking dinner, her husband may play Caribbean or Latin music, Gittens elaborated. 

Dinner preparations usually begin in the late afternoon, around 4 or 5 p.m, and food is served between 8:30 and 9 p.m. “In Francophone culture and many African cultures, dinner is so much later on a Sunday,” which is the reason behind their dinnertime, explained Gittens. In the time between preparation and sitting down to eat, the family is off doing things to help prepare them for the week. Her sons can usually be found doing their homework, and Gittens (while she prefers not to take work home), if she has to grade papers or prepare lessons for the week, typically spends this time getting that done. Dinner is a phone-free family affair. “We sit, we have our time where we can give thanks, not only for the food that’s in front of us but also just for being able to sit there,” said Gittens. Sometimes, when dinner starts a bit later, Gittens will also turn on a movie for her family to watch as a group before they begin to wind down. 

Gittens finds herself falling asleep later into the night. “I go to sleep after 11, after 12. I’m asleep before my head hits the pillow.” Having a Sunday so full of culture and family makes perfect sense for Poly’s very own multilingual DEIB coordinator.