Sunday, January 10, 2010

Let's Get This Party Started!

The new semester has barely begun and already life feels quite different from what it was even half a week ago. I haven’t even had a graduate class yet, since my first Thursday class was canceled due to the instructor being out of town for a conference. All I’ve had to do is attend the first meeting of the class for which I’ll be a TA. But that hasn’t stopped me from suddenly being busy. Both of my grad classes sent out reading assignments via email, so though I’ve yet to receive a syllabus for either class, the work has begun. And that means I’m keeping myself locked away all day, trying to get things done. The change feels abrupt. For the past month, I’ve more than not been involved with my family’s day-to-day activities, and now I’m veering back toward my normal quasi-estranged status. It’s a somewhat lonely feeling. And you’d think it would make me appreciate the times when I do see my family, such as dinnertime. But, curse those old habits, I find myself feeling somewhat anxious when I am just hanging out, like I should be hurrying up and getting back to the grindstone. The transitional stage is always hard. Soon enough, being busy with schoolwork won’t seem so bleak, and I’ll handle it better. But after a month of being spoiled, this feels kind of crappy.

For anyone who cares about the details of my life, I’m TA-ing for the exact same class and instructor for which I TA’d last semester. There are pros and cons to this. During the first several class meetings last semester, I found the class absolutely tedious. The instructor doesn’t do anything more than type up PowerPoint slides that regurgitate every little detail the students should have read in their texts. The instructor then reads the slides to the class, repeating each point a few times, occasionally saying things in a slightly different way and only rarely expounding on anything. That’s basically what the class is. Fortunately, I got used to it, or I’d probably want to shoot myself for having to sit through it for another semester. I’m even able to look on the bright side of receiving the same assignment two semesters in a row; because all of the material will be fairly fresh on mind, I probably won’t have to do much in the way of prepping for the class, including reading anything. The class is also located only about 15-20 seconds away—literally!—from my office in the philosophy department. I can slip out of my office door, go down a hall, out a back door, and I’m basically facing the door that leads into the auditorium where the class is taught. It’s quite a perk not to have to walk back and forth across campus, especially given the extreme weather we’re having now (it’s quite chilly here lately!) and the highs we’ll be getting come April and May. (It’s not so good news for my health, I suppose, given that walking around campus is, or was, my primary source of exercise. I better start figuring out how I’m going to compensate.) Bearing these benefits in mind, I’m actually quite content with my current TA assignment. The only scary thing is that the class is even larger than it was last semester, and all of the essays that get turned in will have to be graded by me and just one other TA. That will be very time consuming when the time comes. But I expect I’ll gripe about that soon enough. So, until then…

1 comment:

  1. It's good to hear about you and your day and where you are. I really miss you.