On Friday, May 3rd, I finally received my TA assignment for the summer. The class to which I’ve been assigned is Intro to Symbolic Logic. I taught this course myself two summers ago. It’s unlike most other philosophy courses, in that it doesn’t address any philosophical topics. There is no philosophizing going on. It’s more like a math course.
I’m quite happy with the gig, for a variety of reasons. One, the instructor is a fellow graduate student that started the same year I did. He’s a really good guy, and I’ll be happy to be working for him. Two, not a lot of students take Intro to Symbolic Logic. There are currently only 11 students enrolled. I’m sure a few more students will enroll before the class begins, but when I taught it, I believe I had about 17 students. I can’t imagine this particular class will be dramatically different. As a TA, having less students is definitely a plus. Three, there shouldn’t be any papers to grade. I’ll have to grade exams and whatnot, but I won’t have to suffer through any terrible writing. The grading process should move more quickly because, again, it’s like math. Add this to the fact that I’m likely to have less than 20 students and I’m extremely pleased. It doesn’t get much simpler than this. And finally, reason number four, the six-week course doesn’t begin until June 24th. I’ll have ample time between now and then to work on my dissertation, which I desperately need to do. All summer courses in philosophy run for only six weeks, but some are during the first half of the summer and some are during the second half of the summer. My gig is for the second half of the summer, and I’m convinced that I’ll get more work done as a result. I’ll be more motivated to work on my dissertation now than I will be in July. I’m certain of this. Thus, it’s good I’ve got a late summer TA gig. It’ll make the TA gig feel like a break.
In further good news, I’ll have a full three weeks off (plus a couple of days!) between my summer gig and the start of the fall semester. That will be lovely, whether I spend the time getting more good work done on my dissertation or traveling to see family. Or maybe doing a little bit of both. Ideas are being tossed around, but I’m not committed to anything just yet. Up until very recently, I was convinced Melanie and I were staying put in Tallahassee for the summer. Truth be told, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of traveling. But now that things are falling into place, I could see myself wanting to take a brief vacation prior to the fall semester. We’ll see.