ru: (science geek)
A week from today, I'll be sitting in the TAs' meeting room with all my fellow TAs for our pre-semester scheduling meeting. This is when we choose which two sections will be all ours for the semester. Since the only other obligation I have this semester is trying the hell to get my research together, I pretty much have a wide open schedule. Oh, the possibilities!

I'm kinda in a quandry, though. I already know that I want to take sections that are early in the week, as I have a tendency to obsess over teaching, and can't really relax until it's out of the way. I also know I want to take my two sections on the same day, so I get them done all at once, so I don't spend the night in between up and fretting over the next day. The real question, then, is Monday, or Tuesday? I've taught both before, and they each have their advantages and disadvantages. And since I haven't exercised my power to poll yet, I think it's high time I fixed that and ask for your opinions!

The way I see it, these are the advantages and disadvantages:

Monday pros:
--It gets done and out of the way really early! That'll give me the rest of the week to focus on other things.
--Monday is not a very popular day, and Monday morning has to be the absolute least popular time to take a lab. So that means fewer papers to grade.

Monday cons:
--Since the weekly meeting is on Friday, I basically have only the weekend to prepare, which makes me somewhat frantic as I try to pull everything together. I've taught this class once before, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to take the time to sit down and walk through what I'm going to say with myself. That means my weekends are a little frantic.
--There are a lot more absences. I think a lot of students, if they didn't feel well over the weekend, decide to just stay home, especially for the Monday morning class. That means I do a lot more stressing over getting them made up and caught up. I'd much rather have a class with everyone there than one with a ton of absences.

Tuesday pros:
--I get a bit more time to prepare, so my weekends aren't quite the frantic rush they can be.
--There's usually fewer absences, so that's less stress there.

Tuesday cons:
--WAAAAAAITING. I like to get my teaching over and done with as early as possible. I know it's only a day, but it's likely a day that I will spend obsessing over preparing, rather than getting my research done. And extra time for research is a good thing.

So, gentle readers, what do you think?

[Poll #1506110]
ru: (Default)
Well, I managed to get through my first bout of teaching for the semester. It's both a blessing and a curse to be the first one teaching during the week. It's great because I get done way early and can spend the rest of the week doing other things, but it's also rough because if there are any problems with the lab, I'm going to be bearing the brunt of it. This week was extremely technologically low, for example. I had four computers refusing to print, and the overhead kinda imploded. It stopped working completely, and when the plug was taken out of the socket, it left a PRONG behind. Scary.

My afternoon class seems like it might be alright. The students are at least somewhat interactive and they seem like a decent bunch. We'll see how their attitude changes after they start getting grades. My morning class, though, is a bunch of ZOMBIES. Every time I asked them a question they would stare at me like I was made of magical cream cheese. I know it's 8AM, but a FEW signs of life would be much appreciated. It's frustrating to try and engage a class that refuses to engage. Dunno what I can do about that. I do know, though, that if any of them raise their hands and ask for my brains, I'm leaving.
ru: (Default)
I begin teaching tomorrow. Neeeeeervous. Must remember to talk slow, must remember to talk slow, must remember to talk slow, and NOT FORGET ANYTHING, as it's the first lab and I have to go through all the safety stuff. *wibbles* I'm going through my notes and trying to talk things out, but I'm still starting to get nerves. It's a ton I have to do this first day.

I'm going to distract myself now.

Ask me anything about any character I RP. Why I picked them up, what my headcanon of them is, who I ship them with, etc.
ru: (sad)
So, it's back to the usual routine. About the only real advantage of getting here as early as I do is that I can at least take a walk in the morning, before things get rocking and rolling. I was pretty faithful about doing that last semester, so I need to keep that up.

I gotta tell you, though, I don't think I could ever be an early bird. I'm really more of a night owl. This whole 'getting up before the sun' thing is pretty blargish. I wake up and my body goes, "WTF? It's still nighttime! Go back to bed!".

Oh, I think I forgot to mention what I was going to be teaching, too. As I suspected, I'm teaching basically the next level of what I taught last semester, which means more cellular procedures. Bio I is more macro-oriented, whereas Bio II gets down to the molecules. I was really hoping I would be teaching Bio I again, since I've taught it once now, so I would hopefully do a better job the next time around. But, it does kinda make sense. Most people passed Bio I and are going on to Bio II, and somebody has to teach their labs, so that's where most of us are ending up. I'm hoping it'll mean that the students are more competent too. I guess we'll see.

It also means that it's highly likely that I'll be teaching at least one student I taught last semester. That kinda worries me. If it's somebody that didn't like how I taught, they could tell all the other students about it and paint me in a bad light, so I'll end up with a bunch of bad impressions (and probably bad attitudes as a result), even though my teaching will likely have changed. I'd like to think I improve between semesters. I'm at least trying to, anyway.
ru: (Default)
Well, I got my evaluations back for this time around. I think they might actually have been better than last time, which would be nice. The biggest thing sounds like that I'm still quite nervous when I get up there, and it shows. One student said I was the most nervous TA he had had. My nerves and I have got to find a way to get along, if I'm gonna have any hope of improving.

On a different note, it appears to be graduation day here, judging by the fact that I saw a professor wandering around in cap and gown. Once again, I've proven I've achieved full grad student status by the fact that I'm haunting the school on graduation day, when I'm not graduating. Lo, I have become a wraith. XD

And also,

Holy crap, Star Trek movie.

I'm...really not sure what to make of it, honestly. The first few moments made me think something more along the lines of "Wait wait WAIT. Is this Star Trek or Dukes of Hazzard?". It was also weird trying to place new faces over old and familiar characters. It's like it didn't quite fit, especially since it seems like Kirk and who I *think* was McCoy look an awful lot alike. Scotty, however, seemed like he'd be great fun. I always liked Scotty. <3 And I will admit that hearing the red alert sound and that it was a proper red alert sound made me a bit tingly. XD;; I think I'll have to go see it, if nothing else than to see what they did with it.
ru: (Default)
YES.

I have finished the last lab I have to teach this semester. I have survived it! I can't tell you what a relief that is. I still need to help with grading and getting grades in and whatnot, but at least I'm done with standing up in front of people and trying to sound intelligent for a little while. I really think this semester went better than last semester. I'm a little amazed myself. I wouldn't say it was stellar by any stretch of the imagination, but it was definitely an improvement. I think it has to do with that I had some experience, we had a ton more guidance with how to teach and grade and whatnot, the material was simpler, the students were easier to deal with (possibly because they weren't all surly upperclassmen), and I think I'm slowly learning the art of "Not caring so much that I make myself sick over things like whether or not I handled a situation with a student in the best manner." I still feel like I have a lot to improve, and I'm still a little afraid to see what sort of feedback the students give me, but at least I'm not crying my eyes out on a weekly basis. I'm really hoping I'll be able to teach the same class next semester. I feel like I would do even better if I did it again.

But enough of that. I'm now going to geek out in the worst way. Some of you have heard me profess my love for PCR. But I bet you didn't know there was a song about it!

It's amazing what heating and cooling and heating will do!
ru: (Default)
Okay, friends list, I am siccing you on the interwebs.

Because one of my class sections is a late afternoon section, meaning it's composed largely of surly folks who want to go home, and the other section is an early morning section, meaning it's composed mainly of comatose folks who want to go back to bed, I want to find things to keep their attention with. In particular, I'd like to find some relevant sciencey comics to sprinkle throughout my presentations, but, unfortunately, I don't have the time to comb the internet to find them.

So, if anyone has any science comics they're particularly fond of, especially if there are any specific ecological comics (even if it's just one strip, or something) that spring to mind, I'd love a rec. I've already bookmarked Nearing Zero and I plan on using a couple xkcd comics. But if anyone has any others, let me know!

On a side note, one of the things we need to talk about during the next presentation is the idea of anthropomorphism, and that it needs to be avoided when talking science, especially when describing animal behavior. So I was thinking, as a silly example for anthropomorphism, I'd like to stick a lolcat in. So if anyone has a particular favorite lolcat picture involving a cat acting like a human (such as making a particular expression, or otherwise exhibiting behavior that's reinterpreted into human terms), please send it along! <3

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