The semester is over!! December 16, 2016Posted by mareserinitatis in career, engineering, family, geology, teaching, work.
Tags: end-of-semester, physics, service, students, teaching
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My first semester at the new digs is in the bag. It was actually kinda awesome. (Sorry…I’ve never been able to ditch the word ‘awesome’…or ‘kinda,’ either.)
I’m not sure what I was expecting. I was as nervous as the freshmen going in, and I admit that the first couple months were kind of a shock. It’s not that there was a lot of bad stuff going on, but being at a small school was so different. The environment was so quiet compared to any place I’d worked or gone to school before, and it made me feel like something was wrong. There wasn’t, though: I just had to get used to the way things are done here and the different pacing. As the students loosened up, as well, we all began to have a lot more fun in class. I really enjoyed teaching because I had some very interested and attentive students, and I think most of them had a positive experience.
The service part of the job was surprisingly very enjoyable as it gave me the opportunity to get to know faculty from other departments. I learned more about accreditation and assessment, and I participated in my first search committee. I also helped a couple other departments with student-related activities, both for our students and as outreach to the local schools. It kept me busy, but it wasn’t too overwhelming. One thing I realized pretty quickly: we have a lot of female faculty here so I don’t imagine I’ll have to worry much (if ever) about being on too many committees because of a lack of representation from women.
One of the things I enjoyed most was having my own office again. I really hate working at home, and I loved being able to keep work and other stuff more separated. Sometimes I would drag home some grading while watching TV (which made it take three times as long), but for the most part, I did a lot of that at work. I definitely need ideas to decorate the place, though, as all I have now in a nerd clock and a grumpy cat poster hanging up.
The hardest part of working here is the back and forth to see family. I get a lot more done during the week so I don’t feel so bad taking some family time on the weekend, but it’s still hard not to see them every night. Thank goodness for google chat and unlimited cell phone minutes.
I’m excited about next semester: I will be teaching university physics. When I was a TA/tutor for physics in undergrad, a lot of my lab students would come to me for help in the class. I’ve been told a lot that I was very good at teaching it, and that’s stuck with me. I sure hope they’re right because I remember it being one of my favorite classes in undergrad. I also get to teach a general science class for non-majors, and I chose a geology-oriented topic for the focus. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes teaching non-majors again. My last experience was as a TA in grad school with students who really didn’t want to take science, so it wasn’t the most positive for me. However, I’m starting to learn that I can’t base anything off past experiences, so I’m aiming for that class to be fun, too.
And now, I think I want a nice cup of hot cocoa…