"I Live to think for myself. I refuse to be a mindless sheep following the crowd into cookie-cutter oblivion. Otherwise I'd just be a zombie with no heart or passion in life" - Hervey Taylor IV

The Undergrads.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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This first week and a half of the semester has been a whirlwind of crazy and getting used to new schedules. There are so many children everywhere. And by children, I mean undergraduates. The bane of my existence as a grad student. They take over all of my local watering holes (aka bars... even though half of them are technically not even 21 but ID's don't lie), restaurants, parking, busses... they're all flooding with undergrads.  Even my peaceful 6AM running time has been kidnapped. I used to see not a single soul out and yesterday I saw 4. What is that? Aren't you sleeping undergrads? Do you not have class till noon? I think you're doing college wrong.

The little town of Ann Arbor literally doubles when school is back in session and since I am officially old, I naturally hate all things that I wish I was: young, care free, and with soooo much free time.

A good chunk of the country (75% actually) went back to school weeks ago but Michigan is behind in the times and doesn't go to school until after labor day. It is apparently a law that started because child labor was invaluable. I mean, why hire farm hands to harvest your land when you can get your 10 children to do it. After all, that is why you had 10 children, right?

What I can tell you is that times are changing... though at a much slower progression than I would have originally thought and starting this late is stupid. The later you start, the later you get out. I miss being done the first week of December and not thinking about anything educational for a month (NMSU was so generous in their breaks). Instead, school roughly gets out the week right before Christmas and goes back the week after New Years... slashing my break time drastically in half. Not to mention our complete lack of Thanksgiving break which is essentially just Thanksgiving day instead of the whole week.

Not that this actually matters much for me anymore because science/grad school hates breaks, and holidays, and anything that actually makes one happy. This is a scientifically proven fact.

This also doesn't matter much because I'm not actually taking any classes. Unless you can count a weekly seminar in which I listen to people talk about their research.

Anyway, even though I'm not actually taking a class, I am teaching one. I know what you're thinking: is this girl qualified to teach a group of 360 undergraduate students? No probably not. Except, I actually think I might be good at it. I didn't think it was possible.


I'm historically bad at a lot of things and my aversion to public speaking made me question why I was doing this. And then I remembered I am required to teach. So I sucked it up and went to the absolute sorriest excuse of a GSI orientation in which I wasted 2 work days and learned the exact opposite of anything useful.

And then the real class time started. And I have to say, I really like it. I'm teaching Genetics which is one of my favorite subjects to begin with.  I have 3 discussions and about 75 students total. Because this is more of group talking and discussion based class than a lecturing style, I really got in to the swing of it. All I had to do was remember

1) I actually am smarter than them.

2)  2 years ago wasn't that long... I can relate, right? 

So besides the one kid who answered his phone in the middle of the professor lecturing... while he was sitting directly behind me... and then had a full blown conversation and then I nearly decapitated him in the middle of class. Yeah, besides that it's been going well. Granted, I've only taught one class so it could all fall apart by Friday judging by how things in my life go.

Side note, I got my very own pre-med undergraduate to mentor in lab which I thought was kind of cool, that my PI trusted me enough. And then after the fact I found out everyone else in lab said they didn't want one or will be "graduating" (supposedly) in the next few months. Therefore I was the last and only option. You know me, always trying to impress.

1 Witty Remarks:

Cole Johnson said...

Haha. Supposedly. I hope Christian reads this...

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