Saturday, September 19, 2009

So much for the best laid plans

So this week, the class for which I am serving as a teaching assistant had its first sessions. The lecture session went fine - I frantically took notes and tried to discern the important points of the presentation. The class is held in the evenings, and it ran late, and I had already put in a full day at work, so by the time I got home I managed to stumble into bed and that was about it. Then we had our review session. I didn't embarass myself, which was pretty much all I was aiming for. I did forget to introduce myself, but since they met me at the lecture and I work at school and we're a tiny program, I'm going to figure that that didn't matter too much. Thankfully they were very talkative, which was perfect because in my nightmare scenario they sat silently and stared at me for 75 minutes while I tried to recap the lecture material. This week was made especially difficult because it's probably one of the trickiest lecture subjects of the whole semester, and I'm not entirely sure I understood all of the material.
I know this week was hard, being the first session and all, and there were also several other school-related events going on this week which took up lots of time, but I am just beat. I certainly hope things calm down a little because otherwise I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to make it through the semester.
In other news, I did sign up for a spot at the Ph.D. forum for early spring, which means I need to get my proposal in and start some research so I have something to say by then. I've finally settled on a topic, which was very hard for me. I had about four options, all of which I liked and all of which were feasible. It helped to realize that by picking one I'm not writing off the others for good. They'll still be there when I'm done.
I'm taking today off and then it's to the library tomorrow to get some research done. As a grad student who doesn't get to church much anymore, Sunday in a quiet library is the closest to a religious experience I have these days.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Summer's over

***I looked really hard for a free version of Jonathan Coulton's "Summer's Over" to go with this, but couldn't find one. But I highly recommend the song, so go look for it.***

Well, after I finished my last exam, I promised myself that I could take the summer off. "Off" only in a loose sense, of course, since this summer I started working full time. But "off" from school, "off" from scholarly work, "off" from my dissertation proposal. It made for a nice change.

But now summer's over. And school starts tomorrow. And I can't put if off any longer -- I have to start thinking again in earnest. I can't say I'm looking forward to it. It was kind of nice to tune out for a summer. I knit, I read, I made my way through my netflix queue. It was wonderful. And now I have to shift my mind back into student mode. Not to mention into teaching assistant mode. I'm a little nervous about that.

This fall's gearing up to be pretty busy. In addition to the job, the t.a. gig, and the dissertation proposal, I'm also committed to write a book chapter by February. I'd like to think I work best under pressure, but this may be too much even for me.

Firmly believing that a new school year requires new school supplies (even if I am technically in grade 21 by now), I have a new book bag and new shoes for tomorrow. After work tomorrow, I'm going to head over to the office supply place for new pens and a new notebook or two. It's sort of a psychological boost to help me get ready for what lies ahead. I just wish I could think of a good excuse to buy some new crayons...