Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lesson Learned...

Things are back in full swing and, seriously, I did not anticipate how busy things would be! Every semester of graduate school I tell myself that I'll get the hang of this, that after this semester I'll be easier, and every semester it gets harder. I think, if I didn't do the assistantship, it would be a much easier experience. However, with the assistantship, and trying to write my thesis, life has gotten quite crazy!  While I like it, I also don't so much like it. I had the opportunity to spend the summer reading and studying, and that suited me just fine. Now, I'm teaching and writing my thesis and things are starting to get hectic.

So, I've been avoiding any extra work and hiding my head in the sand. I've spent a good deal of time with Matt, enjoying the weekend and trying to wind down from a crazy first week. I've not been blogging, or spending much time of Facebook. Rather, I've been trying to enjoy life while I have a few moments to do so. Matt's been amazing lately. He's a really good, really supportive guy who does what he can to help me and spends time with me when I have the time available. Amen for a good husband!

As far as school goes, it's good. I've said that I'm teaching, which is a really difficult experience for me in a lot of ways. The first week went pretty well, I felt really good about my classes and the students, I felt like we understood one another. It was really good. This week's been a whole other experience. One of my classes is quieter than the other, much more reserved. It made things a little bit difficult because I was doing a lot of the talking and I felt like I was repeating myself.  This makes things tough because, let's be honest, I'm just a little bit nervous and anxious to fill the air. Dead silence is not a good thing.

I did, however, have the opportunity to learn something about myself today, so it's been a good experience if for nowt else but that. I observe a class in the morning, have a few hours break, and then teach my own classes. Today, from the interactions, I learned that sometimes it's really important to listen to yourself when it comes to planning classes out. We watch Dr. M's class to see one example of what we're supposed to be doing, which is helpful because she's great and also because our classes is doing the same material as Dr. M's class. Today, I found that sometimes her way can't be my way. I need to watch and pay attention to how things work for me.

For my first class, I just winged the information. I didn't put up any sort of outline, I just went with it. I had my notes from observing that morning, and I had the book, but that was it. I found, however, that I couldn't quite remember everything when doing things like that. I can't exactly stand there and look at my notes, that's not going to work. So, between my classes, I came upstairs and put together an outline of the information, filled with questions to address during the lecture, from the book material. That worked like a charm! One of my students even came up to me after that class and told me I was an "awesome teacher!" That really made me feel good, I have to say. It was the shining moment in what had been, up until that class, a rather bleak day.

Now, I'm preparing to go home, which is a good thing because I'm exhausted. Matt and I are going for dinner and I think I'll have a drink, to ease the strain. I don't have any idea how people get through grad school without something to dull the... I don't know. Pain doesn't seem like the right word. Maybe strain, that's better. Mango Skrewdriver and chicken fajita bites, here I come!!