Friday, December 11, 2009

one more day ..

last day of classes:
two lectures left, and then some. [0]

11am is an awkward time in the morning to teach. it immediately precedes lunch, which has been one of its few good points. on the other hand, it shortchanges the morning, makes it an ineffectual time for work. [1]

on good weeks i've diligently woken up every morning at 7:30am. having written my lectures during the preceding afternoon, the span of 8-10am is enough to think a little and work on research.

sure, it doesn't make for very good lectures afterwards. then again, i was hired as a research pοstdoc, not for my ability to teach.

the problem, however, is that not every week is a "good" week.

i'm looking forward to next week, just as i enjoyed thanksgiving holiday.

when i wake up on monday, i won't have to consider compromises. i won't have to debate whether there is enough time, before class, to work on the next stage or step in my research.

maybe i will productive, maybe not .. but i want to have the chance to try, without having to deal with perceived sacrifices ..

[0] if i've learned any lessons as a teaching, then they consist of miscellany about human nature. for example,
  1. humans regret loss more than than they appreciate gain. i told my students that i will not hold any appointments next week. to me, 5 scheduled office hours, spread over three days, are enough. (my plan was not to have disparate meetings interrupt good days of research, next week.)

    so next week will be fine. on the other hand, students have been asking for appointments like crazy for this week. today i have two .. [sighs]

  2. procrastination: in general, humans will never do anything unless absolutely necessary. this semester my classes have had a LΟN-CAΡA lab component to their coursework. usually one assignment is due, every week, and my TAs are in charge of setting the deadlines.

    two weeks ago, my TAs have assigned three labs, and all of them are due next week. i can see their reasoning: the students have had difficulty getting each lab done on time, so a long stretch of time would be better, right?

    summarily, i've been getting consistent complaints from students about "how they are supposed to finish 3 labs in one week .." [sighs]
[1] for some reason, i never refer to teaching as "work." instead, "work" is always research to me. that probably suggests something about my perspective on academia, but those are thoughts for another day.

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