mercredi 11 janvier 2006

This is what has been consuming my life so far.

Wow. Only two days of classes, and I am WIPED OUT. It's a struggle for me to stay awake past 8pm, but I do it anyway, because of all the fun new mid-season programming (and I ended up watching the new Bachelor, set in beautiful Paris, and nqo*(bi;r ';/mn is all I can say about it, everyone on that show is so horrible). Such is my dedication to television.

(However, I have had time to go shopping. I need clothes in which to teach [read: I like buying clothes]. Plus, the above pair of shoes from the mothership were so cheap, it's like they were begging me to take them home. Besides, I don't care if wedges are in this season [again], if I'm not in flipflops, I'll be in pointy-toed and -heeled shoes.)

So guess how many students I get? Guess! (No fair looking at my old comments for answers.)

That's right. SIXTY students (20 students, 3 sections). I hardly think that's fair, especially since I have to lead section starting at 8am on Friday. In case you've forgotten, I generally don't like to wake up until 10am. My bed is really comfy and my sheets are pretty and soft. And usually, I like to start my weekend drinking on Thursday nights. After all, Thursday nights are for going out and getting drunk (I have never really left my college days). I haven't had Friday classes since, I dunno, junior year of college? That would FIVE years ago now.

So they're just going to have to deal with a hungover TA. They can deal. But they better be showing up, because believe you me, I will be docking points for people who don't appear.

It is very perplexing when students walk up to you at the end of class and expect you to answer their questions, perhaps because I am so used to being the question-asker rather than the question-answerer. Since this is still the beginning of the quarter, they ask things like, "How do I get off the waitlist?" and I look expectantly around, waiting for someone else to answer that question, but wait! The question is directed at me, and I'm supposed to give an answer. Now, if they were attentive students, they would have LISTENED at the beginning of class and learned the answer to the question then. But no. Apparently there are some very non-attentive students.

I have not pointed that out to them (yet), and I have politely answered their questions. Even though you know that they know that I'm a sitting duck since the other three TAs? Two of them are in their 4th year of PhD studies and the other in his 6th, and all have taught before. And they are in the department. At least I can say I'm in the education department, which lends some amount of credence to the fact that I'm a TA because education = teaching, or so everyone thinks, when really, for me, education = early childhood development. Oh well.

Another student wanted to switch sections because she apparently can't walk 1/10th of a mile in 10 minutes to go from one class to another. I just wanted to tell her, look, dearie, not only did I use to walk double that distance in the same amount of time back in college, I used to do it IN THE FALLING SNOW in HEELED BOOTS. So buck up, it is 75 degrees outside and you don't have to deal with black ice and falling on your already-bruised ass (not the fault of the heels. The heels served as sort of a pick which kept me standing upright). Not that I have any experience with that.

But no, I did not say that to her because I'm working on being nice.

Then there was the student who came up after class and introduced himself to me. That was cute. He was sort of cute too, and sort of reminded me of an ex. Hrm, we'll see if that bodes well for him or not. Said ex is apparently working for one of the skeevier LA law firms this summer. That is just so fitting.

Given that I've never really taught before, other people in the department have been very forthcoming with advice, for which I am grateful. Especially when it makes me laugh. My favourite is the advice I got from the girl whose desk is next to mine in the TA office (she has a maltipoo and brings it to school! DO YOU KNOW HOW EXCITED I AM? This might be the biggest perk of taking on this teaching position. Well, that, and the fact that for one blissful quarter, I finally get a parking permit). Anyways, her pithy words:
Even if you're dumb, they're dumber.
I think this is very useful advice, and in general, a good saying by which to lead life, as long as then you don't get all snottily pretentious.

With all this going on in my life, do you think I even have time to do anything but think about classes and teaching? Sadly, no, not really, as I'm trying to adjust. So someday, I will bring back yummy pictures of food (I did make sour cream sugar cookies recently, and while they're tasty, they're not particularly photogenic) and (sometimes) funny stories about when I was drunk and met annoying people in bars.

Once I get over wanting to sleep all the time.