Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Lecture & Grading

Yesterday, I gave my first formal lecture in front of a class and survived. There were certainly things I could improve on (like the concept I had in my head exactly backwards), but the students were clearly attentive (since they caught my mistake), I got some excellent questions, and my timing wasn't nearly as horrible as I had been afraid of.  More than anything, I need to master the art of writing on the board while talking, and using chalk without the squawk.

I kind of hope that at some point, I can do a more lecture-intensive TA, but while I'm on fellowship funds, that seems illogical. Part of why I'm doing the lab this semester is because I already have the background for the material we're covering, so I can fit it into my schedule (relatively) painlessly.

I'm also starting to see the benefits of doing my high school service hours as a student grader for freshman English. It takes me much less time to go through grammar corrections than it takes my fellow TAs. My favorite gem from the most recent batch of labs was the auto-corrected misspelling which turned a statistics term into a literary term. Spellcheck is no substitute for proofreading.

I'm finally getting into the hang of my semester, and realizing I'm just never going to get much research done on lab days. Now, if I could just get Matlab to stop randomly seg faulting...


  1. I used to take off a point for every grammatical error. (They got a free pass on the first lab.) It made lab reports a lot better written, let me tell you! My theory was that being a scientist is no excuse for poor writing, and all my humanities professors did it, so...

  2. I remember my first time TAing. I think I almost literally s*** myself in fear :)

    Thankfully being a FOB Brit in a room full of US pre-meds meant they were so focused on my "strange" accent no one noticed the grinding terror in my voice...