Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Grad school, nbd.


That's how I feel.

As I have only about fifteen minutes to spare before I have to book my tush over to Folwell Hall for Japanese class, here's a brief rundown of my last few days, my first two days of grad school:

  • Teaching. Is. AWESOME.  So awesome.  I am teaching my own class, people--COMM 1101: Introduction to Public Speaking.  I am responsible for the degree to which twenty-seven undergrads learn good public speaking skills.  SO. AWESOME.  I taught my first class yesterday, and it was seriously baller.  That's pretty much all I can say.
  • Classes are hard.  I mean, I'm taking Japanese pass/fail, but if you've ever taken a language course, you'll know that even undergrad-level language courses can kick your ass.  I have Japanese ever day for one hour (which means I have new homework every day)--which is pretty normal for undergrads, BUT, as a grad student, I'm also expecting approximately 200-300+ pages of reading assigned for every class.  Every. Class. EVERY. WEEK.  Just yesterday, I had my COMM 5211: Critical Media Studies course, and I've got a couple hundred pages of dense reading (see: theory) to do by Tuesday of next week.  No big deal.
  • I have got to start making my lunches ahead of time again.  Food on-campus is waaaay too expensive to get every day.  Homemade chili that lasts me a good two weeks, here I come!
  • I have a wicked cool boyfriend.  Jake has been extremely supportive of my busy busy busy schedule the last few weeks.  Having that support is really important, as my life will get only busier as I start submitting to conferences and applying for fellowships (not to mention, writing term papers and grading my own students' work).  Jake also tends to be considerably less OCD/neurotic than I am, so he's a good reminder that sometimes, spending quality time with the people important to you is a better use of your energy than reading the last fifty pages of a book.
Edit: I actually had to take off for Japanese before I could finish this post. BUSY BUSY BUSY.  So here's the rest:

  • There's actually a difference between a T.A. and a G.I. (or G.S.I., depending on where you attend school).  A T.A. is a teaching assistant, which means the student assists a full professor/teaching faculty with his or her class.  A G.I. is a graduate instructor, which is a graduate student who teaches his or her own undergraduate course.  I'm technically both--I'm a G.I. because I teach my own COMM 1101: Introduction to Public Speaking class, but I'm also a T.A., because in the spring, I'll be assisting a Comm. Studies professor with his rhetorical fictions course.
  • Though I joke that I look younger than most college first-years (and I probably do, judging by the questions people ask me--"Where's your ID?" "Where are you going to school this fall (implying undergraduate school)?"), I have noticed that I'm at least growing in years, because I'm beginning to be able to recognize first-years from the rest of the pack of undergraduates.  Does that make sense?  It's hard to tell you look young when you're a first-year, because what you look like is the norm.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can tell that at least my technical age (if not the way my body looks) has grown beyond the lower-class undergraduate.  I'm not sure if that means anything in particular, other than that I can tell I'm getting older.  Just an observation, I suppose.
  • Now that school's officially in-session, I'm eating like shit again.  Gone are the days when Jake and I made meatloaf and marinated chicken and homestyle fruit salad!  Now, my evenings are filled with breakfast food and V8 Fusion to make up for my fruit/veggie deficiencies.  
That's all for now.  Clearly, there's more going on in my head, but sometimes, it's hard to unpack all of that.  

In other news, Humbert is doing well.  He's still terrified of me, but I managed to pet him the other day while he was in the bathtub!  I realized that if you approach him while he's got his back to you, he'll let you (oh-so) gently stroke his back.  He'll jump a little, like it still scares him to be touched, but it's almost like, if he can't see you, he just pretends you're not really there.  Silly Humbert.

OK, that's really all for now.  Sorry for the lack of pictures this blog-around.  My phone's internet isn't working, which means I can't upload anything I take.  Never fear, though!  It'll be fixed soon enough, and then I'll be able to snap snap snap away.

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