January 24, 2008
I don’t actually write much about grad school, but that’s because by the time I get everything read/written/marked, the last thing I want to do is think about it more. Right now, though, I’m on a bit of a (natural) high. I just taught a stats lab and it was AWESOME. The fact that I was awesome probably won’t surprise many of you (I mean, really), but in this case it is a bit of a surprise. I have been teaching this particular lab all semester – that’s right, I have my own students, they are all mine – and until now I have sucked. I mean it. I’ve been boring and perfunctory, stiff and awkward. Like old married couple sex and scared teenager sex all at once, but without the sex.
Today though, I really rocked. I finally decided “You know what? I know this shit! I don’t need to practice a dozen times. I don’t need detailed lecture notes. I’m going to bring a list of major things to cover, and wing the rest.” It worked. I was more comfortable, I made some jokes, I was more interesting, and my students were much more comfortable around me afterward. It probably didn’t hurt that I showed the Pacman graph, wore my Communist Party t-shirt from Threadless (which a student admitted to also owning) and made a reference to The Office. Yeah, that’s how cool I am. Suck it, suckers.
Now I have to go mark all their assignments. Shit.