Been there, done that.

After six years of grad school, there are a few things I've picked up from personal experience and a whole lot of time talking with other female grad students (AKA procrastinating). I've always wished there had been some kind of handbook about how to handle the whole world of graduate school, so I figured I'd start a friendly place to discuss what it's like to be female in grad school, and maybe pass on some wisdom too!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Classroom Antics

Could someone please tell me where the past couple of weeks have gone? I'd seriously pay good money to know. I keep thinking I should have more time than this, but alas, I really have been swamped. Anyhoot, one of the main reasons for this is that school has started back up again and this quarter I don't have the luxury of being on grant, and I'm back in the classroom. For me, this is a great thing. I really adore being a Teaching Assistant (TA), as it allows me the freedom of not planning lectures every freaking day, and I get to know the students a whole lot better. I've met some of the most awesome people I know in the classroom, particularly in the class I'm now working with--my absolute favorite that's offered by my department. This, of course, does not mean that there aren't hiccups in my day. Anyone who has taught a class knows that sometimes things just don't go according to plan. It can't be helped. And sometimes it can be downright crazy. If nothing else, my students keep me on my toes!

In the interest of being more positive this year, I think this week should be devoted to your absolute favorite classroom moment. Whether it be the time you realized you'd given a whole lecture with your fly down, or that your phone goes off (twice!) in lecture, or you nearly hit someone in the head with a human femur, or students nearly come to blows discussing a heated topic. Not that any of these have ever happened to me. Seriously. Never. Uh-huh. (I swear I turned that phone off!)

But, seriously, we've all had them. The moments that either make us come home and hide under our covers, or make us realize teaching can be a whole lot of fun (or, well, not!). For me, this past two weeks has offered a few little gems that have left me chuckling to myself:

Last week, I had a student note that she'd been asked her race so people could find out whether or not they could hit on her. I sat there for a good ten seconds (an eternity with 25 kids staring at you) unable to come up with a single response. Classic. This week, I honestly thought a couple of the girls in my class might kill each other over a comment that animals don't support young that they know aren't capable of being self-sufficient, so why should humans? Um, this didn't go over so well with her classmates...

Anyhow, entering grad school often means that there will be at least once where you will be TA'ing a class and find yourself in a situation that makes you wince, laugh, and have a whole lot of respect for professors who have been doing their jobs for 30+ years. So tell me, what has been your favorite moment in the classroom?

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