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Friday, May 20, 2005

It's nearly all over...

I have just 10 days left until I am no longer responsible for students. Admittedly, if I get the job I am after then I will have to deal with a handful of (trying) postgrads until September, but my dealings with the undergrad population will soon be done.


Teaching at University level has been an eye-opener for me. Traditionally new lecturers are supposed to have a light load in the first year of their contracts to ease them in. This allows them time to secure funding and polish off some research before getting an RA of their very own. I was not so lucky. The friend that I was standing in for, on a temporary basis, was actually quite senior and had quite a heavy work load.

I was expecting this since I had listened to him bitch for years, but now I truly appreciate the pain. I spent a good portion of the first term feeling drained and tired. To the amusement of my housemate I would simply fall asleep on the coach within minutes of sitting down to watch a show.
Things got better after Christmas when the bulk of my lecturing was done, though lab teaching was pretty grueling as well. However I had an excellent assistant (who was better at the stuff than i was!).
On the upside, my knowledge about the subjects I taught has improved significantly and I impressed the head of department no end, which will help me in the future if I still want to be a lecturer.

Now I am at the stage where I just need to finish some marking and then I have to find ways to arrange 'accidents' for my postgrads and the next few months will be relatively blissful.

I might even manage to publish some more papers. That would be novel.

After my marking is done I feel that a discourse on how some students are morons and why that is so will appear. In the meantime I have an article on natural selection which is half written and an idea for a bit on climate change - and why celebrity scientists should get their facts stright before shooting their mouths off. I'm afraid the science angle never goes away...

By the way, a coronal mass ejection was flung off the sun recently and headed straight for Earth. The impact caused a geomagnetic storm which triggered aurora as far south as Wisconsin. See I told you that it could happen during solar minimum.

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