Musings of an expat grad student... oy vey.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New year.

So I, uh, seem to have left the blog to simmer for a while. Not sure why I did that. I think that all the writing and reading I've been doing for school have managed to squeeze all the bloggy energy out of me, but now that I've spent a week doing absolutely nothing of value for my PhD, I'm recharged and ready to blog again.

One thing that's happened since I inexplicably stopped blogging is that I've picked up a teaching position at a local university (not the one at which I'm doing my degree). I'm just an adjunct, teaching one course that combines two of my major research interests, but it's still bloody terrifying. I haven't actually taught in several years, and when I did teach it was in the capacity of a high school classroom assistant or an ESL teacher, so I'm not quite sure what possessed my department chair to trust me with a classroom full of students who will likely be, on average, two to three years younger than myself. But trust me she has done, even knowing my lack of experience. "University X," she said with a wink, "is a good place to learn how to teach."

The thing is, I'm naturally a pretty good teacher. Teaching seems to come easily to me, at least according to most of my former students, and I think that showed in the interview (which consisted of about one hour of questions and one hour of enthusiastic chatting about my field). But there are certain classroom-management and other pedagogical skills that have to be taught or developed, and I don't have those yet. I know everyone makes mistakes in their first classroom, but perfectionist that I am, I know I'll be incredibly hard on myself for every one I make. I've been devouring the Teaching Carnivals, but I'm still putting a call out now for my one or two readers (welcome, Carine, by the way! I LOVE your blog!): help?

Overall, it's been a pretty good holiday season. We didn't really do much, as my family is all across the pond and my husband's family is dysfunctional and doesn't really speak to each other, but we've spent a lot of time together being boring homebodies. I got Arthur and George by Julian Barnes - one of my favourite writers on the planet - for Christmas, plus a £30 Borders gift certificate which I used yesterday to buy books on critical and literary theory because I am a first-class nerd. As I am far poorer than my husband, he got a Gryffindor house scarf knitted by moi, which he wears around the house while saying "'Ello, 'Arry" like Hagrid. It's hilarious.

I hope the holidays have been equally kind to all of you. Happy 2006, everyone!


  • I love Julian Barnes! I just finished Talking It Over, and now am moving on to Love, Etc.

    By Blogger Psycgirl, at 5:37 PM  

  • How did I miss this?!? Please forgive me, and chalk up my lack of response to this important blog entry to Ph.D. student myopia!

    I am so pleased to hear that you have picked up a temporary lecturer gig at a nearby university; this is great news! (Such jobs seem to be really rare in the UK, especially for Ph.D. students, so you must be one hot ticket, missus!) I hope that things are going well for you in that post!

    In the meantime, continued vibes and momentum to you for the thesis writing.

    All Best Wishes,

    : ) "Carine"

    By Blogger Carine Bichet, at 4:21 PM  

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