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Visiting Lectureship

Saturday: October 10, 2015

Oi. Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I thought grad school was tough. I thought co-directing field school this summer was hard. Little did I know what awaited me…

I have 4 classes in person, and then I am also teaching an online class at another university since I had already committed before I knew I was hired for this full-time position. Two of the classes are outside of my expertise, which sounded like a great challenge when I agreed to teach them, but this might be me “shooting the goose”. In addition, I have departmental concerns to think of (namely, what is going on with the anthropology program?), the anthropology club (which is being ran by a wonderful group of students who are self-starters and don’t require my approval at every turn, but I must admit my guilt for not being more available), and the resource lab to deal with. Additionally, though it hasn’t begun yet, I am on a committee for the university as well as part of the requirements being full-time.

Is it a mistake that I said yes? I’ll find out once the student evaluations roll in.

One of the things I’ve learned is that I don’t always get to eat. And when I miss a meal, my mind is foggy. It leads to mistakes in lectures and the inability to think on the fly when questions are asked or when I need to randomly find an example. I feel it makes me look ill-prepared or like I have no idea what I am doing, but this is not the case, though they don’t know it. It is only a matter of low blood sugar and way too much on my mind. I’v never been so scatter-brained in my life, and I am not handling that aspect well either.

I can say I don’t hate it, and the benefits are good, and my future self will certainly look back and approve of the challenge I am enduring, and the learning (slash personal growth) that is taking place. But I will have to think very critically if I want to pursue teaching full-time in the future (if the option is opened up to me ever again, considering I do not have those three magic letters at the end of my name). I do like the teaching part, mostly, but the academia side…. Well, I am still having a hard time feeling like I fit in. It is tragically different than the corporate world.

This semester is tough for me because I had no time to prepare for all the classes, of course. Nor did I get to select the classes and make them things I am interested in. Next semester will be different. I’ll have the same two introductory physical anthropology classes, but also archaeology (which I will revamp from last time) and one I made up about ancient burials. When I will have time to prepare for either of those, I have no idea. But, if I do find myself in the same situation that I am in now, where I am literally just a few hours ahead of the students week after stressful week, at least the material will be mostly pleasant (a big portion of the semester thus far was about blood, and I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t get my goat if you know what I mean).

My Chair has heard good things about me, and I know at least some of my department has my back (even if I also heard the opposite), and a student has nominated me as part of a teacher appreciation event, so the good vibes are there, at least for now. But I haven’t had a day off since before field school, so I am overly burnt out, and only half-way through the semester. Which I will correct, to stay optimistic: I am half-way there. Yay!


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2 remarks!

  1. carry some bars with you so when you don’t get to eat – you can have one of the bars to keep your sugar up.

  2. I do but there isn’t time for that either sometimes.

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