Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Diary of an Honours Student, Week 13

Dear fellow student- I think of you.

I know that these days, it is hard to get out of bed in the morning, and not just because it is so cold lately that there is condensation on my window when I draw the curtains.  But I do get out of bed.  I do open the curtains.

We are nearly there.  We are nearly at the half way point, and we may rest when we get there.

This week, I experienced life from the other side of the lecture theatre.

Monday morning, first thing, I put on my most responsible outfit and headed in to uni to give a talk to my supervisor's class on The Shark Net.  

Source:  Yep.  This was me.  Except they wouldn't let me bring my dog.
My philosophy on tutoring (of which I have an extremely limited experience, having only helped one year 12 student for one semester) is that so long as you stay one lesson ahead of the student, and have a good grasp of language and concepts, as well as a passion for the thing you are tutoring, you will be okay.  So, I made a powerpoint presentation about The Shark Net based on my own research, I chose some readings to give the class, and then I went along with my merry research, making sure that I could pronounce all the big words.

(Embarrassing side note, there is a segment in The Shark Net where Drewe recounts his father's clandestine reading of the Mirror tabloid, and how it is the paper which publishes details about sex, scandal and divorce.  I had to ask my mother why Drewe would have listed correspondent as one of the bad words that this paper used that other W.A. papers did not... and of course the book actually said co-respondent, which is a word to describe one or other party in divorce proceedings...I are smarts.)

Anyway.  I won't bore you with the details of the lecture itself, suffice to say I enjoyed the sound of my own voice immensely, and although I only spoke for about half the time I probably should have (it was okay guys, we had a video to put on...), the feedback that I received from the class was very positive.  If you, dear reader, were in that class, thank you for your kindness, your attention and your enthusiasm.

After the class, I got to sit in on their tutorials, and be a fly on the wall... although I did take part in the discussions because I just couldn't help myself.  Here's the thing.  Undergraduates may be the lowest rung on the ladder, just below the campus quendas, but they have such vitality of opinion, and they have the most spirited discussions under the guidance of a great lecturer like David, and it is invigorating to listen to them!  I hadn't realised how much I missed being one of them.  I miss tutorials.  I miss coming to class and having read the same things as everyone else and just arguing about them!  I miss meeting new people each semester.  I miss reading and discussing a different novel every week.

And Oh My Gosh, this lot was smart.

I think after all this is over, I wouldn't say no to tutoring a bit.  As long as I can have a monkey to mark all the essays.

Source:  "Well, you see boss, I had to give her a Fail, as her referencing was just awful."

In other news, I've been thinking about how important it is to work on being happy.

My friend Lauren is a talented illustrator, and she's been talking to me about adjusting to the other side of University life... she wrote a great post on her own blog about Optimism for the unOptimistic.  You should check it out.  You should also worship her talent, as she designed all the pictures for this blog.

Being happy and optimistic can seem like a Herculean task.  There is a lot of evidence out there in the world for the case of Optimism versus People are Sh*t.  But this time of the semester in particular, it is important to look for things to be happy about.

If you're feeling a bit weighed down, I want you to do something for me.

I want you to click on this link.

I want you to turn up the speakers on your internet device.

I want you to clear a space around you.

And I want you to have a little dance.

Because, as one of my co-workers once said to me, nothing is ever as bad when you're dancing.

1 comment:

  1. Hey you didn't post this on your fb page so I didn't see it till I went poking around wondering why I wasn't seeing updates. Only to find there were a few ..ehehe. my bad. :P

    Anyways, thanks for the shout out darlin'. If you look at my latest post you'll see I've returned the favour!

    I find it hard to get out of bed on a regular basis, now, its more because of the cold. I'm actually glad of that. Because there's nothing worse than the feeling of never wanting to rise to face the day ahead.

    Anyways, glad to hear the lecture went alright. I remember you saying you were writing about the Shark Net for a tutorial presentation (and me getting confused as to what you meant by about Shark Nets haha).

    Good advice on tutoring classes. Its not the same as teaching (in that you're not called "Miss" or "Excuse me" all the time or that you have the power to send kids to the principle's office) but its empowering in a way. And yes, its best to be at least one step ahead of your class. Can't let them think you're unsure of what you're doing. They smell fear don't they?

    Nonetheless, if you get a good crowd of kids/students that do take you and the work seriously, there's no reason why you shouldn't enjoy it. :) Glad to hear you'd take it up again if the opportunity presented itself.


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