Today was the completion of my first week of class. Actually, it was the second week in the quarter. However, due to the walkout it was the first week I attended classes. I have three and am the teaching assistant for another (the classes I’m currently enrolled in are listed here). It has been nice to finally be in classes, I have been busy the whole week and am looking forward to the weekend.
Cohort: My cohort is very small, there are only seven of us. This is especially nice because the cohort I was in at UC Irvine was much larger. This made it difficult to get my voice heard. It also allowed us to break into smaller groups, and we often didn’t get along. Oddly, enough I am the only girl in the group. Thankfully they all seem like nice guys and our classes so far have had good discussions.
Classes: The classes so far are good as well. Thankfully, our Teaching Pedagogy only meets every other week and is really focused on what we would like to get out of the course. This allows extra time to work on the reading/writing/grading/planning necessary for other aspects of my quarter. I’m excited about Methods & Theory this time around because I actually feel like I will get something out of theory studies. I already feel like I have a better grasp of the theories and thanks to Olivia, I have an awesome resource. (For anyone who needs to study theory, I highly recommend reading The Penguin Dictionary to Critical Theory). Finally, Readings in US History has a great reading list, which I’m simultaneously excited and daunted by. The professor for this course also provided this powerful tool to keeping track of the books we read while in classes, which will prove to be a handy resource come examinations time. Both of the final classes have a great deal of work attached to them, but such is grad school.
Teaching Assistantship: My teaching assistantship will be eating up a great deal of the time I would like to be spending on my other classes. I attend two lectures a week, led by the professor and lead two sections. However, it is right in my field of focus and I am learning/re-learning a great deal in the lecture. I haven’t led my sections yet, but I will start that on Monday. I feel confident, particularly the first week since I want to spend a little time getting to know my students. I really like having students work in groups, I find that they tend to speak more when they are placed in groups. This works really well if they have some questions to focus on and then report back to the class. But I might use a different strategy this week with my classes. They are only an hour and ten minutes long, and I’m used to 2-3 hour long classes, so I’m thinking of utilizing the time in different way which will engage the whole class. This is particularly helpful in the first week since housekeeping will take up some of the time.
Reading: Reading, reading, reading… ah the life of a grad student. Thankfully, so far the texts we have been assigned have been very engaging. The worst is when reading a book that doesn’t hold your interest, and then to have to discuss that! I am also trying to keep ahead of the reading load, particularly since I will soon be receiving assignments from my students that I will need to grade and written assignments for my own classes. This is especially true this week because I will not have much time for work this weekend.
This Weekend: This weekend Kevin and his parents are coming up to visit me. Well, that’s partially true. Kevin’s dad is running a half marathon in San Jose on Sunday. So they will be coming up Friday to see the new apartment and visit Santa Cruz. Plus, its Kevin and my 6 year anniversary this weekend. We are going to go to dinner in San Francisco, one of my favorite places in the world (I love how close I am to it now!). It’s also nice that Kevin will have his parents to share his long drive with.
That’s about it. I hope to keep updating the blog regularly, but it will depend on my workload.