Jake wrapped up teaching this past week! What an experience it was designing and running his own course for the first time! He really enjoyed the freedom of deciding what topics to cover in his course. He wishes he could’ve taught in person, but it was still a good experience. As soon as he submitted final grades, he looked up his teaching reviews. Overall, he got good reviews which felt very rewarding! Even though teaching comes with its challenges (like navigating student requests), Jake really enjoyed it and would be thrilled if he could enter the world of academia when he finishes his PhD program.
As for Cindy, Jake’s teaching experience was an interesting perspective shift. She didn’t realize how many students have last minute emergencies right before a midterm or final. When she was a student, it felt like you were the only one who had an emergency and professors were heartless if they didn’t cut you a break. But having observed from the teaching end, it’s pretty easy to see how it can be difficult to take these emergencies seriously when half the class has one. She has more sympathy now for professors and instructors who have to decide which requests to grant or not.
Additionally, it was interesting to learn that professors and instructors actually do remember you! (if you stand out…or if you ask a lot of questions and participate) But she always thought it was impossible to be memorable or recognizable in such a large sea of students…especially when lectures are only a couple times a week… She realizes that university is not as impersonal as she thought it was
Anyway, it was definitely a worthwhile experience for Jake. And now that he’s done, we get one week of summer break before Fall Quarter starts and Jake has to TA again. He’ll be entering Year 4!! We’re now officially more than halfway through his program!! 5-6 years felt like an eternity when we first started on this PhD journey, but now that we’re nearing the end we’re half wishing time would slow so we can enjoy the flexible lifestyle of the PhD for just a little longer. Technically…Jake could choose to take even longer to graduate…but…we know it’s time to move on from this chapter soon.