Saturday, September 6, 2008

TDS- Bristol Palin's Choice

The First Week of Classes

The Wang Center for the Arts: I will probably never need to go in here again, now that orientation is over. They also appartently turn the fountain off a few weeks into classes.

This week was the first week of classes. To be sure, starting graduate level classes was a lot like starting undergraduate classes. However, there was one keen difference. The goal here is to do research for your dissertation; as such classes are often not the priority. Its strange to be in a position where I am being told to get what I need out of classes and not worry as much about grades. With that said, my courses seem like they will be generally interesting and helpful in understanding my research. I’m taking a graduate stats course, a seminar on attention, and a behavioral neuroscience seminar. In addition, there are a number of psychology seminars I am required to attend throughout the term. So far the workload doesn’t seem impossible, but with research and TAing added in, it should keep my quite busy.

This week was also the first time I’ve TAed as a graduate student. I am TAing an undergraduate developmental psychology course. Essentially it’s all about babies and how awesome they are. Interesting I guess, but not exactly what I’m here to learn about. Nevertheless, the professor of the course has won some teaching awards and written a bunch of books (including the book for the course) so I’ll get some valuable experience that way. After this semester I’ll likely teach or TA for courses more in my area. I have to teach at least one course before I graduate, but if I teach summer courses I can increase my stipend. So I’m going to try to do that as soon as I am able. I think I just need to take one course to get certified (take that Phil!), but I haven’t heard too much about that yet.

Some combination of the first week of classes, long island weather, and a cataclysmic immune system failure left me with flu-like symptoms for most of the week. I wanted to start running again this week, but I just didn’t have the energy. I was talking to a first year mathematics grad student and he said there were a number of 5K and 10K races on long island throughout the year. Definitely something I’m going to keep and ear out for. Anyways, I’m feeling more or less like a human again after a few days of being a zombie. Apparently cough medicine helps with coughs and Tylenol helps with headaches.

Research starts up next week and I am going to try to get some pictures of the campus. Look for more updates soon.