For the first time in a year, I’m not teaching this semester. I’m torn. I greatly enjoy teaching, and there’s one class in particular for which I actually tried to become a TF. However, I appreciate the time to buckle down and get some research things done.
Regarding my future career options, I’ve definitely been leaning more towards non-research options lately. Teaching, science communication/journalism, maybe even some type of industry work. Not that I have any clue what that industry would be. But I haven’t been feeling the passion for my research pursuits for a bit, and a research-focused semester would help me flush out how I’m feeling, I think.
This semester, I have four main goals:
- Write and publish my work on the duo-pneufish.
- Finish the quad-pneufish experiments, analyze the data, and get ready to publish that over the summer.
- Start working on my polypterus project.
- Flush out the last chapter of my thesis (probably going to be abbreviated from previous plans).
It’s a short list, but it feels like a intimidating mountain of work. An “I don’t even want to start working on it, because then I’ll really feel the burn” type of climb.
So yeah, that’s what I have planned for the spring semester. I’ll also be sitting in on a wonderful class called Deep Sea Bio, taught by Pete Girguis. Who is amazing. If you ever have the chance to hear him talk, take it. I will definitely appreciate the 2.5 hours each week listening to this man tell captivating stories.
And as it turns out, I won’t just be auditing Deep Sea Bio, I’ll be TFing it as well. No discussion section and no lab section. Just grading, organizational stuff (e.g. planning a field trip to watch whales, perhaps???), and playing substitute teacher when/if Pete has to miss and the other TFs and I have to fill in. It’ll be a pretty light workload, compared to the classes I taught last year, and I will technically be paid to attend a class I was going to sit in on anyway. Additionally, teaching this semester means I won’t have to teach in my last year in grad school, and can focus on writing, interviews, or whatever else I have going on.
The pros of accepting this teaching gig definitely outweigh the cons. But….yeah….
5. Teach the class, have fun, learn lots, but don’t go overboard on investing time in the class so I can actually get my research goals done.