Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

Materials Girl: End of a TA era

Teaching has been part of my graduate-student experience since the very beginning. For better or for worse, my department is happy to hire newcomers as teaching assistants (TAs) during their first terms as grad students. After 14 quarters encompassing a wide variety of undergraduate courses, I have now maxed out on the school of engineering’s allowance for TAing. This fall will be the first term where I have absolutely ZERO classes to take or teach. It feels surreal, and a bit sad. (Even sadder if my advisor runs out of funding to pay me, but that’s a whole different set of issues…) Since age 4, I have been ‘in school’ and always had classes of some sort. Twenty-two years later, the change is very noticeable. In particular, I find myself actually having proper time to focus on research, instead of having half my week appropriated to classroom-related work. 

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