I moved into my new apartment on Tuesday. It feels nice to have a home. Living half out of my car and half out of a motel was getting old. As the title of this post suggests, here is a video tour of my new place:
Here are a couple pictures of my room, in case the video went too fast for you.
I had orientation every day this week from 9 until about 3 or 4. The first day we did a lot of typical orientation stuff (learning about the Graduate Teaching Assistant position & what our responsibilities would be, getting keys & offices, and doing a bunch of other stuff like that). The next three days (Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday) we learned the content of the course in the morning, met various people from the department, and gave 10 minute mini-lectures in the afternoon. The course I'm (and each of the other 7 new GTAs) teaching is Math 114: Quantitative Reasoning. It's basically math for the non-math/science majors. It is a very practical, real-world class where the students learn a hodge-podge of topics ranging from basic statistics to finance to simple graph theory. All students are required to take at least one math class. For the music, art, english, etc majors, this is the class they will take. So basically, I will have 32 students that hate/are afraid of math and about 1/3 of them will DFW (get a D, get an F, or withdraw). Today we wrapped up the course material (so if you were counting, we learned the entire course in 4 days), played around with the online homework site, and got an official review of how we did in our mini-lectures.
Overall, I did better than I thought I would do with the mini-lectures. In case you are confused (which you probably are since I haven't explained what a mini-lecture is yet), we were assigned 3 topics (one for each of the 3 days that we did this) to give a 10 minute lecture on, just like we would in our class. Our audience consisted of 1 or 2 of the other new GTAs and Matt (the GTA coordinator, aka my boss), Nichole (The MA 114 course coordinator) or 1 or 2 of the returning GTAs. So you would go up to the board and lecture for 10 minutes and then the audience would give you feedback. This was a little nerve wracking to do on only the second day of orientation, but it went really well that day, and all week, so thanks to everyone who has been praying for me. I also want to thank (no this is not an awards speech) anyone who gave me money of gift cards. I had to buy more stuff that I thought I would (like a shower curtain, bathroom rug, toothbrush holder, toliet paper, hand soap, sheets & comforter, laundry basket, trash can, dishes, ice cube tray, towels, hot pads, paper towels, bike lock, etc) so thanks!