Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of Classes

So the common exam went pretty badly, I don't think I was alone in doing rather abysmally badly so perhaps I will get lucky and the pass percentage will get placed somewhere around 40% Of course I am not really sure I even got that high, it is perfectly possible that I got somewhere around 30%. Its funny but apparently my strong point in physics is quantum mechanics. The only problems that I can consistently do are quantum mechanics problems. I suppose it is because it is all about function spaces and transforms and I have been doing rather a lot of that sort of stuff lately. I spent all day Sunday just lazing about and now today is the first day of classes.

Usually I find the first day of classes exciting and even a little relaxing because I know there isn't anything that needs to be done for the first day. I am not going to go into the class and find out that I forgot about a homework. But now that I am teaching a discussion section of physics 2210 everything is different. The teacher won't even be able to cover a full 50 minutes of material because he has to deal with the syllabus and introduce the T.A.s and the S.I. instructor and of course pontificate a bit about how wonderful and important physics is. I on the other hand have a full 50 minutes all to myself with no syllabus or introductions to fill it up. Worst of all there won't be any homework assigned that early in the class so that means I can't even fall back on that. Right now the plan is to just talk about what vectors are and give a bit of a review for the math.

I guess at the root of my anxiety is that failure as a teacher is fundamentally different than failure as a student. If I fail as a teacher I have harmed me and my students but if I fail as a student my failure harms me only.

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