Tuesday, September 6, 2011

End of Summer

How can you tell it is the end of summer in Montreal?
  • The students are back, many asking questions that, well, can be answered if they read the syllabus.  Of course, with cutbacks and environmental changes, we now only post the syllabi online.  Ooops.
  • Someone is on strike.  This time, the staff at McGill.  I guess getting reimbursed for various trips will have to wait.  More importantly, I have a ready excuse when students ask me to bump them up the waitlist (because their needs are more important than those in front of them [where is the Crimson Bolt when you need him].  
  • It has gotten cool quickly.  Seasons just jump on you in Montreal, especially as things head towards winter (yes, token Winter is Coming mention here). 
  • Deadlines are upon us.  
  • More silly rankings are out.  
  • Concussion football season is here.
  • Requests for recommendations are catching up to the requests for referee reports for journals.
I actually do like fall a great deal--I start teaching tomorrow (missed first class due to APSA), and I like interacting with the new crop of folks.  Sure, I whine about the end of summer, but one of the best parts about this business (other than not having bosses, the joy of tenure, and now elite frequent flier status) are the changes of pace.  Nothing stays the same for too long.  Students come and go (even graduate students, although it can take them six or seven years), any course only lasts fourteen weeks or so, and then onto a new group and a new set of topics.  

I never forget that I have a cool job that has been well-worth the sacrifices: having to leave San Diego in the quest for employment, residing in West Texas for six years, and so on.  On to the show.


jjhaller77 said...

One sentence of advice? I have my first major lecture brewing (225 seats, intro to psych). Feeling good (competent) but terrified;

Steve Saideman said...

Just focus on being clear. Being interesting will come later. Develop an outline for each lecture and stick to it. 225 is not really that different than 80 or 120 or 600. The bigger the class, the more the problem is about coordinating TAs, not about delivering the lecture.

Good luck!