08 October 2005

Teach

It was a long and busy Friday for me. It started when I woke up. Some rather frightening surprise was waiting for me when I woke up. When I descended the staircase to eat some breakfast, I saw the front door ajar! Wide open! I panicked, checked all the stuff in the first floor, if they were still there. Fortunately, they were. Nothing was taken. I wasn't worried about the second floor, because I always lock my room whenever I go to sleep. Well, it turns out that my sloth of a flatmate forgot to lock the front door when he came home from his night class. Upon coming home, he just marched straight into his room, without even bothering to see whether the front door, I repeat, the front door, was locked or not.

So I was mad. I talked to him and practically gave a sermon on why we should lock the door. Come on, during the 33 years that he has been alive, does he still believe that we are living in paradise? Times have changed, buddy!

Then I had my seminar class in the morning, where we continued to talk about inferences, cognitive states, assumptions, underspecifications, and other stuff. That lasted from nine to twelve.

After that, I had a workshop to attend to, somewhere in campus. That starts at one, so instead of my usual routine, that I go home for lunch and come back, I instead brought my lunch to school. Too bad, it's leftovers from yesterday (the Linguine with Mushroom and Parmesan Cream Sauce), but who cares? I just put it in a microwave-safe container, and when I was about to eat it, I shoved it in the microwave in the student lounge and voila! It's hot again!

So in the afternoon, I had this workshop that I needed to attend to. It was about insurance. I needed to sign up for some insurance, because, as a teaching assistant, I am an employee of the State of New York. So they will deduct a certain percentage from my paycheck every two weeks. At least I am getting insured, so whenever I get to break a leg or anything, I can have compensation. Of course, as much as possible, I don't want to get injured. After all, that's the mechanics of insurance companies, right? They make a bet on the probability that you will not get injured, and make a profit out of it.

After that, I had an appointment with one of my students. This appointment happened to be one of the best part of my day. She wanted to see me, because she wasn't present in some of the lectures, and she wanted remedial lessons. Usually, I don't expect people seeing me on Fridays, since my office hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 3:30 in the afternoon. This student made an appointment with me. So after my workshop, which ended at 2:30, I went to my office and waited. I thought she wouldn't come, but she did.

So what did we do? We went over the second homework assignment. I did not spoon-feed the lesson, but I tried to let her understand the lesson by herself. Slowly, but surely. Step by step, from the basic elementary concept, to the more advanced. By the way, the lesson was about phonetics. Somewhere down the line, after some time spent explaining, reiterating, paraphrasing, I heard the most desirable sentence I heard for the day:

"It makes more sense to me now. I can finally see the logic!"

That was music to my ears. To see a student comprehend what I am saying. That meant that I was effective in teaching, that I was able to impart what I needed to impart, and that I was successful.

In the end, we spent like an hour and a half over the lessons, so that she can be up to date with all the rest.

Ah, what a beautiful ending to an exhaustive day.

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