I have to give a lecture and I'm ridiculously worried about it. Well, worry may not be the correct word. What's actually going through my mind is: How am I going to fill up 45 mins?
Since my epiphany about wanting a family and not necessarily wanting to work 70+ hour weeks for forever, I've been looking into alternative careers in Science and variations on the R1-institution-professorship thing (like maybe SLAC or something?) that's pushed at Public U. I (and probably you) already know that writing is not my thing. Words don't flow, grammar is a mystery, and it's, well, not my thing. That means that I'm leaning away from a career in science writing. I like the idea of a position like Mad Hatter's position. I also like the idea of teaching and doing research at a smaller-scale institution (as Public U. is huge). So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, I've never given a lecture... ever.
In my particular program we don't have a lot of teaching opportunities. There's TAing the undergrad biochem course and some med/dental school biochem/lab courses. However, we don't lecture in those courses. TAing consists of office hours and proctoring exams. All I've gotten experience in is tutoring, sitting and watching for cheaters, and supervising undergrads. Still, no real teaching per se.
I was discussing this with Advisor (not the whole what-am-I-doing-with-my-life thing, but the interest in teaching thing) and he offered to let me give a lecture in his course (and do the review session that's a part of the class and a test question). The lecture should be fairly easy. It's a technique lecture and it's a technique that I use a lot. It's an easy technique and relatively short. Hence, the time-filling problem. Plus, I'm trying to pitch it to the right level (it's a course for first-year masters students). As in PCR should be a known concept, but do I explain what makes a good primer? Do I go over the history of the technique? And can I use my own (published) data to explain the technique or is that just arrogant (I do have the figures already made)?
Ok, I'll get back to work now. I'm sure I'm making a big deal out of nothing... right?
Labels: Grad School