Thursday, 1 September 2011

Intense But Good!

Whoa, this semester sure has started off in an intense way, that's for sure!
Still, it's probably the best start of a semester I've had in a great long while, so I'm not complaining about the intensity! :)

Where do I start?
Monday morning was the introduction to the Bible Studies course where I am mentor, so I was going to give them a little information regarding the mentor activity and invite them to the first meeting. Obviously I have done this before (though on another course) and I do know what to say, but I'm still very nervous and anxious about these things, so I didn't sleep much and was up before dawn trying to prepare myself as best I could.

Everything worked smoothly, I had a moment to tell the teacher I wanted a few minutes and it was fine with her - but it was a large group, they were between 25 and 30 students ... On the Hebrew course they usually start out around 15 and end up being 10 ... sort of! :) But I have to say that I don't think my anxiety increased because it was a larger group, and I guess that is a good thing! I think it is the fact that I'm standing up in front of people with all attention directed at me that is the problem, not whether it's six or twelve or fifty people.

So anyway, a lot of information first, from the student counsellor, from the NT teacher and from the OT teacher - and then it was my turn! I think it went okay, pretty good ... I do know I tend to talk WAY to fast (because of the anxiety!), I find it very hard to slow down - and that's a bad thing ... but I think I got the information out that I needed, I got eye contact with a lot of the students etc. so it felt pretty good! :)
We had a bit more of a "usual lecture" toward the end and we were done around ten.

I was pretty exhausted afterwards and didn't quite know how to pass the time, but I ended up reading a few articles for my thesis and I think I at least understood some of it! Points for effort? :)

At 2 p.m. I was meeting with the professor, and it ended up being a pretty good meeting! I felt I knew a bit more about the subject than when I met him last, I had an idea on how to proceed and he approved it - so it was basically a question of detailing what needed to be done and what perspective to take on things. However ...
However, it turns out I'm going to have TONS to do now, I have to send him in a rough draft on September 25, and I have A LOT to do until then! And that does make me a bit nervous, I can't help that! Still, I enjoy doing it and I have the mentor activity to not get too caught up in stressing over my writing - and again, I REALLY have found my place, I love being around the Department and around the people there, so I just simply have to make sure I work as hard as I can during these weeks and hopefully I have accomplished something! :)

Tuesday was really NOT a good day, so I'm just going to not say anything about that - and instead move on to yesterday, Wednesday.

Basic plan was lectures 8-10, first mentor meeting 10-11 and sort of an introductory meeting for students taken (some) advanced level courses and/or writing advanced level essays at 1.
For various reasons (Tuesday was NOT a good day!) I had not been able to prepare much at all during Tuesday, so again I was up at the crack of dawn, trying to get a structure for the first mentor meeting. At first it felt impossible, but I finally managed to work something out, that I also hopefully will be able to use on other meetings, and I left for Uni around 7.
When I got there I was going to fix the coffee and stuff for the mentor meeting, and met another mentor there, who was doing the same thing! :)
She was almost done and when she left, the NT teacher showed up. I know who he is, we say Hello, but I haven't really talked to him, and since I'm going to be mentor on the NT-part as well, I thought this would be a good opportunity to break the ice. We started talking and really hit it off, which was great. He was very curious about how things had been during the first lecture, how I felt about the mentor activity on the course ... so we ended up talking for quite a while. Until I realized that it was 8.12 - and the lecture started at 8.15! Yikes!
I rushed up to the lecture and got there just in time - very interesting lecture, the teacher is fantastic! During the break I went back and got the coffee and things done, and the other half of the lecture was aimed more at getting the students talking and discussing, which I think is great!

We were done at 10 and I called out that we'd have the mentor meeting in the adjoining room. I went there with all my stuff and then went back to see if people would be coming or not! And they did! :) I think we ended up being 11 students, which felt like a pretty good turnout actually, even though I am used to smaller groups!
I gave some basic information and we spent the meeting basically just talking. They got to introduce themselves and we talked about the course and the lectures and the literature ... I have a lot of feelings about the meeting myself, but I don't think this is the place to air them actually.
Still, it felt like a good meeting, as an introduction, and I think and hope I will see these students on the other meetings as well.

I tried to read a bit for my thesis during my break, but it was really slow and I had a bit of a headache. I did manage to organize a mentor meeting schedule to go up on the notice board (which I should have done Monday *oops*), and then I met E, who joined me as mentor last year - she was going to the advanced level introduction-thingy too. We ended up talking and more and more students joined me, a lot of them people I haven't seen in a great long while, so it was really nice catching up with them again.

The introduction-thing was ... I don't know ... I think it's GOOD, really, they are organizing writing-support-groups for students, where you can discuss your writing, comment on texts etc., and they have just general meetings for advanced level students where they try to invite people to talk about different things and so on ... and I know that is really great, but I kind of feel out-of-it. I know a few of the students, sure, but since my studies have been made complicated for oh-so-many reasons, I don't feel like I belong in a group like this - I have taken the same courses they have, or in the same order, I am the only one writing in my subject, which is pretty small and specialized, so I'm not sure how many constructive comments I can get on it ...
I will try to attend, if nothing else to show my general interest in the Department, in a way, but I don't feel very enthusiastic about it ...

I was going to take a train home around 2.45 - only to find out there had been an electrical failure and all train traffic was stopped for a while. My usual trip home (on the train) is 15 minutes ... yesterday it took me 1½ hours ... yay! Not!

*phew*
I'm exhausted today, and I probably won't go to Uni, but I still need to get things done, so I'm hoping I can work on that during the day! :)

Oh yeah, I just have to say THANK YOU to all my visitors, we have hit 36,000 now, since September 20, 2006!!
I'm very happy we reached that since this blog will (almost) stop on September 20! :)
Thanks again!

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