This is the week before classes start at SMU. It’s going to be a busy one. After a travel-heavy summer, with projects not advancing as fast as they would have in a perfect world (where everything works always at once all the time… never been to that world before but I hear it’s nice), it’s time to boot up the course prep. This week, for me, will be first filled with prepping my course syllabus and lectures, planning homework and exams, and updating the course website for my PHY 1308 class (introduction to electricity and magnetism for the life science majors).
The second half of the week will begin to get filled with obligations – the Teaching Effectiveness Symposium, where I have been asked to speak about “high-impact teaching techniques”; meeting our new graduate students (which is actually less an obligation and more a break from obligation – after all, working with students is a major part of why I am a professor in the first place); department meetings; committee work (e.g. planning teaching assistant assignments); and a lot of other things.
In a way, it’s nice to have some predictable regularity coming up again. Nonetheless, swinging from full research to part-teaching is always a shock. Let the shock begin.