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End/Beginning of Semester Funk


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After final papers were in, tests given and administered, and grades uploaded, I fell into this weird mental spot. I'm not sure if it was the result of exhaustion from the marathon of my first semester as a grad student and TA, that my mind was swimming in Old English, or something else, but it was just really hard to motivate myself to do anything. And Monday marked the first day of the Spring semester in wintry Michigan. I feel some of the same existential, "why does this matter" funk that I did last semester, only now it was more or less onset by walking into the classroom and seeing 22 strangers. It floored me to realize that this will characterize the rest of my teaching life--each Spring and Fall, with the exception of a few repeat offenders (as a great prof used to call us), I'll get a whole new batch of students. It's kind of wonderful and humbling at the same time. Has anyone else been dealing with anything similar?

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For me, the spring, summer and fall are quite different times... But coming around here to my second spring semester, I understand the feeling you're getting.

I'm back to TAing the same course, but new students... Familiar and very different at the same time.

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I had a similar feeling. It was also my first semester of being a grad student and a TA, and once everything was handed in I napped, and stayed out late, but the next day I had NO IDEA what to do. I spent the afternoon dozing on the couch watching the Indiana Jones marathon on tv. My classes don't start up til next week, but just thinking of TAing last semester, how only a few students cared, and most were doing it for the requirement, I'm a bit shaky on how this spring will go.

I didn't check what discipline you're in, but I think we need to focus on our work and why THAT is important, rather than focusing on how strangely repetitive teaching life is going to be. I certainly hope so, because that's what I'm telling myself.

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