Half Full or Half Empty?

Well, the new semester of school starts a week from tomorrow.  While I’m excited to start all my new classes, and even to start teaching again, I’m also always sad to see the vacation end.  I know winter break is technically four weeks long, but with finishing up grading and the holidays and then prep for teaching the new semester, I really only get a week to myself.  I know, I know, that’s still a nice break…but it’s never quite what I’m looking forward to in the beginning.  And it always flies by so quickly!

This semester I’m teaching a specialized version of our usual intro to composition class, for students with specific needs, so I’ll likely only have a handful of students in my class.  This is exciting to me – on the surface, because grading 5 papers instead of 50 is fantastic, but also because the rapport between teacher and class in such a small group is usually wonderful.  I used to teach very small classes like this all the time at my old school, and I’m excited to do it again.  It should be a fun semester.

I’m also doing a lot more tutoring than normal, which I think will be good, considering I’ll be carrying a full course load of my own for the first time in years (12 credits – yikes!).  There’s no take-home work (like grading, website support, student support, assignment drafting, etc) with tutoring; it all stays at the office.  I also really like all the people who work in the tutoring lab.  Teaching can be a somewhat lonely profession, and being a part of an office again makes me much more sociable than I tend to be on my own.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m taking a Food Science class (lecture and lab).  Well, I found out last week that we’ll need a lab coat for the lab portion of the class.  Our teacher mentioned that it’s a good investment, since we’ll need them once we being clinicals next year. I felt très professional paging through the white coat offerings on Amazon.  This is the one I ended up ordering:

lab coatIt goes just over my hips, which is all our professor said we needed, has giant pockets, and is specifically cut for women (you can see it’s a little A-line, and has princess seams) so that I don’t feel like a big white blob.  The only thing is that the shoulders and arms are huge – I look like I belong on Golden Girls.  So I’m taking it to someone I know who does alterations tomorrow to get it fitted.  First, of course, I wore it around the house for a few hours, feeling like a professional already!

I’m such a dork.

Anyway, one other cool thing – my brother managed to find the perfect Christmas gift for me.  It singly handedly brings together my love of books and literature with my newfound interest in science.  Are you ready for this?

(c) emilystarblog 2015

(c) emilystarblog 2015

It’s a plush bookworm microbe!

Plush.  Bookworm.  Microbe!

He totally won Christmas.

If you’re curious, yes, a bookworm is a real microbe.  It’s called Anobium punctatum, and it “tunnel[es] holes through the pages of old codices and manuscripts,” according to the tag. Plus, and I have no idea if this is why, but I love that the species name is punctatum–like “punctuation?”

You can also see on the tag a picture of what A. punctatum looks like in real life; and inside that yellow circle, there’s a magnifying glass, and inside the magnifying glass is a drawing of the microbe, actually sized.  Pretty cool!

So, yes, 2015 holds a lot of promise…more microbes, cooking, nutrition therapy, small classes, less grading, and feeling like an official dietetics student at last.  After a whole year of taking classes part time and trying to decide if this is what I wanted to do, it feels really good to be diving in full time.

What are you looking forward to in the new year?

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