08 May 2007

End of the Semester

I thought I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. And after teaching this semester, I do: a statistics professor...at BYU. I'm just not sure I could do it anywhere else. At BYU it was so much more fun. I was funner (yes, funner), the students were funner, and faculty were funner. But at the current Nameless U. (as it will remain nameless), well, not so much.

There are some obvious differences between the two schools. First, I was full-time at BYU, while only part-time adjunct at Nameless. Why should this matter? Because at BYU I had a nice office with a door and lots of place for storage. At Nameless U., I had to schlep everything around with me twice a week. It all gets very heavy. In addition, the office that they give to adjuncts is horrible. It has no white board; instead, it's stocked with a chalkboard, and I HATE having chalk dust on my hands. (I had my own whiteboard in my own office at the Y, sniff.) Also, the computer is ridiculously slow. It's got a really old processor with not much RAM available. It's really pathetic.

Another pro for BYU is that I had TAs. This is huge for many reasons. First, they did all the crappy work for me. My job was to show up and lecture. That's it. It was beautiful. But here, I'm actually expected to grade homeworks and exams. (The horror.) At BYU, I'm sure my students complained about homeworks, exams, and other issues; however, I saw almost none of this as the TAs were the first contact for the students. But at Nameless, well, I get it all. And you would not believe how much of it I get.

Another pro for BYU: the testing center. As I never was a student at the Y, I will never know what it's like to take an exam there. However, from the faculty side, holy moly, I LOVE that place. To not have to waste an entire class period for exam. To not have to argue with students about how the exam took too long for our given class period. To not have to create my own test summaries. That would be nice.

Another pro: the student body. I still haven't quite figured out why BYU students brought so much more joy to me than the current ones. Maybe I just got a bad lot this semester. But maybe not. They're whiny, slimy, and rude (one wrote "FU" on the second exam--nice, eh?). They swear and talk crudely about things I just don't want to hear about. Admittedly, there might have been some of these in the 2,000+ students I taught at BYU, but see the above paragraph about the TAs. Maybe it's their age. I had mostly freshmen and sophomores, so the majority were younger than 20. Whereas at BYU, I had students that were older than I; I can now see a difference in maturity levels.

Will I do it again this fall? Probably. I didn't create all the lectures, exams, homeworks, and quizzes just to do it once. But will I be wishing I was teaching at BYU instead? Definitely.

5 comments:

Gretchen said...

I'd imagine that there are other universities out there that will have better facilities than Nameless.

However, the quality of kids may not improve. BYU kids are way above average, if I do say so myself. It is the Lord's University after all. haha.

emily said...

i'm sure they'd love to have you back at BYU. and if you and chuck moved to provo, we'd be right there behind ya!

Melissa said...

I must say that I really liked BYU's testing center as a student. It has this unique testing vibe that gets you in the zone. Plus, a lot of the time, you can get your results right as you leave. And if you get over 90%, the computer puts "Congratulations on a nice test score" on your sheet. I loved getting that. Also, sometimes they let you pay a late fee to take the test a day later. An institution that harnesses the tremendous pull of my procrastination for fund-raising efforts? Brilliant.

I was stunned when I found out the testing center is an anomoly. I thought everyone had one.

Niederfam said...

Okay, so it shouldn't have been too funny, but I can relate, sadly to most of it, while I CRAVE and aspire to be adjunct faculty upon completion of my Masters.....sometime in the year oh, I don't know.....2008??? :) I did teach Junior high and had my fair share of FU's written on exams...sad, but true......Please continue on and I will cross my fingers for a good gig at BYU for you and C------:) You can always HOPE................

erin said...

wow, natalie, i can't believe your junior high students did things like that! i honestly had never seen this, so it was a little jarring, as well as slightly funny.