Jul 20, 2007

A New Avatar

I have been pretty busy in the past 2 weeks bcos of a new role. Suddenly I was offered a chance to teach in a college for a month; in the US, the summer has two sessions, each about a month long. My chance was to teach my fav subject -Organic Chemistry to UG students in a college at Queens. The morning had a 2 1/2 class and immediately afterwards, the lab session for over 3 hours. Though I was never seriously interested in taking up teaching, I was interested in this new avatar since it would tell me how good I am at it.

It turned out to be OK.. A few of my students were kind enough to come and tell me that I am teaching well, but that was during the first week when I was teaching quite slowly, without realizing that, in this crumbled semester, I need to teach pretty fast. I am doing that now, and the students are complaining that there are two many reactions already. The course is somehow setup that way; hundreds of reactions to understand and memorize. But, that is what organic chemistry is (in)famous for.

The worst part about the whole thing is the long drive to the college. Though it is only about 30 miles away, the drive involves some of the busiest highways around Manhattan. With me having been blessed with ~ 1 mile commute to work in Florida and here until now, this long drive is quite frustrating. At times, it takes even 2 hours to commute. Worse was yesterday, when the sudden storm/tornado made me get stuck on the road for 4 hours and I had to leave home very early today to avoid any delay due to a predicted storm. Just today, one student recommended me an alternate route, which sounds promising, and looking to keep my travel time to about 80-90 minutes.


PPattian said...

Congrats & All the best vaathiyaare..

Vikramadithya said...

Now u must have realized your teachers efforts back in India. It's time to pay them a visit and ask tips on " how to turn off students intelligent questions as if it's a dumb one "

Vikramadithya said...

by the way, any episodes of Sundarakandam ? ;)

J said...

teaching - wow thats great. Good luck, Raju. kalakungha :-)

2 hrs commute a?? sutham. class'la poi ungha 'reactions' eduthuda poreengha :D

pic was cute :-)

Me too said...

All the very best in your new role, Professor sir!!

tt_giant said...

That should have been a different hat to don!

We will soon be moving close to you guys!

Raju said...

Hari, mikka nandri.. 'Vaathiyare'kku proper meaning ippodhan kidaichudhu enakku.. ;)
Vikramaditya, LOL.. yeah.. teaching is easier said than done.. I need to do a lot of catching up.. so the weekend is virtually not existent.

Sundarakandama? Kizhinjudhu po.. 'Sema gaNdam' adhullam.. and, no thanks, I am not available.. ;)
J, romba nandri.. About reactions, yeah, lots of 'muzhu pidhungufying already'.. Unlike in India, most of the students are not chemistry majors, so they don't have any enthu or any purpose memorizing those reactions, except to get a good grade.
Aparna, romba thanks, ma'am!! Indha kindal ellam venam.. 'Oru naal mudhalvan' maadhiri 'Oru maasa Professor'.. Avlodhan.. :)
Deepak, yeah I wished to try this role once for long time, got the chance now..

Oh, decided-a, about ur new position? Where - in the place North or South to NY?

CoNfUsEd said...

I've always been fascinated with teaching.. The joy of seeing the light of understanding on someone's face and saying 'so, this was what it was all about,' is in a different league altogether..

Vikramadithya said...

//Sundarakandama? Kizhinjudhu po.. 'Sema gaNdam' adhullam.. and, no thanks, I am not available.. ;)//

adhullam unge kaile illa ;)

Raju said...

Confused, Welcome to my blog!!

Good point about mentioning the joy of seeing the understanding face.. but many a times, I end up seeing 'confused' faces, which reflects in their grades.. One student sent me a mail a few days ago saying that he just wants atleast a B+ in this course; that he is not learning anything interesting from this course and that he is just taking it to fulfill the degree requirements. Indha madhiri students-ai vachu enna panradhu?
Vikramaditya, hehehe.. oru maasathule enna kaandam? Adhuley oru page-kooda mudiyadhu..

Siva Jayaraman said...

fantastic.. i admire people in the research/ teaching profession... hats off to you sir..

Raju said...

Siva, Thanks a lot!!