Finally, it’s summer for me. Well, sort of. For the past 5 weeks I’ve been teaching a Microbiology summer course at Rowan University. It was my first time teaching this particular course, so I was creating brand new lectures and labs. The course was M-Th from 5-9PM. Yes, you read that right, 4 hours a night.
I hear students complain all the time about the amount of work that they have to do. Honestly, suck it up. Professors have to do work to prep for the courses too. I was prepping 3-4 chapters of lectures a day and 3-4 lab sessions a day, not to mention writing and grading exams. That made for very long days of prep work. If I’d been working a full time day job, it would not have been possible to do everything and get any sleep.
Fortunately, the students seemed to enjoy the class and the five weeks went by very quickly. Next Monday I start my first 100 level undergraduate course in 14 years. Yes, it was 14 years ago that I started college! I’m very quickly getting up there in age. I never thought that after getting a Ph.D. that I’d be going back to take an undergraduate course.
Why am I going back for a course? Well, I’m finishing up my alternate track 2nd education teaching certificate in Biology for the state of NJ. The alternate route in NJ isn’t too bad. I need to take “Fundamentals of Education” and pass the General Science and Biology Praxis exams. Well, I nailed the exams back in March. They were extraordinarily easy – I didn’t study bio, chem, or earth science at all. I vaguely crammed in some physics the day before the exam. Really, if this is what they require secondary ed teachers to know in the sciences, there are some very good reasons why the U.S. is lagging behind the rest of the world in this area. My next objective is to finish the Fundamentals course. I’m taking it at Rutgers University starting Monday. I don’t think it’ll be too bad. After all, I’ve been teaching for 5 years!
Since my days won’t involve prepping for lectures and labs anymore, I plan on using the time to get the house completely cleaned, top to bottom, and to start researching different things we’ll need for the baby. Wednesdays are completely free for me! I might head down the shore. After all, we only live an hour from the beach (not that I can remember the last time I was there).