Friday, March 17, 2006

My First PhD Student!

My first PhD student just finished her defense! Whahooooooo!

I'm so proud. I can't believe it is over. She did a really great job, too. I think I was more nervous than she was. I had trouble sleeping last night. But the committee was really very kind, and they all signed off on her dissertation and did not even insist on seeing another draft.

I know I won't get any more work done today, so the whole lab is going to go out drinking. Good chance to bond.

Now I can start worrying about my next student, who should defend by the end of the summer if he can pull it all together by then. And I have to prepare my re-appointment package and write a CAREER proposal. No big deal.

But for now I plan to rest on my laurels. Yay!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

So Very Busy

Things have been crazy the last few weeks. Amy turned her dissertation in to her committee on Friday. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment but I am still nervous about the whole thing. It turned out to be 165 pages, and somehow that seems awfully short compared to the amount of work she did. Oh well.

My parents were here for the weekend and we did lots of fun things including a trip to the circus. I was tempted to stay home yesterday and go with them when they took the kids to a museum, but I looked at the calendar and realized that I have not worked a five-day week since the semester began due to holidays, sick days, and snow days.

Today I am teaching the dreaded back-to-back classes, so I'm lecturing and on my feet for 3 hrs straight. I did this for the first time on Friday and it really sucked. I'm not looking forward to it today.

We were supposed to hear about our proposals to an internal university funding program yesterday, and I'm anxious to find out if I got the grant. I could really use that money. Cross your fingers.

I got my course evaluations back from my "student centered learning" experiment last semester and they sucked. They were far worse than my average. I usually score above both the departmental average and the university average, but this time I was slightly below both. Of course they don't ask questions on the course evaluation form like "how much did you learn?" or "were you challenged?" They only ask how much the students liked the course. It looked as if 2-3 of the 15 students really hated the class and gave it low scores, but everybody else was generally happy with it.

Off to class. Yay.