I will begin training for my graduate assistantship in ten days. This is beginning is both exciting and terrifying. Exciting because it’s like an internship/apprenticeship for what I want to do in a career. Terrifying because I wonder if I’m up to the challenge of what will be drawn from me.
Maybe it’s just me, but I have sometimes run from things that require a lot of me. I think it maybe derives from a fear of not living up to someone’s (including my own) expectations. Don’t know why that fear is there; it just is.
However, I think I’m much more excited than scared. Here are some things I will get to experience this year:
- Lecturing: my first lecture ever will be on Pentecostalism in theclass “Religion in America” on September 10. I probably won’t sleep that night out of anticipation. It reminds me of Captain Picard in S3E26 of Star Trek: TNG when he tours his ship before facing the Borg. I don’t expect to face the danger of assimilation in that lecture, but I am venturing into the unknown.
- Grading: students will turn in weekly journal assignments of theirreadings. I don’t think it will be more than a pass/fail type thing, but I look forward to seeing how people process (or don’t care about) a subject I enjoy. This reminds me of the OWLs in Harry Potter. I wonder what teacher I would be like. Probably Mad Eye Moody mixed with Hagrid.
- Reviewing: before exams, I will get to help students prepare for them.
- Meetings: if students have questions outside of class, I get to meet them during office hours (hours which I set up!).
- Research: I get to help Martha Finch in her research interests. I look forward to learning the ins and outs of getting journal articles and book chapters ready for publishing.
- Correspondence: I get to send out books for review for the journal Religion.
- Miscellanea: This will range from meetings, to running copies, to anything I don’t expect yet. I’m afraid, but maybe not fearful enough.
I look forward to sharing what I learn this year. It’s going to be an adventure.