I’m only finishing the second week of my fall semester, and I’m already feeling swamped with all that I have to accomplish.
Ironically, little of my stress has to do with classes. I’m sure it helps that I’m only taking two, rather than the three that I’ve been taking in past semesters, but it seems like academics is the least of my worries at the moment.
Coming up shortly, I will have to…
Finish my research models and write something suitable for conference submissions. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ve found the last of the bugs in the simulation that I’ve been struggling with all summer, and can start generating some results.
Take the qualifying exams to get into the PhD program. Originally I thought this would happen sometime in October, but I learned this week that they can start as soon as the 4th or 5th week, and are usually only scheduled two weeks in advance.
Grade about 120 programming assignments each week. I have been assigned as TA for two introductory programming classes, and have between the two of them a 3 hour lab commitment and much grading to do each week between the two of them.
On the bright side, I did enjoy proctoring during the lab sessions. Its the closest thing I’ve done to teaching a class, and I thought it went quite well. I can remember being in these student’s shoes before. For many of them, including me when I took these courses, it was my first experience with programming, and I learned a lot. Hopefully I can live up to my memory of the helpful TA from when I took the course.
So I have much to deal with in the coming weeks and months.