Friday, August 31, 2007

How many times must I be a first year?

My schedule so far. Which I made myself. And which will not change just because a professor forgot to move clinic from a particular day, or because someone talked too long during his/her lecture, or because the sequence changes and I have absolutely no control over anything. No, the schedule is mine!

I'm gearing up to start classes in the School of Public Health this fall as a first year doctoral student. Although the newness of it all is exciting, it is a little daunting to be a first year in yet another program. It seems like nothing can ever prepare you fully for the first day of class with all new classmates and all new professors in a whole new environment. Thankfully that last bit (the new environment) won't be as big of an issue, as I've been here for a good 6 years.

Looking ahead, I think there will be two big changes for this year. Firstly, the fact that I made my own schedule is a huge leap from the first two years of medical. It's so exciting to know that the schedule I made is the schedule I'll have until December, instead of having to check the course website every month or so to see just how many hours of class were scheduled for the next sequence. It's oddly liberating, and I'm glad I don't ever have to go back to the M1-M2 way of doing things (M3 and M4 year, although overwhelming and time-consuming, are not scheduled in the same way).

Secondly, I'll be a GSI ("Graduate Student Instructor", same as "Teaching Assistant" for those of you who haven't been trained in the UM-undergraduate-speak). This is really exciting, as I've wanted to teach (or at least help teach!) for quite some time. Having been an undergrad here myself, it feels particularly bizarre to be the one putting together the coursepack and talking about the setup of the student presentations. But, I think I like being on this end of things...

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