Monday, August 26, 2013
It's funny how the summer makes me forget how much I love teaching chemistry. It takes me a while to even bother checking when the fall semester starts, and ones like this fall, where I'm just teaching lab, really tend to sneak up on me.
But as I drove over for my office hour this morning--not even actual teaching--I could feel that excitement building. I just really love chemistry, and even though the material doesn't change for General Chemistry, I still get that sense of amazement and wonder every time. The insights early chemists had into the atom are just astounding, and it's really incredible to think that now we can see actually see those atoms. I wish I could convince my students to read about the development of the periodic table--an incredible journey with so many twists and turns. I'll not bore you with the intricacies of ionic compound formation and unit conversion, but to me, they all have their charms.
This semester I'm just teaching one lab. Last year I taught two lecture classes--lots of fun (see above paragraph), but also more work. Lab is much easier to prep for, and I like having more interactions with the students. For this first week, I don't even have a real lecture to present. It will mostly be housekeeping stuff like telling all the extra students I'm not allowed to overfill, explaining that I can meet with students another time if the 8AM Monday morning office hour is too early, and of course, showing the circa 1980s safety film (the same one I watch during my first lab almost 20 years ago). Ouch. Was that really almost 20 years ago?