Attempted Summer Productivity

The internet says that Confucius said that.

I’m using it as the reason that I haven’t been writing to you all…I’ve been so busy in action that I haven’t been able to write about it!

A lot has been happening since I posted last in March (yikes!). The big news: I accepted a Visiting Assistant Professor position at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. I’m going to be teaching Neuroscience and helping my colleague, Jake, start the Neuroscience Department there! I can’t tell you how excited I am. This is very much the kind of position I think I’ll thrive in. I’ll keep you posted, I promise!

Additionally, my crazy semester came to a close. Next time I elect to take on two extra classes, someone slap me. The silver lining: I know I can handle any teaching load ever. Despite the constant course prep, grading, student-dealings, I was still able to do another service learning project with my non-majors and pick up some great teaching tips from the collaborative Clinical Neuroscience course I team-taught with a faculty member at Bucknell. Also, my three research students successfully presented their year’s worth of work at the Susquehanna Senior Scholars Day! So proud.

So now it’s summer. What has kept me from writing? A couple things:

I am taking this really excellent online professional development course on using technology in the classroom. It’s called JumpStart: A Technology Course for Thoughtful Educators, and I am learning a TON! If you’ve been with me from the beginning, you know I started this very blog because I, like many college professors, have been forced to learn how to teach and how to use tools while teaching and using those tools…similarly, when I started this blog, I learned as I went. This course, however, has offered some level of training on how to blog and use a variety of other digital resources for the classroom. I’m already course planning for fall and incorporating some of my new tool belt tools! Also, the course facilitator, Jennifer Gonzalez, has her own pedagogy blog, Cult of Pedagogy, which I really enjoy reading…and she is seriously my career girl crush.  If you want to see some of the tools I’ve practiced using, check out the blog I started specifically for the course on edublogs, also called Coffee and Culture. I’m going to move everything onto that site…I like it better since I was coached how to start it!

Research was on the back-burner during the semester, so I’ve been (sorta) sectioning a bunch of mouse and rat brains. I will be taking one project to the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting, so I have some serious motivation to get things done! Unfortunately, I don’t have an army of students working with me this summer, so I’ve had to find the time to do all the work…which has been surprisingly difficult. It’s like going back to grad school life…boo.

Finally, there’s been a lot of packing, saying goodbye, doing ‘lasts’. I’m going to miss it here. I’ve made some really excellent friends and learned so much, this will certainly be a hard farewell.

So, what did I learn over the semester?

  1. Some do’s and don’ts of teaching a team-taught course.
  2. How to deal with cheating and/or difficult students.
  3. Group exams, while a time-saver, did not facilitate learning in my course…but I’ll tell you what did.
  4. How to interview for a teaching job at a small college. 🙂

How was everyone else’s semesters? Enjoying summer? What are you doing for fun? I hope you are all well and getting some rest before fall craziness begins! ❤



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