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September 05, 2006

Just Call Me Hermione

Today was the first day of school. All of the students looked tan, relaxed, and excited. In honor of the occasion, I wore mascara, which I hardly ever do. Not wearing makeup is not a political statement for me, it is simply an expression of sheer laziness. And ineptitude. Having never learned how to apply it properly, I am always afraid it will get out of place (think lipstick on teeth -- or chin!). And that is exactly what happened today. The mascara was on my eyelid, under my eye, everywhere. I did manage to get it off, but I don't think that most women end up with black-smudged toilet paper in their trash cans after applying mascara the way I do.

Tomorrow I will lead my first discussion section, and I can tell that I have already gone way overboard. Once an overachiever, always an overachiever. I finalized my syllabus this afternoon and also came up with four other handouts for the first day of class (this is on top of the four handouts they all got from the professor today at the first lecture). At 4:40, I went into the copy room to xerox them -- all on different colored sheets of paper, of course. After waiting for my turn on the machine, I proceded to spend about fifteen minutes xeroxing. It didn't help that one of my handouts jammed the copier! There was a line out the door of other GSIs waiting to copy their syllabi for tomorrow, and at 5pm, the department had to kick us out to lock up the office. I felt guilty for spending so much time xeroxing, not to mention all the trees I killed!

Now it's time to learn my students' names. This year the University of Michigan provided us with photo rosters for the first time, which I guess means I'm expected to know everybody's name on the first day of section. The problem is that these photographs were taken either at the beginning of the students' freshman year, or they might even be their senior pictures, which means that some of them -- particularly the juniors and seniors -- might look completely different by now!

Posted by eklanche at September 5, 2006 07:37 PM


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