27 January 2012

Photo Friday #31: the new lab

This week was my first day teaching a laboratory section at my new job. I was... terrified, actually. Labs are usually the first thing that get delegated to upperclassmen and graduate student TA’s, but somehow I avoided getting saddled with instructing a laboratory in my 10+ years of university education. So now, the thought of the inexperienced instructor with students in a room full of BURNERS and CHEMICALS and EXPENSIVE THINGAMAJIGS was nerve-wracking, especially because there was NO REAL GROWN-UP AROUND WAIT YOU MEAN I AM THE GROWN-UP? As a control freak, I automatically and irrationally assumed they’d toddle around like inquisitive two-year-olds and start drinking the methylene blue because look how pretty!

Of course, none of that happened. Not only did I underestimate my quite capable and mature students (duh), I also underestimated myself. Because turns out that I actually sort of know how to do stuff in lab! And after weeks of feeling like I have no idea what I am doing, spending the day in this room – even with its simple equipment and shorty chairs – was like coming home.