Holding on for dear life

The last 3 weeks have been overwhelming!  I’ve spent 30 hours between coursework, TA duties, and research so far this week…and it’s only 3pm on Weds.  The previous couple weeks weren’t much different.  But I’ve got a little breather now while I wait for some simulations to finish running, so time to write a few words 🙂

Awesome happenings of the week:

1)  Realizing that I find teaching the engineering concepts necessary for my TA lab about a million times easier than I did at this time last year.  I had the background to teach freshman level engineering last year, but a year of dealing with those concepts on a more regular basis has improved my ability to quickly come up with simple examples and explanations on the fly while teaching.  It’s been so rewarding to be able to work back and forth with a student until they finally “get it”!  Last year I helped a few students out, but I often felt like I was letting students down due to my struggles with teaching clearly from the start.  I still find teaching challenging, but I’ve developed more confidence and better tools to help overcome those challenges.  

2)  Got some positive feedback on a writing assignment and then got the chance to write another 20 page review that’s due tonight.  Give me a keyboard and some research papers to read and I am content 🙂

3)  I get to run 15 whole miles this week!  Foot injury has been good, so I’ve given myself permission to add a couple miles onto my weekly total.  15 miles doesn’t sound too crazy when I think back to the consistent diet of 50 mile weeks that I put in for 5 years during my undergrad days, but after what feels like an eternity of 10 mile weeks 15 sounds grand!

4)  Found one of the books that I checked out almost a year ago for my thesis research.  Started flipping through it and actually got excited about my topic again!  The last couple months I’ve really gotten away from the literature other than some finite element software manuals.  Struggling with software is fine and all, but it doesn’t exactly get me all fired up about what I’m trying to do.  It was a relief to be reminded that I do in fact still find my general research topic fascinating 😛 

These happy realizations have kept me rolling through the exhaustion – I may be completely fried by the end of every day, but it’s so worth it.


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