Sunday, April 26, 2015

First Week of Classes

I survived the first week of classes. I almost thought I would die the first day...but I made it.
As you all know I have a problem with my hip (can't sit too long) and actually standing too long gets uncomfortable too. I saw a doctor last week and decided to try the cortisone shot. I felt that he did inject it in the site of the pain so I was hopeful. However, in order for me to know if it worked or not, I decided to stop taking my medicine.  It was torturous to say the least. I did not take the medicine for 3 days, and the last day I thought I would die of pain. 

Needless to say, the shot did not work and I am back to my medicine. Because even though it does not completely remove the pain it makes it bearable.

My class schedule is strange. I have an early class then two late classes, so I am basically sitting in my office all day. Which makes the pain much worse.  After that first Monday I decided that I can't stay in my office in between the classes, so I started wandering around campus a bit so it helped. It is still a challenge as I really don't have anything soft to sit on during the day.  I wonder if they would let me buy a couch and put it in my office ;-)

Aside from that, teaching has been great. It is nothing like teaching in Palestine. The students are amazing and the university is great. The hard thing is that they all hate math and are scared to death of it. I am trying hard to help them at least not hate it so much. The first day of class I gave them some questions to answer and their answers sometimes made me cry. They hate math because of horrible past experience with it...taught by teachers who hate math, they have developed a fear of the subject and they think they will never understand it.

So, as you see it has been a long week...but mostly because I have not been able to sleep thinking 'how can I get my students to like math?' having to get up at 6 every morning without enough sleep was not good. I have to stop stressing about it.

Today was our stake conference and I came home after that and took a nap. It was so nice to catch up on some sleep. 

In helping the students to get to know me I gave them a true/false quiz about me. One of the points was that I was among the 100 coolest Mormon women alive today. They asked if they get extra credit when they mark this question as 'true' (they didn't know that it was actually true).  One of my students googled my name and came back and said: "You are famous!" Yup sadly I am...Some of them started asking questions, and I had to stop answering as things may get too political. I am really trying hard not to talk about politics. Nevertheless, I feel impressed to share some of my experiences with my students. And I will share some things here and there.

I realized that my ward (church) is really amazing. In the short time I have been here I had a visit from the Relief Society president, the Ward mission leader and my visiting teacher.  There are 700 people in our ward. It is a shock to me that our Relief Society president visits each person in their home!  And that they are on top of things getting the VT assigned so fast.

Spring seems to have arrived in one day. It is amazing that this place seemed to blossom when the students arrived on Monday. I was shocked to see so many trees bloom and see green grass everywhere (which was not there only a day or two ago).  The weather has been amazing although today was a bit cold. 

I am grateful to be here at this time but still keep thinking how I would do the walk from my office to class (15 min) in the icy cold winter. We will see how it goes I guess.

My mother has been doing well. Her liver tests seem to be better than they have been in the past. I am very grateful for that. She is happy to have birds again (8 of them) and when I go home in a year she may have a basement full, we will see.



1 comment:

  1. I heard a wonderful quote from the late Parisian organist, Marcel Dupre, with regard to teaching organ lessons. I think it might apply to math as well:
    "If you cannot make your students feel comfortable at their lessons, you will never know what they are capable of accomplishing."