Monday started my orientation type stuff. Monday and today were an RA/TA conference all day. I'm not a TA this quarter, but the conference is required if you want to be able to apply for TA positions going forward. I'm doubtful I'll ever have time to add a TA workload to my plate, but since the conference was free figured it didn't hurt to go to the recommended sessions. (Personally, I was really interested in the session about balancing grad. school and family life, but in the end decided to do all of the sessions recommended by my department instead.) Most of my cohort was in attendance as well, even though most of us aren't TAs this quarter, so it was a great opportunity to get to know many of them. I also enjoyed the opportunity to get to walk a small bit of campus and to get familiar with my bus route.
Tomorrow we get a final day off, then Thursday we have a library tutorial. Friday we have Epi/Biostat prep followed by the School of Public Health orientation followed by the Nutritional Sciences Program orientation. Next Monday and Tuesday are full days of Epi/Biostat prep. Which wasn't required, but most of us seem to have decided it was a good idea and registered for it. Then the real insanity begins next Wednesday.
At this point I'm back to feeling mostly terrified. I've seen a couple syllabi and they're frightening. I've started on my reading for the first couple weeks already, but still feel like I'm drowning before I've begun. The metabolism professor doesn't assign a textbook and instead lists several (typically 4-10 but as many as 15) studies/papers for each class period (the class meets twice per week). So, yeah, that feels impossible already. Most of the classes don't have standard exams, instead opting for take home essay exams (only a 25 page maximum!).
Right now I'm just trying to take lots of deep breaths and telling myself that all the 2nd year students survived, so I probably can as well. Maybe. Back to reading.
Sounds tough! But the take home essay exams--those are wonderful, in my opinion!
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