Thursday, March 31, 2011

My (Almost) Last Day As A TA

It finally dawned on me today that there's only one week left in this semester.

And three months until I leave Kingston for good.

It boggles the mind, doesn't it? That this entire year went by so fast? I'm not even going to begin thinking about the possibilities for next year. It actually scares me that I haven't made a decision yet.

So, anyway. I've refrained from blogging about TA-ing on this blog. Because, well, you know. Common sense. So I won't be going into specifics about today's tutorial. But I will say this: I've realized that I will sincerely, genuinely miss my students.

I will be TA-ing one more tutorial next week. But today was the last day of tutorials for the other section that I teach. Anyway, I expected today's class to be a good discussion. I knew they would all have something to say about Haiti. But I didn't expect what happened at the end of tutorial.

I ended the last few minutes by talking about the upcoming federal election, giving my two cents on why I think they should consider voting. Please, kids, please please consider voting! Please get to know who is running in your riding! Please! And then, with some concluding comments, I dismissed them.

However, most of my students didn't leave. I was confused, until I saw what a couple of them were about to do. Instead of leaving, a majority of them stayed back to say "thank you" and to give me a card that conveyed their thanks. The message was adorable.

And, okay. It was absolutely, positively, the sweetest thing ever.

One student even told me that our tutorials were the reason she decided to major in Politics. That she discovered how much she loved the discipline.

I can't even describe how surprised I was. Oh, how far we've come from the beginning of the year, yea? Remember our reservations? That anxious feeling, not knowing whether teaching would come as easily as we'd like it? Honestly, at the beginning of the year, I wasn't sure if I'd even like TA-ing. I think many of us had doubts. Would we be good TAs? Would we be able to answer all their questions? Give proper advice? Get all that marking done? And yet, as I went through the year, I realized how much I loved it. I know academia isn't for me, but if, on an alternate universe, I decided to stay. It would, honestly, be for this.

This feeling of knowing that you taught something you loved. And that you were able to transfer that love and interest to another student. I love what I study. And helping another student discover such an interest is one of the best feelings in the world. I can't even express on this blog how happy I am to know that students out there are falling in love with the study of politics.

It warms the deep, dark cockles of my ogre's heart. It really does.

And, honestly? Now that I've reached the end, I think I'm really going to miss being a TA. It was such an enlightening, wonderful experience. I'll never forget it.

"The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn."
- John Lubbock

"Until the day when God shall deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is summed up in these two words--- 'wait and hope.'"
- Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo


  1. It's good that they liked you even after the marks you gave them. They must've learned a lot.

    Can you make your next post about your opinion on the Koran burning?

  2. Hey Anonymous! Haha, how do you know what marks I gave them? ;) Yes, hopefully they did learn a lot! The last day of tutorial for the other section I teach is tomorrow.

    I will try to make a future post about the Koran burning, although that may open up a can of worms and debates between readers who have drastically different opinions on the topic. ;) Have a good evening!