February 10th, Monday: A Real Lab Member! Amazing.
I've observed a lot of mess to clean. Made preliminary move back to my old desk and quick cleaning of stuff. Not much time to do that due to lab TA. I want to make a habit of working very efficiently, thus, writing statuses is not efficient, so will likely be discontinued until I see a way for them not to hinder that, and just write in evenings, as per usual.
Enjoyed going to subgroup meeting and listening. Mingda's talk was interesting. Mingda and Victor have also joined the lab officially. I think it will take me some time to think of myself as a real lab member. It took me months to think of myself as a legit grad student, so likewise for this, I think. Ok. See ya later.
Whoa I'm So Much Better
TA Orgo Lab: Caffeine Extraction
Talking to people more
Last semester, I assumed that if students had questions, they'd ask me, and if they did not ask, that meant they were fine. I should have known better than that, but alas. This time, I circled around front-to-back pretty much the whole time, asked people how they were, gave them their papers back, memorized names at the same time, asked them where they were in the process, if they had questions, and if they didn't, how they were enjoying things. It helped a lot! THIS is how I'm supposed to be, I see. I didn't recognize that before. Students started talking to me more and were more willing to ask questions. That makes sense. Of course they would be apprehensive. I often apprehensive in things.
My lab TA is amazing
Also it helps a lot that my student TA, Vendant Patel, is amazing. He's been Christian's TA a lot. When I heard that Christian had Tom, the guy in the stockroom and I had his old TA, I coveted Tom over Vedant, because I know and like Tom. However, I've come to change my mind. Vendant is amazing. He's doing two lab sections this semester. He also does one on Wednesday, so by the time he gets to me, he's already seen the lab once and can tell me all the potential pitfalls that students had in his first one! This is invaluable insider info.
Tired, but pleased
The only downside to all this is that it was even more tiring than usual. Going around talking caused students to feel more comfortable asking questions, which made them ask more questions, which made talk more - it was a vicious cycle. After two hours of this, I escaped for 30 seconds into the stockroom to sit down and rest. I don't usually like to talk so much constantly. It's exhausting. But, seeing how much better I feel the atmosphere was, I think it was a sacrifice well worth making.
Back in lab and home again
I was really stressed and uptight, more or less. But I talked to John a long time and he helped a lot. He gave me more confidence in myself, showed me that things I worried about the Lord was taking care of and I didn't have to worry, and just in general made me feel better.
Now, I'm so much better! John really did something amazing. I'm not really sure how he did it. But I think I've dropped out of serious mode - at least the scared stiff and stressed kind of serious like I was - and am feeling significantly more relaxed. I think things are going to be good.
Cleaning mode: press button on Jess, vvvvrrroooommm *cleaningcleaning*
I'm hoping to go in to Emory anyway tomorrow and work on cleaning, while hopefully, no one will be there to observe. Tomorrow, Emory is closed, but HA, I have a key! I intend to do a thorough spring cleaning of the entire wing of the lab where my desk is, and probably a once over of any other supicious looking mess everywhere else, because - I just itch to do so - I - have to - when starting something new, I feel this intense calling to clean things and can't think until things are clean. There are a few times when I let OCD take over for a short period and this is one of those times.
FIN: getting out of stress and looking forward to exciting new avenues of thought
Matthew 6:34, Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Yes, so I'm finally relaxing. This week will be good for me. A time for me to clean, clear everything off my plate and start thinking slowly, without feeling rushed. It's a snowball, kind of thing. If I'm rushed in transition, thinking becomes impossible. It's also similar to the oobleck (cornstarch and water) principle.
I'm excited! Things are good. I look forward to getting to the thinking part. There's so many things I've thought about rtcB and the splicing system that I can now start looking into putting into actual practice. How cool is that?