This semester, I am a working gal.
And I am working to shape the young minds of the world.
I work as a Supplemental Instructor (SI) for biology 111, which is introductory biology 1. I just randomly applied for this position, then had the most embarrassing interview of my life, and then surprisingly got the job! Basically my job is to go to the lecture, then hold a session three times a week that reteaches, reviews, and reinforces material. I stand up in the front of a huge lecture hall and work through a difficult topic, a worksheet, or a practice test with a huge group of students.
It’s mainly freshman and the content is pretty basic. We start with basic chemistry and then move onto cellular respiration an photosynthesis, cell communication and gene expression, and end the semester with transcription and translation. These are the fundamentals for all of my upper levels, so I feel like I can answer most of their questions with a pretty firm grasp of what they need to know and where their comprehension of this material will take them in the future.
I honestly love this job. It makes me feel fulfilled.
I’m not perfect. I mess up a lot. Sometimes in a really big way. I give a cell double the chromosomes or get entropy and enthalpy mixed up. I miss a definition on the matching or I made a terrible multiple choice question. It sucks, but most of my students forgive me for all of my fuck ups.
I just signed on to do another semester with Dr. Rao. I really enjoy her lecture because she is very intense so it helps me stay awake through a class I have already taken. She is also one of the most difficult professors for biology 111 and she scares a lot of the freshman so I have really large attendance compared to some of the other sections. I normally have at least 40 students while many SIs only have 6 regular attendees. I hope I also have more students because I am amazing and they really like me.
One time my boss double booked my room with a physics test, so naturally I had to move. I had about 200 students for my test review and all of the rooms that hold that many students were full, so I held my lecture outside of Harrington on the steps with almost no light at 8-10pm. I didn’t have a board to right on or explain concepts with. It was really challenging, but I think I managed to do a good job. My students were troopers and stayed with me the entire time. It was so difficult, but holding a great session with nothing fulfilled my in the way only a real challenge can.
It also feels really great to help people. Two of my regulars, Kole and Hannah, are besties and they are so nice. They always tell me that I help them understand the material so much better and they like the way I can relate to them and explain things in a different way. After the final, Kole messaged me on facebook and it was really sweet. He also said he wanted to be my bff and that he was drunk, but it was cute nonetheless.
Anyway, I love my job as an SI. I basically get paid to be the smartest person in the room and I get to help people understand the material better and get better grades.
blurry photos of my students // the night I taught outside
normal class // crammed for space