Today’s Links

Giant’s shoulders is up at second order approximation! You can check out my post on Aristotle, as well as a really cool post from Providentia on Freud (always a good topic), and a post on the structure of DNA from The Big Room (I wish I’d thought of this one…).
Cognitive Daily also has a really cool post up on love and sex.
And there’s a couple of posts out right now on blogging and pseudonymity. I’m pretty interested in this, and I’ll be at ScienceOnline, so I will probably be in the room with Abel “Phuckwit” Pharmboy (love the new name) and PalMD (which thankfully does not interfere with my own panel, yay!). Anonymity is a rather big deal for me, so I will be very interested to hear what they have to say.
Some more stuff, but not on anonymity…

…because my own reasons for remaining anonymous are cloaked in their OWN veils of anonymity. It goes on FOREVER.
I taught the other day, and now I’m grading. I love teaching, and do it every chance I can. I rather wish I had gone into a program that wasn’t biomedical, actually. I like my work, but we are NOT encouraged to teach. In fact, we’re not encouraged to do anything but our research, unless of course it’s writing our own grants for our research, or writing papers for our research. We’ve even had problems with people failing classes because their profs told them it simply wasn’t important, compared to the Greate Worke they must do in the lab. Most of the profs dislike teaching themselves and don’t understand why anyone else would WANT to.
But I love to teach, and my advisor is nice. So I get to teach lectures here and there, hopefully enough to get me something as a postdoc where I can teach more and really improve my abilities. I usually get extremely positive reviews on my teaching, probably because I’m so energetic. It must be very entertaining to have a teacher bouncing around up there getting all excited about endocrine physiology (well, I do! It’s COOL!). So hopefully some day I can be one of those awesome teachers that everyone wants to have a class with.
Anyway, I’m now grading. Grading gets to me, because I often end up getting so bitter. I get very cynical and almost angry. And I realized the other day that I’m not actually angry at them (though when it’s so obvious that someone has cheated on an open book homework, because they all wrote exactly the same wrong answer, I am in fact angry at them), I’m angry at myself. I feel really guilty and upset when my students don’t do as well as I wanted them to. Was it me? Where did I go wrong? Where did I fail at helping them to understand? Where did I fail at getting them excited about science? It wasn’t that I made the test too hard, there were plenty of good grades. I just get upset when I see people who I could not persuade to care about something which I case about so passionately.
Am I the only person who feels this way? Is this something that just gets taken over with cynicism in time? I kind of hope that it doesn’t, because then I would be afraid I was losing my love of teaching and communication. Is there something I can do to either make myself feel better about it or to rope these kids in more?

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