So, sometimes I realize that I just really enjoy teaching. Today was one of those days. It was an easy lab, from the teaching standpoint. They worked in small groups to discuss questions from readings about influenza and prion diseases; mostly, all I had to do was wander around and answer questions and clarify things and make sure they were on the right track in finding the answers. But of course, sometimes I just pull up a chair and jump into their discussions, and it’s just SO COOL. There is some amazing knowledge in their brains, and it’s wonderful to hear them make connections and add new information to the discussions. (Like the guy who told us the whole lifecycle of toxoplasmosis, and you could just tell he thought it was SUPER COOL). And they decided that prions are basically zombie brain cells, which is scarily accurate, really.
I did lecture a bit, about influenza pandemics, and the thing that was REALLY COOL is that when I tried to get their attention, and they didn’t quiet down right away, my usual technique is to just stop talking (instead of trying to shout over them; as long as a couple of people realize I want the class’ attention, eventually they’ll get the hint and shush the others). But tonight, when I stopped talking? They totally got the hint right away, and I had silence in, like, three seconds. THIS IS FABULOUS. It feels like a sign of respect, and I am grateful for that. And they seemed interested in the discussion and AHHHH it was just really cool.
And someone made an appointment to come see me today about some stuff she missed, and that was lovely (I’m one of the freaks who LOVES it when students come to my office hours. YES THAT IS WHY I AM HERE! LET ME HELP YOU)! So, yeah. It was a good day.