Monthly Archives: February 2013

Agh!

I can’t believe this.

I like to think I’m a pretty responsible person when it comes to my personal belongings. I never leave my valuables alone (yes, I often carry my laptop to the bathroom area when I’m in the library), constantly check my pockets for my keys, and always make an effort to double-check my eating area, study space, and lecture hall seat before I get up and leave.

Yet, somehow, last week during my crazy exam period, I managed to lose my drawstring bag that had almost $400 of textbooks in it. When I got back to my room at night and realized that I had the bag with me at the beginning of the day–and remembered what the contents inside were–I had that awful heart-racing, pit-in-the-stomach feeling.

Determined to figure out where I left it, I immediately set out to try and find it–that basically took over as my priority for the day.

I probably hit up every lost and found on campus–Mann Library’s, AEM’s, my building’s, etc. Nada. But I do keep getting pity “awww’s” from the people that man the lost and found area at each location…

It’s just a shame, because I try to save money whenever I can as a college student. I’ll get the smaller soda at Trillium, buy snacks in bulk, etc. Then, something like this happens, which wipes out all my savings.

My friend was nice enough to sell me one textbook he had previously for not too steep a price, which was nice. Regarding another textbook I lost, I realized that the book itself came with a code to access it online…which I still had. So, I’m not completely out of luck…but it’s still a pretty big downer.

The Busiest Week of My Undergraduate Career

Here’s a brief warning: If I know you, talk with you, Facebook chat you, or see you around campus regularly…chances are, that won’t happen next week. Why? Because, after over 2.5 years at Cornell, I think it’s safe to say that next week will be the most stressful week of my undergraduate career. (And, it’s my excuse for the fact that I’m writing this post at 10:30pm on a Saturday night). Anyways, here’s why:

  • I have a pricing exam Tuesday morning at 8:40am. I understand the material, but it’s still worth 30% of my grade and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
  • I have a finance exam (!!!) Tuesday night. Here’s the doozie: people spend hours upon hours frantically studying this stuff weeks in advance…because the amount of information we need to know is intense, and this course is largely regarded as the most difficult in the AEM major. I’m honestly terrified for it.
  • I have a business law exam Wednesday night, which counts for a large portion of my grade in that class, as well. I’m always uneasy when classes are solely based on tests! I love me a little participation/homework/effort components every now and then.
  • I have two problem sets due Thursday and Friday; they’re both quite lengthy and I know in one case, I can’t hand it in late as the answers are released shortly after the deadline. Sometime in between cramming for my 3 exams, I’ll have to work on these.
  • I have a lot of grading to do for my teaching assistant position, and it’s only fair that I devote enough time to this so that students are being evaluated fairly.
  • I also want to attend the university-wide career fair this week, work on internship application stuff, and the like. This might, unfortunately, have to be put on the backburner.

So…yeah. That’s my week in a nutshell. If only my 21st birthday was earlier than March 8…this definitely seems like the kind of week that people unwind at the bar after!

My Teaching Assistant Experience

One of the unique aspects of being an Applied Economics and Management major is the fact that there is a heavy reliance on undergraduate teaching assistants in many of the large core classes (some of which have up to 20 TA’s). While this might be relatively unique to Cornell–I’ve had friends from other schools act shocked upon learning they’d let an undergraduate TA a course–I’ve found that it’s really helped my education. How so? Students my age are accessible, competent, relatable, and can often explain conceptual material very well to fellow undergrads.

This semester, I decided to “give back” and become a teaching assistant for an introductory management course I did very well in…and it’s been a great experience so far.

What have I been doing, exactly, as a TA? All sorts of things: taking attendance, grading papers, proctoring quizzes, giving review lectures, and holding office hours.

While grading papers isn’t always the most thrilling part of the job (ideally, you want everyone to do well..and that’s not always the case), it has been rewarding being able to explain topics or give clarifications on assignments. Plus, it’s a great excuse to practice the ol’ public speaking skills.

It’s also interesting to be on the “other” side of a class, because it’s made me appreciate the work that goes into putting together a large lecture hall style course. The professor and TA’s have to make sure assignments are relevant, all the grades are inputted into the system without error (for all the hundreds of students), and they must handle the constant flow of kids adding and dropping the course in the first couple of weeks. Plus, there are unique stresses that come up–such as when you have office hours a day or two before a large assignment is due, and lots of people would like assistance. It’s been a lot of responsibility, but it is a fun role.

Do I want to go into teaching full-time? Probably not, at least at first–but this job has been very rewarding.