Teaching & Performance overview

The day of meetings. Morning started at 8 am with a skype session to Finland. Luckily I have a flexible boss, so this is indeed possible, thus saving me a 3-h flight to Finland and back. Not to mention the money and CO2 saved..

Performance talk went well. I was very honest about the bench marks made and not made in the previous year, as well as about plans for the coming year. Essentially all the work I wish to finish this calendar year has already been started, and is mostly well underway. As always, it was useful for myself as well to overview the developments of last year (of which there WERE a few despite the maternity leave!), and to make concrete plans for the current. Main aims are to submit two peer-review articles, attend two conferences, and to continue with two other projects and start TEACHING.

Which brings me to the second topic..

Teaching at the university. Regular topic of love and hate. Love the interaction, hate the time snatched away from research. Nevertheless: I am VOLUNTEERING. Given my outside funding status, not to mention my affiliation with an Institute (cf. University), I have no obligation to teach. However, I have painfully discovered that in this country, being involved in teaching is pretty much an academic Q of life and death. In the span of just over a year (5+ months of which I was on mat leave) I’ve gathered that education is valued high, and all professors are required to teach. Much in the same way as in other countries, however, here they don’t seem to complain as much. I consider it a sign of appreciation, i.e. that teaching is considered a valuable part of an academician’s career. It shows in job announcements as well: without teaching experience, you don’t stand a chance. Therefore I put one and one together, and decided to get involved. Let’s see how it starts off, I am volunteering for guest lecturing, leading group work, and student supervision as a second reader of theses. Today is a meeting where we determine the extent of my involvement.

Outside the office the sun is starting to shine again. Winter has been long and full of colds, flus and stomach flus (of all things), then again this was to be expected with the tiny one having started daycare. Next weekend is the parents’ weekend off for the first time, and Lulu has slept the last week or two happily through the nights. Thus grandma the babysitter should have no troubles with her. Fingers crossed!

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