By the time this article is published, it will already be February. That said, you can take solace in the fact that I was writing this article on the first day of semester. At any rate, here’s my second semester preview.
Table of Contents
First Semester Highlights
- Teaching was amazing
- Classes were rough
- But, I passed with the following breakdown: A, A, B+, B
- Grading was hard
- Columbus is awesome
- Band is not the same
Now, that I got all that off my chest, let’s dig into my second semester.
Second Semester Schedules
In the following sections, we’ll take a look at some of my plans for the next semester.
To kick off 2019 and my second semester at OSU, here’s my current schedule:
- CSE 5539: Intermediate Studies in Artificial Intelligence (M 12:40 PM – 2:30 PM)
- CSE 5544: Introduction to Data Visualization (T/Th 9:35 AM – 10:55 AM)
- CSE 6431: Advanced Operating Systems (T/Th 11:10 AM – 12:30 PM)
- CSE 6559: Advanced Studies in Computer Graphics (TBA)
In total, I’m scheduled for 10 credits this semester which is the same as last semester.
In addition to the classes above, I’m also teaching once again this semester. In particular, here’s my schedule:
- CSE 1223: Lecture (M/W 4:10 PM – 5:05 PM)
- CSE 1223: Lab (Th 4:10 PM – 5:05 PM)
- CSE 1223: Office Hours (M 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM; W/Th 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM)
Of course, I’ll need to reserved plenty of time for grading and lesson planning. But, this looks good for now.
Second Semester Details
At this point, I want to cover what I’m looking forward to this semester.
At this point in my PhD pursuit, I’m still completing core courses before the qualifying exam. After completing algorithms and programming languages, I’m now tackling operating system. So far, I don’t know much about the course, but I imagine we’ll cover mutual exclusion, distributed systems, deadlocks, etc.
In addition, I’m taking data visualization which I was hoping would be with my advisor, but it’s actually taught by another professor in the department. As a result, I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m excited nonetheless. I follow a ton of hockey visualization accounts on Twitter, and I’d love to be able to make some of my own.
On top of that, I’m taking my first artificial intelligence course since undergrad. From my understanding, this course is a bit like a seminar where we’re covering the latest research in auditory perception. Obviously, this is a valuable course for me as I plan to do some sort of music-visualization research.
Finally, I’m once again taking the graphics seminar with my advisor. Of course, this time it will actually be on my schedule, so I’ll get credit for it. That said, I think that means I have to present a paper as well, so I better start reading.
As mentioned briefly, I’m teaching the exact same course this semester as last semester. If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out my reflection on that semester. That article contains over 4000 words covering everything from course content to student feedback.
At any rate, I’m looking to improve on my success from last semester by tackling some of my weak areas like organization and staying on task. In addition, I’m hoping to maintain some of my strengths as well like staying positive and sharing my passion for teaching
This semester I have a bit of a unique situation as it appears most of my students are not native English speakers. Hopefully, I can use some of my TEFL knowledge to connect with my students and ensure they have an excellent semester.
Other than that, I’m looking forward to a fun filled semester. Hopefully, I get plenty of new questions for my new Coding Tangents series.
One thing you may have noticed is I’ve chosen to drop University Band this semester. In the following section, I’ll cover why and what’s my plan for the future.
No More University Band
While I actually enjoyed being in University Band last semester, there was just too much of a commitment this semester.
For instance, despite having “auditioned” last semester, we’ve been asked to audition again this semester. Except this time, the audition was a bit more ridiculous: two scales and a set of lip slurs.
Having just gotten my wisdom teeth out a few days ago, I’m not exactly prepared to even practice for that audition let alone play for it. As a result, I’m sure I would lose my placement from last semester which would suck.
In addition, the rehearsal schedule is a bit frustrating. Since I have all morning classes, I’m stuck walking onto campus twice some days for evening rehearsals. On top of that, the rehearsal schedule runs all the way through the end of semester, so I’d never get to reclaim any time to study or get work done.
As for another minor annoyance, my horn has to be stored on the third floor of a separate building from the rehearsal hall, and the directors love to start at exactly on time. As a result, I often found myself running from my office hours to grab my horn only to be 5 minutes early without a seat. That grew old pretty quickly.
Finally, I was tired of the stringent attendance requirements. If I ever needed to take a night to catch up on work or just focus on my mental health, I couldn’t skip band. Missing a single rehearsal resulted in the loss of a letter grade which is a heavy price to pay in grad school.
That said, I absolutely refuse to give up music. While I’m not that great, music is not a hobby I’m willing to sacrifice.
As a result, I decided to look around the city of Columbus for a community band, and I lucked out on my first search. Apparently, the Greater Columbus Community Band is right in my neighborhood.
Within ten minutes, I had reached out to see if I could join, gotten a response, and dropped University Band. How’s that for an evening before classes start?
The new band is a much better time commitment. As far as I can tell, we meet once a week on Tuesday evenings, and we currently don’t have any concerts until July. That’s wonderful news as I won’t feel too bad about missing a rehearsal. It’s also great as I get to play through the summer.
The first rehearsal is January 15th, so I’m hoping my mouth is all healed up by then. If not, I’m sure I’ll write an article about it.
Wish Me Luck
My first semester of grad school was a bit of a struggle. Not only did I have to relearn how to study, but I also had to learn how to teach and work with students.
As I head into my second semester, I’m hoping to be a lot more comfortable. That said, be sure to expect plenty of updates along the way. I’ve only been writing this series since I decided I was going to attend grad school, and we’re already up to 15 chapters.
As always, if you’d like me to write about anything, let me know. I’m hoping to have more time this semester to make meaningful articles, so don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. This blog has always been a place where I can let my hair down.
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