Teaching

Day 23: Photography and Teaching

I woke up exhausted from the late-finishing welcome dinner the night before. I rode straight into the department, picked up my notebook, and went out to DAMTP for a lecture in General Relativity. This was the third left-handed lecturer in a row. Again, this was mostly covering old ground, though focusing on the mathematical formalism. Given that the mathematical formalism was the area I understood the least the first time round, it was a good refresher.

After the lecture, I went back to the Cavendish for a short while, where I found that my plots had all been regenerated correctly. I didn’t stay for long; I rode back to Darwin College for lunch. Every day, Darwin serves lunch in the dining hall, but I had not yet been. For lunch was a chicken and mushroom pie, though it ended up being more chicken than pie. The reason that I had returned in the middle of the day, however, was that it was time for the College Photograph. At half past one, I and over a hundred other incoming Darwinians congregated in the college garden. The photography company had set up a podium for us. We were asked to organise into height order, not an easy feat when there are several hundred of you. Organised in single file, the photographers counted us up and called us through one by one and arranged us in the photograph. Before long, it became clear that there was not enough space to fit all of us. They tried to squeeze us all in, having to extend the shot slightly wider than before, but eventually we all were fitted in. The photograph ended up being taken shortly after 2pm.

However, I was scheduled to be teaching from 2pm, so I raced back into the Cavendish, grabbed my belongings, and went to the Part IB (second year) laboratories. For the next four hours, I was walking between the forty-or-so benches, talking to all of the pairs of students about their progress through the practical. Being the first practical, everything in the practical is preliminaries. They go through playing with an oscilloscope settings, putting components in breadboards, measuring the frequency response for a given filter and so on. At this stage, most of the questions asked of me were clarifying procedure; I only rarely had to help debug and rewire a circuit.

The practical finished approaching 6pm. I rode home and ate dinner in the dining hall. The rest of my evening was rather relaxed, staying at home and relaxing.

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