Saturday, August 8, 2009

Teaching Assistant



Recently I have become a wanted man.

A little prelude to set up the opening sentence. I have worked studiously at the U for the past couple of years in order to have a high GPA for medical school and to learn (that would be the reason I am there right?). I have never done anything with my good grades like apply for scholarships etc. My view is do well in school but get out with the least involvement as possible cause really I just want to do medical school. A chemistry degree has been interesting, but I know clearly that it is not a profession that I will pursue.

This last semester (spring semester) I made the decision to take anatomy and biochemistry in order to "pad" up my application for medical school. These classes were awesome, and only made me that much more excited for medical school. Ralph can attest for how much I enjoyed them because every week as we lifted together I would tell all that I had learned that week. To say the least, I did very well in both of the classes. For anatomy you can apply to be a TA for the class which I did. I didn't hear anything back so I figured that I had been passed up. Maybe the professor didn't want me because I was so close to graduation, or maybe I didn't do as well as some of the others in the class (which I doubt for the most part). But I let it go because I wouldn't really have time to devote anyway.

On Friday, July the 10th, I was showering in the afternoon and missed a call. It was from a number that I didn't know, so I wasn't eager to hear the message. Later that evening I listened to the message and it was from a professor at the U who was going to be teaching biochemistry next spring. He called to ask me to TA for his class. I was quite flattered because this was not something that you applied for. He must have gone through student's tests and grades and then looked up my phone number and gave me a call. This was a perfect opportunity. In the spring I will have graduated and so this will give me something to do with my free time, pay a little extra money, and provide me with teaching/leadership opportunities for med school applications if first year applications don't work out. So I called back Dr. Horvath and accepted his offer to TA for the class.

One week later I get an email from Mark Nielson, the anatomy professor. He has emailed to ask if I am still interested in being a TA for his class. For whatever reason, I thought that he would have been setting up his TAs earlier than he did, he had not passed me over. I met with him and made the decision to TA for his class this fall. So from these two classes, anatomy and biochemistry, I not only got to fat A's on my school transcript, I have been given to teaching assistant opportunities that I amy truly looking forward to.

On Friday the 24th of July, I as up in Park City with my family on vacation. Many of us were in a room at the Marriot Suites chatting and I was using someone's laptop to check my email for anything that might have come from classmates I was doing a class project with. As I logged into my email, I had received an email from Dr. Ernst, a chemistry professor up at the U. The email was titled "Chem 3100 TA." I just laughed out loud to myself. I opened up the email, sure enough, Dr. Ernst was asking if I would like to TA for his upper division inorganic chemistry class this fall (I had taken it from him last fall and did well enough to get an A in the class). I would have liked to do it, but I had too much on my plate for the fall and had to turn it down.

That is where the opening sentence now makes sense. I have become a wanted man for being a TA. All of my diligent efforts in class have now been noticed and paid off in some ways besides just getting a good grade. I am excited to do some teaching. It is something that I have always liked to do, but something I have only really had the opportunity to do at church, not with school. I'm most looking forward to holding all the dead bodies in the anatomy lab. My goal is to become like professor Frink.

43 comments:

Ellie said...

Wow, Thane you're amazing! Nice work! It's pretty cool how things work out in a round-about way sometimes. Congrats!

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