So, to become a university lecturer, aside from a too many years at university along with a degree or two, one has to take a mandatory pedagogy-course on how to lecture, make exams, supervise groupwork, case studies etc, where 90% has proved to be totally irrelecant to your work.
What they should have taught me on the other hand:Student who failed the exam crying in your office
This happens about once a year. Occasionally they come and cry from other reasons, most often a combination of longing for home and sick relatives, and that I can usually understand and attempt to calm them down. But the ones that fail my - my
exam, I'm not so good with. What can one say? "Yeah, you're just not good enough." "Yes, I know you've worked hard, but that wasn't enough." I hate it when that happen. Can't they go and cry somewhere else?Navigating office politics
Office politics. Gah. They sneak up on you, and then half the department hate you for saying something the other half agree with, but of course do not share. This time it's just a small thing but annoying nevertheless. Ever since I started working at the school 7 years ago, we've organised a Christmas party, and at this Christmas party all the former employees have been invited. So for the last 6 years a third of the people at the Christmas party have been people I have never worked with, and only meet at the annual Christmas party. And the new people *always* get stuck between two (or more) of these octogenarians whom they've never met.
So this year we (I'm in the committee) decided not to invite them. We don't really have the space, and now less than half the institute have worked with these guys. But of course, now half of the people are pissed at us, and the other half agree but say nothing. Sigh.
And it's not like they haven't been invited to both the all-school Christmas party as well as the emeritus-party. In fact they get more parties than us. Grump, grump. Writing official documents
As a part of my job I have to write reports on everything: teaching, complaints from students, research, conference presentations.
But we are also asked to write comments to various legislative proposals, governmental white papers, policy guidelines. Usually we share them between us, and thus write one or two per year. But after writing about 5 of them I still haven't found put perfectly how I write them. Although as opposed to the reports I write about my work, people actually read our comments. this I know because I've found myself cited in the final proposal for the bill, but I'm still waiting t hear back from whoever read my end of term-report from 2011 where I wrote "When you read this, please send me an email."
But yeah, these are the things I'd like to have learned, not by just fumbling around in the dark like an idiot.Crossposted to http://mummimamma.dreamwidth.org/288010.html where it has comments. You can comment here or there.