[M.M.X.I.V. 29] TA busywork

Let’s see if I can write this post in the present tense only, perhaps with a combination of present-perfect and/or present-progressive.  That way, I can stay on topic for today’s Daily Post.

As some of my readers know, I do both research and TA (teaching assistant) responsibilities as a graduate student.  The research responsibilities use up a lot of my mental energy, and the TA responsibilities less so.

On ordinary weekdays, I can be fairly effective on my research duties between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00 in most cases (although I rarely work that full ten hours each day).  I get distracted from high-energy tasks in the evening and on weekends.  An important part of work that I feel people overlook is to know when they are not working hard and are just bashing their heads against the wall.

HOWEVER, I have found (NOT A FAIL OF THE PROMPT–this is the present-perfect construction!) over the last few days that I can be effective working on the TA “busy work” during off-hours and weekends (but never on Shabbat).  Grading papers is a great way to pass time on the L, rather than playing on my phone, or journaling.  And the last few days, I have completed grades on quizzes, homeworks, and am currently creating the solution key for the homework.

This latter task is DOWNRIGHT ANNOYING, however.  Despite using LaTeX, I still have to code up the equations, use something like Mathematica to graph the figures (and I am not very good at the latter), and I need to check my solutions with the instructor as well.  It can be a slow process, but it is necessary.

It could be that the annoyance I feel is just with this section, in dealing with the tedious problems of pure triple integrals, moments of inertia, and centroids (the latter especially when a symmetry argument is useless).

It could be worse, though.  In some sense, I think I have it pretty good, being able to work in the evening and Sundays on TA work, when I cannot bring myself to do research during those times.  I expect some long days when I have to create the homework solutions (every other week) during this quarter.

What aspects of your job do you consider high-mental-energy, versus busywork that can be done when you are in a low-energy state?


Today is the twenty-ninth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes four weeks and one day.

It is now 18:00, so I will post the list of other Daily Posts at this time…

  1. The Steps Of St. Paul’s | Experimental Fiction
  2. A Speck Of Green Part 2 (From Steve’s Window) | The Jittery Goat
  3. Enjoy YOUR present | From One Crazy Life To Another
  4. Punch my mind, why don’t you? Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  5. Harder than it is | Casually Short
  6. write here, write now. | hitting a brick wall
  7. of reasons « Anawnimiss
  8. Yellowstone snow coaches — then and now | Exploratorius
  9. Now | maritacamille
  10. Post in the Present Tense | Sunday Epidemic
  11. Love, actually | ब्‍लॉगते रहो
  12. [M.M.X.I.V. 29] TA busywork | Never A Worry
  13. 32 Minutes | Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | likereadingontrains
  14. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Being a Huntress
  15. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Journeyman
  16. we connect to | y
  17. DP Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Sabethville
  18. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Incidents of a Dysfunctional Spraffer
  19. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  20. Living in the present | Sue’s Trifles
  21. Here and Now « colderweather
  22. As I sit here now | Geek Ergo Sum
  23. It’s raining at the moment, which isn’t really news anymore. | thoughtsofrkh
  24. Write Here, Write Now | Blessed Zyra
  25. everyday | peacefulblessedstar
  26. Red, gold, pink / Daily Prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  27. The Quiet Hour | The Dragon Weyr
  28. Enjoy YOUR present | Emotional Fitness
  29. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | sixty, single and surviving
  31. Write Here, Write Now Or Something Like That | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  32. Write | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  33. Hey, What About Now? | meanderedwanderings
  34. very present | sarahscapes
  35. Just Now – Passionately Bored
  36. Today Is What Matters Now | Flowers and Breezes
  37. To the Sea | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  38. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  39. Caught in a Deep-Freeze Polar Vortex Moment: Feeling Pensive about the Health of our Nation | Institute for Hispanic Health Equity
  40. School assessment | A mom’s blog
  41. Here and Now | Ana Linden
  42. A Spring Day | The Shotgun Girls
  43. Love the Look | The Photo Faith Challenge
  44. Right Here, Right Now | Just Visiting This Planet
  45. In a contented smile | Navigate
  46. Striking a Pose… | Haiku By Ku
  47. Write This Way | My Author-itis
  48. Another Day | Sarah’s Typos
  49. DP Challenge: Self-preservation or Sanity? « Morning Pages
  50. Poor old woman | Life is great
  51. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now – Sick Day | BulgingButtons
  52. Write Here, Write Now | The Nameless One
  53. Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers » Now
  54. Now is the Time | Cancer Isn’t Pink
  55. Write Here, Write Now | amarllyis
  56. Everyday | Wanderlein
  57. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | `The Penguin’ says…
  58. Truly yours! | Cascading Dreams
  59. Now! | martha0stout
  60. Can A Lesbian Be Influential in Pittsburgh?
  61. Now: Daily Post | Destino
  62. Now | The Land Slide Photography
  63. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Kauniiksi katsottu – Seen as Beautiful
  64. Daily Prompt – Write Here, Write Now | Views Splash!
  65. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Basically Beyond Basic
  66. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | mombox
  67. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now |
  68. Walk in Woods | Expressions!
  69. Right Here, Right Now | NRI-scopic777
  70. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | The Wandering Poet
  71. Kiss me, Kate | Unconditional Surrender | vic briggs
  72. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | No Apologies
  73. Daily Prompt: Being a Goldfish! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  74. As bitter as I am | So Not Simple
  75. At This Moment « One Crazy Mom
  76. Home | Stories from aside
  77. Friday Fictioneers, 31 January 2014 Meets the Daily Prompt: Presently Breaking All the Rules | One Starving Activist
  78. Right now! | Musings
  79. Nothing Stays the Same…(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
  80. All About The Story | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  81. w.i.p.s. | lemon lime follies
  82. N O W | the bippity boppity beautiful blog
  83. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Occasional Stuff
  84. You Are Here (Tension) | Transgene
  85. Now | Giving Thought | Giving Sight
  86. Now, the Next Step | Photography Journal Blog
  87. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | my dearest cassandra
  88. Grateful for Hobbies | Random Words
  89. Can You Read My Bleeding Fingers ? | Shadows Of The Divine
  90. Can You See My Fingers Bleed? | Shadows Of The Divine
  91. Going for the Kill (# 8) | Rolbos ©
  92. Here and Now… | Words ‘n Pics…
  93. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | niennie
  94. Weird Is A Typical Austin Day | Vanishing Austin
  95. Human Sex Trafficking and The Super Bowl… | The Abuse Expose’ with Secret Angel
  96. Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now | Picayune Pieces
  97. Lucas and a Snowman | Shades of Teal
  98. Hypothermia | Words from the heart

29 thoughts on “[M.M.X.I.V. 29] TA busywork

  1. Interesting perspective! I have never been a TA and my college didn’t have TAs, but I’ve had friends who go to different schools be TAs and so it’s interesting to peer more into what their world might be like.


      • Yes it was a quite small liberal arts college. When you got into your upper level classes, at least in my major, there would often be less than ten students in your class. Different in some of the schools larger programs, but not by much.


      • There is something good about being taught by professors for most or all of your classes, however. (Although I hope that my students are getting something out of my TA style…)


      • Yes I really enjoyed it. Everyone looks for different things in a school. I had great departments and got to really know my professors and form great relationships with them that I especially appreciated. I think though that you don’t have to have a fancy title to impact someone, you just have to care. So a TA who cares can be more influential than a professor who doesn’t.


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