Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lead TA Training, Day Two

I will say this for the week-long intensive: it may fall behind schedule as easily as anything else in academia, but it has a commitment to ending on time. Yesterday ended promptly at 3:30, despite being half an hour behind all afternoon; today we were running 25 minutes behind all morning and still got out to lunch just five minutes late.

Of course, that statement was typed before the director decided to make us do breathing exercises to open the afternoon. I refuse to do either the plug-one-nostril or the fire-breathing technique of relax/energize breating. If they want me to demonstrate I'm energized, I will get up on the platform and show off some kata, but I am not risking hyperventilation to feel my belly "pop" with each exhale.

Thus far, I have learned about no less than six personality, learning style, and academic leadership style inventories, and ranked myself somewhere on all of them. I am a cold, dominant, refelctive observer, abstract conceptualizer, fact-based, task-oriented, committed relativist, separated knower who prefers synthesis-based exam questions. There are at least two more inventories of one type or another to go, to round out the day.

The diversity workshop did exactly what I expected it would: It reaffirmed my belief that gender disparity is in the eyes of those who expect to find it. It is the woman who could spout phrases like "feminist ideology" who argued that women might be subconsciously cultured to preface statements with "This may be a stupid question" and end with "I don't know", where I firmly place this as a reaction to teacher attitude (i.e., whether I've been extra cold-dominant that day whether I'm staring blankly as I try to come up with a reasonable answer).

Tomorrow we may actually move on to the training in job duties. Hopefully.

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