Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bryan the TA

Ok. This is really cool, so read up:

At the end of last semester, you might remember that I studied for a core exam to test out of one of the SAIS required courses, Evolution of the International System.

I did pretty well, and I ended up applying for and getting a TA position to help the professor teach the class this semester. I get to help teach my favorite subject: history, during my favorite time period: the Long 19th Century. Exciting right? I know!!

I took the equivalent of this course at Stanford with a visiting professor named Jonathan Haslam, who apparently taught at SAIS at some point. The professor I get to work with this time around is Thomas Row, who has a very rich understanding of European History, is an inspiring lecturer, and also likes to hang out after class and talk shop over wine.

He's a fun guy - he even made an appearance at the Viennese Ball!

My duties as a TA are to run two TA sessions every week where I go over historical themes and details to supplement the lecture. Lots of people come to listen to me talk, and I'm not going to lie - it makes me feel kinda special. I also have office hours that no one comes to.

The TA sessions require a lot of prep time, but I really love to do it. We're talking about the guy who bought his high school AP European History book off eBay so he could read it for fun years later.