This past week, I gave my students their final exam. They still have an essay to hand in on Monday, but the semester is now officially over. Without going into excruciating detail, I can say that it took me a little while to get comfortable with things and find my groove, but in the end everything worked out. The students seemed to be happy, and some of them personally expressed their appreciation to me.
After the exam, I took some of the students (those who didn’t have class afterward, which ended up being just over half the class) out for coffee and tea, and at one point I said, “Well, I enjoyed myself this semester, and I hope you guys did, too. I know there were a few rough spots along the way....” But my students just looked at each other quizzically, and one of them said, “Really? We didn’t notice.” It was at that moment that I realized I had done OK, and it felt good. In conclusion, I will say that I really did enjoy myself, and I ended up with a great bunch of students.
I won’t be keeping you too long today. I just wanted to mark the official end of the semester, and there is the matter of posting photos of my new office, which I think I said I would do. So, without further ado, here are some photos that I took at various times during the semester.
This is my building. My office is the window fifth from the left on the top floor.
This is not, unfortunately, the view from my office. It is the view from Building 2, which is connected to Building 1 (my building, and the one you can see on the left). The photo was obviously taken during cherry blossom season, when the area is awash in delicate blossoms.
This is the actual view from my office, with Mt. Gwanak in the distance. Not bad, huh? What you can’t see in this photo is the construction taking place on a new library tower to the left. It does make for a somewhat noisy environment when the window is open, but I’ve adapted to that pretty well.
This is what my office looks like from my desk. Notice all the empty space on the bookshelves. I will be slowly filling in that space as the years go by—in fact, I’ve already started this semester.
And here is the view from the opposite side of the room, where you can see my desk, my mini-fridge, and my microwave oven. My desk has gotten messier as the semester has progressed, with piles of books and papers climbing higher and higher. At one point I will have to sort through everything and tidy up.
So, there you have it: my office. It is really nice to have an office all to myself—at my former place of employment I had to share an office with five other professors. They were all wonderful people, of course, and I enjoyed sitting around and talking with them, but the environment was not conducive to getting serious work done.
Here, however, I have all my books available to me and a space where I can work (usually) without interruption. I think I’ve been in the office every weekday this semester, and sometimes on Saturdays as well, and I’ve managed to get a lot of work done in addition to preparing for my class. I think, most of all, I just like having a place where I can go to get work done, as opposed to working at home and having no spatial or temporal boundaries between work and non-work. I don’t think I would do too well in a typical 9-to-5 office job, but this sort of office I can live with.
That’s all for today. Next time I’ll have something to say about the World Cup, but I wanted to wait until both the US and Korea played their first matches, as I don’t really want to be ranting about the World Cup every other day here. Once is enough, I think.