Learning and teaching


in Books and literature, Daily updates, Teaching

Thesis proposal reading continues to dominate my information diet, but I bought a couple of unrelated books today.

Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson’s Napoleon’s Buttons — recommended by my friend Myshka — describes the influence of seventeen molecules on human history. I’m about 60 pages in and have been finding it entertaining and reminiscent of James Burke’s Connections television series (he also talks a lot about coal tar and the rise of synthetic chemistry) and Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire.

I also got Naoki Higashida’s Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man’s Voice from the Silence of Autism, which was recently reviewed in The Economist.

Term time is rapidly approaching. In addition to my PhD research, I will be working as a teaching assistant for a second year “U.S. Government and Politics” course, which I did previously in 2013/14. I also applied for TA jobs in “Introduction to Peace, Conflict and Justice”, “Quantitative Reasoning”, and the “Canada in Comparative Perspective” course I have helped teach three times already. I’m done with coursework and comprehensive exams, so a double TA load should be manageable. It’s pretty important given that I haven’t had a paycheque since the spring, and my funding package as a sixth-year student is cut in half.

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