After a day of TA Orientation and meeting with the instructor I'm assigned to, I feel prepared. And that's a new feeling, as those who took part in my debate on training for University instruction will already know.
This school is amazing: my orientation was specifically for History students (instead of all TAs at the University, as we experienced back home), meaning that the session was very useful for me. Not only that, but the school provides many different opportunities for instruction and professional development: the Learning and Teaching Centre (I think it's called) has a TA Day every semester (this Saturday, so I must miss it this time) with more instruction, there's an Education class about University teaching that we can take, and there's a two year program that you can join where TAs meet on a regular basis and have guest speakers and work through different issues like adapting in the classroom for different needs. Apparently, you get some sort of special mention of that latter program on your degree, if you take it. I am very much planning on joining. I hope I also get a chance to take the Education class sometime. (Not in the next couple of years -- coursework and comps will be work enough for me right now.)
And so, after all that, apparently I will have opportunities to prepare myself for my future roles in the classroom. (My meeting with my assigned instructor and fellow TA was also very helpful tonight: they gave me a lot of advice on handling group discussions, working with students and grading participation.)
Not only that, but apparently by taking this German course, I don't have to write a departmental language test! This course can act as my language requirement, and then it's considered Pass/Fail and the grade doesn't count into my GPA. It's perfect: even though I have to miss seven classes, because of leading 100-level seminars, my German professor's going to work around it with me. I can write quizzes in advance and he'll assign me the readings and I just have to keep caught up. Wonderful man.
And so I am not so worried after all. Now, I have to finish getting ready to fly out to Regina tomorrow morning. I will have some reading to do in the plane, and when I get to my parents' house. Next goal: how do I see everyone I want to see, and yet adequately prepare myself for Monday?
(By the way, do I sound like I'm overly formal right now? I just finished watching Pride & Prejudice with Chris -- his first time -- and now I feel like I should be "taking my leave of you." Perhaps I should send my regards to your mother. You do deserve such a compliment.) (That was for Meg. As well as this: "Or, as the French would have it, au revoir!")