No one has shown up for this office hour, which is okay with me. There was a big rush of students showing up for my office hours at the beginning of the term, because they were figuring out what to do for their major assignment, and some of the non-majors wanted to make sure that they understood what's involved in a history course. Now, they've written the midterm but haven't gotten it back yet, and are at the stage in their assignments where they've figured out what they're doing but don't need feedback on preliminary written stuff.
That's all a long way of saying that I didn't expect anyone to show up today, and that's cool with me, because it means that I can use this hour to wind down after lecturing for two straight hours.
I'm feeling a little more competent every day. I gave a midterm yesterday, and it took them all exactly the amount of time I designed for it to take. Nothing in the midterm surprised them, but it challenged them enough, and made them work for their mark. And so I'm pleased with the quality of the midterm. I know how I'd change it in the future, but I'm happy with how it turned out this time.
And then I spent the weekend giving myself a crash course in Japanese history, while reading a major book or two and one giant historiographical essay, and today was able to turn that around into a coherent lecture that the students understood. I was able to handle any questions they asked, and tie it to stuff that they've learned on other days. I sounded like an expert in the room and wasn't too self-deprecating. Most importantly, I managed to teach much more than was in the textbook, and reflect on some of the claims that the textbook author made. This is something that I felt like was lacking in my lectures that were about areas outside of my comfort zone.
So, I guess I'm gaining confidence, and am becoming more competent as a result of it. Maybe I'll survive the month after all.