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  1. #1
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Default YGBFM: teaching physics [again]...

    All,

    I recently got some phone calls about something, and I'd like other people's inputs here, particularly fellow NF input, hence why its in this area and not "careers"

    Situation: I got a phone call from an engineer friend asking me if I wanted to teach an intro physics course this Fall at the Denver art institute. Then, I got a call from a director or coordinator or someone asking me if I wanted to teach this course, or if not if I knew someone else who might. Apparently it has a virtual lab, is intro physics, and is for "art" and "design" or whatever other similar majors...



    Some background and analysis: For those who don't know I spent 5 years as a physics TA while in grad school. Most of my students said I teach very well, many said I explain/teach MUCH better than the profs, and several said they wish I was teaching there class instead of the profs. I've also tutored, both math and physics, before. In short, I am capable of teaching. But, but, but... For those who missed it, I am an INFP. Physics is very INTJ [with some INTP and ENTJ occasional overlays]. I TAed for 5 years. I liked some of it. I hated tons of it. I could say that grad school was this horrible and very punishing experience [it was], I could tell you that I had nightmares about it probably every night while in it [I did], I could tell you that to this day I still have occasional nightmares about it [I do] and that some of these nightmares wake me up in a cold sweat scaring the shit out of me [they do], I could tell you that to this day I still carry psychological and psychic scars from those experiences [I do, but I've been working on it, a lot], I could say that no "colorful" words that leave my mouth nor nothing I could say could adequately describe how bad much of it was [my INFP mouth is generally pretty "clean" in its language].

    But this is intro physics, I could handle that, heck I even like it [depending on emphasis and style]. and its at an art institute, for [whatever "art" and "design" type majors], can anyone say NF students??? I've always taught to either "physics majors and engineers" or to "science, non-physics majors". Hmm, NF students... :rolli: But, I had peers who taught to business and arts majors, they had nothing/almost nothing positive to say about it...

    It would let me meet more people, and fellow NF's, but you can't date your students... Its downtown, I live far from downtown and hate traffic/parking/congestion/etc...

    Why am I even thinking about this??? Because, being the damned INFP super-idealist that I am, and having seen lots of crappy teachers and heard comments form students about crappy teachers I've always thought I could teach, not better, but closer to the way students think and not so physics-PhD-professorish. I've moved on with my life since grad school. I've put a LOT of effort into leaving that trauma behind. I am NOT a city person, this isn't practical... I don't think I will do this. Wait, I could spend this time meeting hot fit NF women MY age instead, not 18-21 [presumably] undergrads...I think I am just smitten with the idea that I would have NF and NFP students that I'd like and feel comfortable with [as opposed to _ssloads of NTJ _sshole classmates] and I'm idealistically projecting this "great teaching" environment where I'd have motivated interested NFP students smitten with the subject content. Yeah, how idealistic is THAT??? :rolli: :rolli:

    Can someone please talk some sense into me, instead of this damned INFP "if I just try harder everything will work out right, or at least better" change the world unrealistic idealism that surfaces in me from time to time :rolli: :rolli: :rolli:

    I think my overall decision is already made, I won't do it, but if people can have good inputs ["Scott, you can't date your students" "Scott, meet women your own age" "Scott, teach yoga or martial arts not physics" "Scott, you like math, if your gonna teach college teach that instead" "Scott, the hippie NFP women are in Boulder, go there instead" "Dude, college is over, you've let it go and move don with your life, don't regress now" "dude, students don't wanna learn about physics, save yourself the hassle and misery, you've already been there and done some of that. Did you see your profs, WTF would you wanna be like them or do the work they do?" "Scott, your missing out on positive point ___"]. In particular if people here with teaching experience can "knock some sense" into my semi-unbridled idealism, that would help!

    Thanks!
    -Scott

  2. #2
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Ever heard the term "Egomaniac". I know some austrian guy who suffered from it too
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  3. #3
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by entropie View Post
    Ever heard the term "Egomaniac". I know some austrian guy who suffered from it too
    I'm confused, what's your point? The obvious implication is that your saying I'm an egomaniac, but no one who knows me thinks that, and you don't know me.

    Welcome to an inside glimpse of the mind of an INFP and our decision-making style. Please keep snide or rude comments to yourself though. I am hoping some fellow NF's can help "guide" me through this...

  4. #4
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Never mind him. He probably shat badly last night; he's usually a cool guy.

    Anyway, I'd tend to say HELL GO FOR IT! Two things to think about:

    a) All your students (even most) are probably not going to be NFs, rather I associate those kinds of jobs with SPs (maybe I'm way off base) and even if they aren't, still very little likelihood that most will be NFs. Not quite sure what gives you that impression, but perhaps you could share.

    b) It's a bit worrisome that you found teaching so problematic before. Maybe it was the environment or something. Think about it and try to find the main CAUSE. Then you can discover if teaching will be a repeat.

    However, I can let you know that I find teaching a very thrilling experience. Just don't go in with any pre-conceived notions about these guys - that can lead to disappointments. And make sure you're teaching for the right reasons - not to meet someone or stuff, but to help these people develop and progress in the right way.

    I'm sure you have the knowledge, the experience, and the personality for it. The question is: Is it the best job for you right now?

    Give me some more input, please, and I can help you see if it's cool for ya.

    Caveat: I teach languages, which is a whole different ballpark, but I'm sure some of the same ideas apply.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    Never mind him. He probably shat badly last night; he's usually a cool guy.

    Anyway, I'd tend to say HELL GO FOR IT! Two things to think about:

    a) All your students (even most) are probably not going to be NFs, rather I associate those kinds of jobs with SPs (maybe I'm way off base) and even if they aren't, still very little likelihood that most will be NFs. Not quite sure what gives you that impression, but perhaps you could share.

    b) It's a bit worrisome that you found teaching so problematic before. Maybe it was the environment or something. Think about it and try to find the main CAUSE. Then you can discover if teaching will be a repeat.

    However, I can let you know that I find teaching a very thrilling experience. Just don't go in with any pre-conceived notions about these guys - that can lead to disappointments. And make sure you're teaching for the right reasons - not to meet someone or stuff, but to help these people develop and progress in the right way.

    I'm sure you have the knowledge, the experience, and the personality for it. The question is: Is it the best job for you right now?

    Give me some more input, please, and I can help you see if it's cool for ya.

    Caveat: I teach languages, which is a whole different ballpark, but I'm sure some of the same ideas apply.
    I'm under the impressions its 1 course. Presumably pay is 1-3k$ total, not that I really care about that [I'm an engineer with a masters degree, I am decently well compensated for my time elsewhere].

    I enjoy teaching, and many people have told me I am good or very good at it. AT every point in my life I've been told that.

    About hating it before, I didn't teach classes I was a teaching assistant for labs and did grading and homework sessions and the like. I liked dealing with people, trying to explain things in ways they'd understand [as oppose dot how PhD's in the topic think about them]. I didn't like that 1) students felt very stressed and rushed and liek their teachers sucked and/or were jerks 2) "social atmosphere" [physics= NTJland], students who thought everything should come easy and how DARE you give them less than an A [that school had VERY well to do "privileged" students 3) lack of personableness 4) equipment breaking a lot. I will say, I got to be a math TA for a quarter, and LOVED every minute of it.

    I'm under the impression that art and graphic design are totally NFP-land

    I think I'm mostly hoping this might be the way I HOPED things would be before, so it'd be a "washing my hands" of what came before.

    I'm not trying to change careers at the moment and, based upon previosu physics experiences, %&(*& will freeze over before I ever ^**&) &*& &*& for those *(*)& people ever again &**)& *(_* *()*), gosh &()(&)(. Yeah, not that I have any residual hard/bad feelings or anything :whistling :

    I think any positive changes this would make in my life can be made more effectively elsewhere in other ways...

  6. #6
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I'm still confused about what you're asking. Have you decided that you are or that you aren't interested in teaching? Are you hoping to be talked into doing it? Personally I wouldn't go into teaching university courses if my life depended it based on my grad school teaching experiences. However, perhaps this might be up your alley more than it was mine.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I'm still confused about what you're asking. Have you decided that you are or that you aren't interested in teaching? Are you hoping to be talked into doing it? Personally I wouldn't go into teaching university courses if my life depended it based on my grad school teaching experiences. However, perhaps this might be up your alley more than it was mine.
    I was entertaining idealistic, and almost certainly delusional, ideas that even though all my experiences in being around college physics classes were negative, that nonetheless since this would be for "arts" and "design" majors that all of the sudden things would be fantastically different and wonderful. I was hoping that some other NF with more actual teaching experience [as opposed to my TAing experience] could reason with me or knock some sense into me. Along the way I discussed some of the reasons why my previous experiences were negative, and also some reasons I was idealistically [and probably delusionally] thinking that THIS situation might be different. Does that make more sense?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Also, I pointed out that I enjoyed teaching math [and would be willing to do so again], but had a very negative experience with physics overall, do largely to cultural/personality reasons.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    I had an insight earlier: I can't teach this class because I intend on going on a week+ long vacation to Hawaii later this Fall

    Problem solved

  10. #10
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Awww well, I will leave you and all those here contemplating a teaching career with the following advice:

    - Don't do it for the money. (There isn't a hell of a lot).
    - Don't do it for the vacation. (If you're a serious teacher, you have to do a lot of continuing ed courses/correcting/keeping up-to-date on your subject).
    - Don't do it for the cute guys/chicks. (That's just a no-go).

    If you do it, make sure you:

    - LOVE IT! (If you don't, it will drive you bat-crap crazy after a while. It will even drive you bat-crap crazy sometimes if you DO love it! )
    - Enjoy the subject you're teaching. (You can't be enthusiastic and motivate others if you hate what you're doing. People can feel that, even those who are not intuitive).
    - Have knack for it. Just because you are brilliant at a subject DOES NOT mean you are good at presenting it to others.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

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