Jul 19, 2007

Summer in AZ - My Experience

If there was an alternative to an hair dryer in the amount of hot air blown, it would be the wind in Tempe or in general the wind in the valley. It was this gush of hot air that greeted when I landed in Tempe. I never knoew I would be associated with it for this long. Last summer, I was in India, enjoying the monsoons, But this summer, here I am, enjoying the heatwave in Tempe.

It was a late summer, May was particularly pleasant compared to the last May. This June was like how last May was, the summer has had a one month offset. Hope August doesn't get too hot though. The temperatures scorch at 112 F on most days and have gone upto 117 F. This is the temperature in the shade apparently. So the really one is a few degrees higher. The worst time to walk in the sun would be between 3-5 pm. The least temperature would be 85 F at 4:30 am and may last till 5 am. I have seen the temperature hit 100 F by 7 or 8 am. The beginning of this week had some showers which made the next morning very humid. It was like Chennai, sticky and sweaty!

I chose to teach this summer, to keep myself occupied and for monetary benefits too. It would have been really boring if I had to immerse in research all the time, even though I am finiding it good to do that now. I didn't make a trip to India, in order to facilitate a faster MS thesis defense and PhD qualifier. Also I am working on a few conference-level papers, which I definitely need to have, since I have been researching for so long. I feel it was good decision that I made to stick around during the summer, since it is so relaxed and my only focus is on research.

My teaching experience this summer is something that I need to make a mention of. I was handling the basic Circuits class for the first time, even though I have TAed for the next course in circuits. But this was an experience, since it was mostly non-EE students and most of them had this as their first course in EE. The labs that I taught were pretty simple and not too demanding. I tried to experiment around introducing a new lab and giving guidelines for their reports. It did help me a lot, since I saved a lot of grading time. I should probably implement it in the next semester, if I am let to handle a lab all by myself. Also, I had the opportunity to set a lab final and it was like reliving my BE lab exam experiences. I did receive good feedback from the students, though there were these usual complaints. But one thing that I was surprised was that 'I was rude/impatient' from a particular student, so I learned what I had to control. Be it my saccharine tone or liberal attitude or my impatience, it needs to be offered only in moderation.

I didn't watch too many movies, probably because I found a lot of company to talk to. But I did watch Hrishikesh Mukherjee's two classics, Khoobsurat and Chupke Chupke, thanks to Kumar. I watched Sivaji, in a movie hall, and at home I saw Flavors, and a few other ones that I don't remeber at this point in time. I prefer watching TV, now that lot of India channels are up on the net for free. Also, I tried to build my music collection and I felt happy doing so.

Also my work at the administrative office in the university was of great relief from the stress and boredom :)

Overall, not a bad summer!

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