Ten Years

November 29th, 2010, 12:44 am PDT by Greg

As of the end of August 2010, I have been employed as a lecturer at SFU for ten years.

On the basis of Peter Norvig’s excellent essay “Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years“, I extrapolate that in the past ten years, I must have learned how to do this thing that I claim to be my profession.

Because I like Norvig’s examples, I will add my own: Queen formed in 1971, and played the Queen Rock Montreal show in 1981. Just look at that performance, just look at it! I’m convinced Freedie was an alien from the planet of excellent stage performers and was exiled for making everyone else look bad.

While I’m not Freddie Mercury, I think I’m doing okay. I have felt my lecturing style change, even within the last year. It’s somehow just easier; more comfortable. I’m more likely to leave a lecture and think “anybody that thinks they could have done that any better can go fuck themselves,” usually on days when I have coffee, which does funny things to my brain.

I still think of myself as a better course designer than actual “lecturer”, but that’s another story.

By the numbers: (all values as close as I can figure without really looking that hard)

  • Students taught on campus: 4900
  • Students supervised in distance sections: 2200
  • Time spent lecturing: 1600 hours, or two straight months
  • Time spent watching exams: 220 hours, or one icepick lobotomy
  • Sections of CMPT 120: 4
  • Sections of CMPT 165: 14 on campus, 17 distance
  • Sections of CMPT 470: 13, with 153 project groups
  • Projects supervised: 9 (capstone, directed studies, etc.)
  • TAs supervised: 125
  • Emails sent and received: 150,000 (wild guess)

Okay… I’m tired just looking at that. Must be getting old.