The exam is over and, although I haven't heard official results, everyone's proceeding as if I'll be here at least another year.
The paper is nearly done. I handed in the final copy today. My supervisor assured me when he returned my last draft that there were only minor corrections and any issues he brought up in his comments were intended for my future work. So now he and the second reader just need to assign it a grade.
So now I've officially completed all of my obligations for the 2005-2006 school year and can take a well deserved break.
Except that the next semester begins on Monday. As in 4 days from now. I'd been kind of ignoring that since I had other stuff to get through. And so it was really just yesterday that I allowed myself to think about the fact that I will be teaching next week, never mind the coursework.
The teaching assignment is a little unusual. Officially I'm a TA, but in reality I will be handling most of the student-contact hours, making homework assignments, and grading; the professor in charge will be teaching some of the classes and has already come up with a reasonable schedule. My contract and the number of hours I've been allotted are completely in line with this, so I'm not getting cheated. But it's definitely more responsibility than is usually given to a student at my point in the program.
The class is not exactly the same as what I used to teach to junior and senior high school students, but the basic skills needed to teach it are pretty much the same. I know that that's the reason I was asked to apply specifically for this position.
I blocked most of this out, didn't think about the fact that I would have so much responsibility for a class, in order to make it through my crunch time. But that has passed and now I face a different crunch time. A friend of mine remarked this morning when we were discussing trying to get ready, "I'm just now starting to accept the idea that I will forever be working from deadline to deadline now and I should let go of any thought of getting ahead."