I met with the department chair (Head of Department – HOD), and she told me I would be teaching Inorganic chemistry to the Biotech majors. These are 1st year, 2nd semester students. The coursework involves mostly general and inorganic chemistry that we teach in USA. Nothing I cannot handle with a little help from a book, which I got from the library. It would meet 4 times a week for 50 mins time slot. The second class I was given a choice of topic from the BSc Honors lecture, I selected the medicinal chemistry part to teach. I would meet twice a week with them, the rest of the time the HOD will be teaching this class. For the rest of the time I am to write their MSc lab manual according to the syllabus. So pretty cool assignment.

My Biotech class met 11:50 am - 12:40 pm MT and WR was at 2-2:50 pm, and the BSc Honors was 11-11:50 am T and Sat.  The first few weeks went smoothly. I prepped a little bit in the morning for the class and all afternoon I would write the experiments. I have to write about 50 experiments; about 10-15 for each of the four semesters. And then at end of February all hell broke loose.

The administration was interviewing all the science and engineering faculty again for their current jobs. In chemistry department, four of them had been hired only in the last one year, yet they were still to be interviewed. Well, one chemistry faculty resigned – effective immediately in the first week of March. His course work was distributed to all. I also got one – a chemistry class with majors of Physics, Chemistry and Math. I gave up my BSc Honors topics and took his course, which met 6 days a week from 11-11:50 am. Yeah take that USA!! You don’t have any class that meets 6 times a week! And after the interviews, one of the faculty members was let go (fired!), so now his coursework had to be distributed. Yes – I got three labs to teach!! So now I am teaching almost like a full-time faculty!

The other small part in all this is that the HOD of Biotech dept. increased my Biotech chemistry class from 4 to 5 days class (M-F). Okay! I did not know you could do that once the semester had begun. But I guess anything is possible in India. She said that I don’t really have to teach them that extra day, just be there so they don’t make noise. Oh! Babysitter. Not only that, we also changed the times from 2 pm to 11:50 am for all the days. This actually worked out as I like consistency.

The good thing is that my classes are back to back. A break would have been nice, but this works out too. So I teach from 11-11:50 and then 11:50-12:40. Classes have no breaks in the middle, so I lose 5-10 mins in going from one classroom to another, getting the students to be quiet and take attendance. Not good scheduling of classes.

I will write about the administration another time….