In one of my old posts I had mentioned that I would be giving the course Fundamental Algorithms this semester. Finally it was decided that I would be doing the exercises for the course and Jens would be doing the theory session. So far so good.
It happened to be my first class today. I was quite busy over the weekend - preparing the notes/problems-solutions for today's class. It was 10:00 at night (yesterday) when I was done with the notes and the web-page for the same.
Today morning, Jens wanted to have a small chat with me regarding the problems and other details. We were talking and he was quite happy with the stuff I had done :). While talking, I noticed the word "valgrind" written on his desk. Being the co-author of "Valgrind-Howto", Obviously, I was curious about that.
I asked him whether he uses Valgrind and he told he wants to use it and he wants me to give him a small session on "Introduction to Valgrind". I was surprised to know that, there were people around me who knew that I wrote that stuff!, at the same time I thought that "I am screwed". It was about 4 years back I wrote the 'howto' and I hardly remember anything about it. But I was sure that, it would be quite easy for me to give him an intro. And that might even help me to upgrade the 'howto' once.
Somehow, the conversation was slowly moving into programming - yes, it happened. He asked me about M$, C# and .Net. He wanted me to tell him a little about those things too. Good heavens, I only know how little I know about the last two. It's true that I have done programming in C# and .Net, but I don't consider myself as a knowledgeable person who can tell about these things to others. Anyway I assured him - I shall help him in trouble.
Later in the class, I think I did it quite okay. There were 18 students. Never in my life, I had to explain anything to someone who was having a lower degree than me. I am not comparing the importance of degree/qualification. Whenever I have done a presentation or something, I was always doing it in front of my colleagues or professors. Since they already knew whatever I talked, it was always easy.
Today the scenario was different. Those students were new to algorithms/complexity. How do I tell them and explain them "what is what"? How do I go down to their level and explain things so that they get the complete meaning? It wasn't easy, but was exciting.
I was not tensed. But was not in the normal state too. I hope, in another 6 months, i.e, by the end of this semester I would turn out to be a good teacher. Today I did make some silly mistakes, but managed to go over them without panicking :). Very happy about it. I would give 5/10 for my today's class. Next week I should improve.
I want to write many more things. Lucky you!! - I don't have time. Let me do my packing and cleaning, before I move.
Signing off, Sands.