The teaching duo’s longitudinal workshop was filled with other equally enthusiastic participants. “We had a loyal core that spent a fair amount of time at office hours,” says Nordgren. Among these regular attendees were a few individuals seeking more than guidance on a class assignment. Nordgren mentions one “awesome” participant. “Not only did she want to know what she was doing, but she wanted to figure out how think about it, and how to translate what she was seeing into her own research.”
Another participant wanted to understand what was going on with the models. He seemed compelled by the question, “How does this all fit together?” “There was one day he came to office hours, and no one else came, so we just ended up talking for two hours about sampling distribution and the central limit theorem,” says Marinello. “It was fun talking to him, and you could tell that things were clicking together.”
|Samantha Marinello (pink shirt) and Rachel Nordgren (far|
right) in the workshop "Longitudinal Analysis."
The TA job was not without its challenges, such as finding more than one way to explain the interpretation of a nonlinear model to a participant. “Being a TA for the first time, you have to learn there are times you don’t know the answer,” says Marinello. “And that’s hard to deal with. Sometimes it’s not bad, because you’re like, ‘Let me get back to you.’ There have been a couple of times where I’ve sent emails to students later that day, [saying], ‘Here’s a really good full explanation.’”
Marinello and Nordgren’s tireless efforts didn’t go unrecognized by participants. “They’d be excited about understanding something. They were so appreciative,” says Marinello.
“We had a bunch of people make a really big point of thanking us today in the last class,” says Nordgren. “To some of them, I was like, ‘Thank you!’”