I finished my graduation in computer science last year (July 2005). In September 2005 I started assisting the course of Data Warehousing at the University as a so-called colaborator, a no-so-good status quo but good enough for me since it would give me time during the week (3 hours per week) to work on a MSc. It was a cheerful experience which I enjoyed and from which I learned a lot of things. Teaching gives a whole new perspective on the material since you really have to know, you can’t know more or less.
In the semester that followed I started assisting a different course – digital systems. It certainly isn’t one of my main interest areas but as someone who loves computers and technology I found interesting and challenging problems that gave me a lot of work but also a lot of fun solving and teaching. As a professor I find the relation professor-students one of the most rewarding experiences. Making them think and pose questions. Showing how one big problem that seems unsolvable to them can be reduced simply to a trivial one when approaching it in the right way.
As the semester ended and I went into summer vacations (July 2006) my MSc work was going as expected and I had a lot of items to work on. I didn’t do almost anything useful till early September for the MSc but I had a great vacations. At least great enough to not feel they were short.
In early September I came back to Évora to catch up with my MSc advisor and to work on my thesis. I was also expecting to get payed for my work at the University (between March till July 2006) since the last payment I received from them was on March! Till today I haven’t received anything yet, which makes a total of 6 months without payment.
Me and my girlfriend in the same situation knew we didn’t want to continue living like this and both agreed on not accepting any further offers from the University. We were even advised by faculty people that the next semester would be even worse since no funds had been allocated to pay colaborators.
The plan right now is to finish my MSc thesis. Luckily my parents can support me while I don’t finish this milestone in my life but I can’t say I’m not heavily dissapointed by the inefficiency of the University as an institution. But running through my life right now I don’t regret a thing.