Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two Hats

So, I've been teaching for a week and a half now. So far I've managed to survive, which is a bonus. I think it says something that I've been more interested in teaching my class, and planning for it, than I have been taking my own classes as a student. In comparison I half feel that the two classes I'm taking as a student are a bit dreary, but I'm trying to chalk that up to still getting acquainted with the material. It's going to be somewhat heavy stuff; I'm not a fan of Virginia Woolf, but I'm trying to be open in reading her again, and more thoroughly, so perhaps whatever I read before (A Room of One's Own, which I'll be reading again for this class) will be better a second time around in context with the other work of hers I'm reading. The first set of readings for the literacy class was just painful; I really felt I was slogging through it with a minimal of understanding and just couldn't maintain any interest in it, but again, perhaps other material I read throughout the semester will be more to my liking.

The first couple of classes for the ENG 16 class (which would be the class I'm teaching) were more housekeeping related: Introductions, syllabi, class expectations, paperwork, etc. I gave my class a diagnostic essay on our second meeting, for which I gave them the entire class to write, so last Thursday was our first "real" day of class. Started out a bit bumpy - I couldn't get anyone to talk - but I had them do some impromptu writing, using on Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl" as a model for some in-class writing, then put them in groups and had them share their stories, and that seemed to break the ice. I had one student from each group read his or her story (one student got a really good laugh out of hers), and we managed to discuss the story in relation to cultural standards and expectations, which was a segue into the cultural autobiography I've assigned. On Tuesday we're spending the day in the computer lab, and on Thursday for at least half the class we'll be workshopping however much they've written. (The other half of the class two students will be leading the class discussion on Jaschik's "Sociology, Gender, and Higher Ed."

I officially have a podcast up for my teaching experiences. So far I have only the introductory episode up and running, but I recorded another episode today. I'm still figuring out GarageBand and how to upload the podcasts themselves, so I'm a bit more reliant on Chris than I'd like to be. Hopefully after a few more podcasts are up and running I won't need to ask him for help, at least with the basics.

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