Thursday, October 6, 2011

Random Teaching Updates

Hmm, what am I up to these says? I dunno. I should be grading madly --- I handed essays back but have other things I need to catch up on --- but I feel like I want to rest and relax instead. Wait, when is that not true?

I got the word about spring classes and they are the exact same ones as this semester. Eh. There is a chance, though, I might be able to trade my Stripey Class for a Nosepicking Survey class, my specialty, which would be great. If they let me do it. And I would then have to prepare a new course from scratch, which is extra work, but I think it would be worth it for the fun of reading and teaching stuff I know something about and love. Who knows if I'll be running amuck on flybacks or retooling for a different career. I'm bound to have something crazy on my plate, so I might as well trade classes with this adjunct who doesn't like Nosepicking. (How can you not like nosepicking?)

And of course, after switching the comp book on me for fall, Fruit Studies is switching to a later edition book in spring. Figures.

My comp classes have been going pretty well. One class can go from "excitable and willing to talk" to "entirely too loud and shouting at each other." The other day was weird; I had lots of shouting at them to settle down. I may have to rethink class management in that class (which is always weird when you have two back-to-back classes turning out totally differently). Other than that it seems to be coming along. Right now should be the end of the "honeymoon period" since I have handed back the first essay and totally crushed their little egos (welcome to college!), but it doesn't seem too bad right now. Except for the students going nuts and shouting in our "what is the value of the liberal arts" discussion. Weird.

Now the Stripey Class ---- sigh. Jeez. You can totally drag a horse to water but not make it drink, you know? I have been giving quizzes regularly, handing back quizzes while pointing out that getting a zero on the quiz is a good sign that they might not pass the midterm, explicitly pointing out how they should be marking important passages we close read and that they should take notes, and still I had to yell at them on Tuesday, because it seemed like they were even less engaged than usual. A bunch still haven't bought their book. And to top it all off, I revamped what we were supposed to do today, and instead of giving them two quizzes in one week I made up a handout where they had to find quotes about each of the main characters while in small groups. And then they were pissed cause they had done the reading and were expecting a quiz! Crazyness. You will hear more from me once I give the midterm, I am sure.

I spent 20 minutes on my article though! Let's see if I can devote some more sustained time to it again on Friday. I was surprised --- or maybe disappointed --- to find how much time rereading the subsection and pulling my books and then turning two bolded things into cited endnotes took to finish. Grumble. I have so much more to do on those sections! Ok, Sisyphus: baby steps, baby steps. Just keep on plugging away at it.

Actually, I guess I should wrap this up and go back to plugging away at my pile of quizzes and homeworks to grade. Or figure out what I'll be doing in my classes tomorrow.  A cog's work is never done!

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