Thursday, March 08, 2007

Teaching stuff

I have so much to write about. I have, like, a case of logorrhoea in my emails to friends. Everything being triggered right at the moment, and pouring right out. Most of it around teaching - and the way it connects to other patterns and situations in my life. I actually think I'm going to go back to therapy so I can deal with my relationship to teaching.

But anyway. All that to say that there is so much to write about, but I don't know how to do it, here. I just don't. Part of me wants to. But part of it is specific to my discipline, and I don't want to talk too openly about that here. And that's what it all comes down to - my relationship to this history of my own knowledge-production in the discipline I teach in.

Also - and this is probably the biggest part - I don't know how to blog it without sounding completely batty. It's funny that I care about this. But I guess the stuff around teaching has made me feel incredibly vulnerable, and I don't think I can risk being perceived as completely loopy - even by people I don't know, for the most part - when I feel so opened up.

I will say this, as a note of pride, and something that I can provisionally separate out from the rest of the teaching sludge: Yesterday we had a little conference highlighting research in our interdisciplinary area, from across the university. I didn't present - I feel as if I've been over-exposed around here, and it felt totally gauche to expose myself yet again - but there were some contributions from two of my students. This is the first time students have ever been included n this day alongside faculty. I think this is so important - to validate the knowledge they're producing, intervene in dichotomies that position them as passive in relation to their professors.

Anyway, one of my two students has won an external award for which I was her nominator. She is an absolutely extraordinary thinker and creative writer. We announced that award, and then I introduced her and another of my students, who shared a slot in which they read some creative work - poetry - and wove it into theoretical work. The amount of talent some of my students have floors me. I wept listening to them. I wonder how it is that I'm teaching them, sometimes - I have so much to learn from them. I have never, I don't think, felt so humbled by students. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to encounter these people, and to meet them in this environment of intellectual collaboration...


lil'rumpus said...

So much to say...I have just now caught up on reading and have wanted to comment on every post. Couldn't (can't) do justice to them, though, so just wanted to stop in and say...


medieval woman said...

Gosh - every time I read about your students I'm amazed at how intense and great they are! But it sounds like the intensity is a double-edged sword right now - it's both exhilirating and also all-encompassing in kind of an overwhelming way.

I think that it's interesting that you're identifying some potential connections between your interactions with teaching and in your personal life - maybe therapy on one facet will trickle down (or across?) to the others!?

I'm thinking about you!


iFreud said...

Man, I bet you are an inspiring and wicked mentor to those students... wish you were mine!

Hilaire said...

LR - Thanks so much - it's nice to hear you there.

MW - You're totally right - both exhilarating and overwhelming. Funny, you have to be careful what you wsh for. I realize that I want extreme experience (i.e. extreme feelings) right now, but not necessarily this much!

iFreud - Thanks so much! I so hope that I am a good mentor to them. Frankly, it's my most important goal in relation to work. I mostly hear feedback that suggests I am good at this - and for that I am grateful!