Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bullets of Done

- It is my last week, and I have today taught my last two classes. Hallelujah, people. It has not been my finest hour...er, my finest three weeks.

- I had so much anger about my upper-year students and their atrocious work. Seriously, I don’t know what’s with me and the rage of late. Anyway, on Monday night I – sort of accidentally – did some positive visualization. I had been mentioning, in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way, the need for an “attitude adjustment” on my part. Then all of a sudden I pictured it – I had a mental image of re-screwing my head on, and it amused me, and I felt more generous about it all. Ta-da.

- I went to class the next day and felt much, much better about them. They were engaged and chipper and trying. And so was I.

- After class that day, I had a couple of them talk to me – separately – about how much they enjoyed the course and had learned from it. Both said they found it different from any course they’d taken, and said this was the thing that made it good. I don’t really know what they’re talking about, but I felt immediately better about my teaching this term, and less worried about the evaluations than I had been.

- Last night I made brownies for the upper-year class today. It was my secret entente – secret because they didn’t even know we were warring. They were tickled by the brownies, and ended on a happy note.

- Today I went to the upper-year course without really having prepared. It was an article I had taught twice before, and have written about, and know that I know. I could talk about it and answer questions about it off the top of my head. This is a total breakthrough for me, to go with really no notes. The class went just fine, too. I’ve been steadily becoming less reliant on notes, but to feel confident enough to pull off class like this was amazing.

- My first-years continue to tickle me. I haven’t felt ragey about them. They’ve been consistently engaged and their work has been more coherent, at times, than much of what the upper-years produce. (An alarming realization because it suggests that this university actually dumbs down the students.) I look forward to teaching “Intro Part II” in the second term, with a smaller group that seems to include the strongest among them.

- On another note, went to a meeting of the members of my faculty yesterday. I have just one thing to say about that: If I wanted to work in a corporation, I wouldn’t have done a PhD. I may as well have been at the AGM of a biotech firm. Major, major, major ick.

4 comments:

kermitthefrog said...

Congratulations on DONE!

dbm/gaa said...

Mmmmm brownies!

adjunct whore said...

you are awesome, sweets are always a good way to end, and i agree with you on your student's email (of course!) and its unacceptability. you are right. and students are often insanely rude.

Hilaire said...

Mmm...if you're craving sweets, make my brownies, you guys! It takes two secs.

Thanks for the support, AW!