In a little less than a week, I will host the first ever meeting of TCC’s Gay/Straight Alliance.
I’m REALLY looking forward to this!
I’ve managed to order about two hundred dollars’ worth of “stuff” for the club. A graphic arts student of mine designed a logo that Blue put on tee shirts, buttons, mugs, mousepads – almost anything that CafePress will make. I’ve ordered 100 of the logo buttons – plus a bunch of logo coffee mugs – and a bunch of pride flag and “straight but not narrow” buttons. The logo buttons came today; I expect the rest of the stuff to come by Monday afternoon.
I’ve also gotten with the head chef of the culinary school and he’s offered to “cater” the first meeting, thereby saving me from lame Dunkin’ Donuts and grocery store snacks. The goodies that he’ll provide will be much more impressive than anything I could put together, and I’m really grateful that he’s offered to help.
The president of the school has agreed to speak at that first meeting, and I’m considering asking a couple of other people to talk, too. I want there to be a range of experiences voiced in that first meeting – gay, straight, bi, transgendered – but I may have to seed the audience with some people because I’m pretty sure that, in the first meeting, anyway, people might be reluctant to talk. I’m hoping, though, that we’ll make enough of an impression that word of mouth will get out that this is a cool place to hang out for a couple of hours every other Wednesday night.
I’m running this entirely on heart, so if any of you has ANY suggestions for me – ideas for activities, cautions about safety or privacy (or what to do about kids who come trying to “save” the attendees or to stir up trouble), resources for mission statements (I’m still working on TCC’s GSA mission statement, and I’d LOVE some help) or anything else that you think would be good for me to know, please – chime in!
Kids, I think it’s going to be a GOOD term!
I’ve got two very small classes this go-around: I meet with 13 kids first thing for a composition class, then with 8 for a literature class every Tuesday and Thursday. As best I can tell from the two times we’ve met thus far, every single one of my kids is, to a greater or lesser degree, engaged and attentive.
What I’m saying here is that I don’t anticipate having a “problem child” this term. No Megadeth Daves, no Henrys (would that be “Henries”? I don’t know…) I’m not sure I believe it…
I have a student in my comp. class, whom I’ve worked with before, who is a delightful pain in the ass, but he’s the kind of trouble that I LIKE to deal with – he’s smart and funny and charming, and he uses that smart and funny charming to try to resist doing the work he’s being asked to do. I’m finding, though, that I’m gaining the experience and creativity I need to engage students like him, and I’m looking forward to his helping me create an atmosphere of playfulness in that group that I think we need.
My literature class is already amazing. We started out by reading Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” out loud in class, and I’m absolutely giddy about how well the kids are analyzing on the fly. At one point, Serena – a brilliant (but shy and quiet) girl I’ve had the pleasure of working with before – actually stopped the reading of another student to say “WAIT a minute! Did she just say what I THINK she just said?!” which led us into a gorgeous conversation – yes, a CONVERSATION, among all the students – about the scene and its implications. I love this class already.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that true learning only comes from adversity and hardship. I don’t buy that – I think that a lot of really valuable learning can come from cooperation and good times, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what wonderful things my students – and I – learn this term.