Day One…

…went pretty well!

I have 16 students on my roster.  Thirteen of them showed up today and, when I asked those assembled if they knew of the missing students, many of them rolled their eyes and said that they weren’t surprised in the least that those particular three boys didn’t show.  Sigh.  Whatever.

It seems like it’s going to be a pretty good class.  It seems to me that there’s good energy, and I didn’t get any immediate warning flares from any of them, so I’m running with that.  I’ve got a couple of talkative students (one or two I’ve had – and liked – before), and I’m hopeful that they’ll keep the crickets at bay.  One thing that’s going to totally work in my favor is that, of the 13 who showed, about 11 of them are planning on graduating in March.  They need to complete my class successfully in order to do that.  My suspicion is that most of the class is going to be motivated to do well (“When he reached the New World, Cortez burned his ships.  As a result, his men were well motivated“).

Of course, the day wasn’t a complete success.  Joe took me aside first thing to tell me that he’s leaving in the next few weeks.  He’s got a job in the next state south that he’s hopeful will turn into something permanent enough to allow him to move – for now, he’s going to commute.  I’m happy that he’s moving on (the atmosphere at TCC resembles rats on a sinking ship a little too much for my liking) but I’m sad to see him go.  I can say, without equivocation, that he’s one of the best bosses I’ve ever had (though I think that Dr. C at Local U. is in a dead heat with Joe for that honor).  Also, I brought the wrong fricking copy of my syllabus to work with me this morning, so I wasn’t able to distribute it to the kids.  Oh, well; I guess I know what we’ll be doing first thing on Wednesday!

In addition to going over the syllabus (and Wayfarer, give me a day or two and I’ll post the thing as a page.  I’ve got to scrub it of all identifying references, first), we’ll look at a couple of speeches on Wednesday – one from the disc that came with the book, and one of Obama’s speeches.  I’m trying to decide between his 2004 DNC keynote address (which is one of my favorites.  “I am my brother’s keeper.”) and his acceptance speech from November 4th.  I think it’s going to be the most recent speech, though I may actually do a side-by-side comparison.

Now that I think about it , though, I’m going to have to be careful not to overload them on Obama; I’m going to the inauguration in a couple of weeks (yeah, I know; me and five million other people…), so they’re going to have a week off of my class.  You can bet your campaign buttons that they’re going to be assigned SOMETHING having to do with the events, so I may actually give them another speech to start so they’re not Obama-ed out by the middle of January.  I don’t know; let me think about it and get back to you.

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4 Comments

Filed under colleagues, concerns, critical thinking, fun, I love my boss, I love my job, politics, reading, self-analysis, Teaching, the good ones

4 responses to “Day One…

  1. You should pick another Inauguration Speech (Roosevelt? Reagan? Adams? Washington?) and make sure they read or watch the Obama one and do some comparing.

  2. I know I would enjoy being in your class.

  3. Darci

    Love the idea of them comparing and contrasting other inaugural speeches

  4. I second, Ms Teacher, I would love to be in your class. I would also love to see your syllabus. I’m always borrowing your ideas and adapting them for my classes.

    In regard to speeches, last semester I had my students read Malcolm X’s The Ballot or the Bullet. We discussed tone, audience, context, etc. Then, I had them read Obama’s Yes, we can speech. We analyzed it for the same things. It was amazing to see their faces light up as we discussed the speeches.

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