The “wish list” of courses for adjunct professors came out yesterday, and I gave Joe (Santa?) my picks.
I am having such a remarkably wonderful time teaching my literature course that I’m desperately hoping to score another one next term. While I very often feel like a legitimate teacher in front of my other classes, nothing has felt quite so right as this lit. section; I really feel as though I’m in my element in this class. Our discussions are rich and lively, my students – some of them, anyway – are starting to take risks with their thinking and are coming to recognize that there may not actually BE any right answers. One of them – the only man in the course – has found a particular joy in the work and has really hit a stride in both the conversations we have in class and in the work he does on his own.
The students are starting to see, I think, what the point of literature classes is (or, at least, what the point of MY literature classes is): the shared experience of a story (or a poem or a play or a film or any piece of “literature”) gives us a common vantage point from which to interpret not only that piece of literature, but also other things in our world. Rick used Frankenstein to think about advances in modern science. Punkin’ Pie used Monty Python to better understand a book she was reading. I used what I knew about Dante’s Inferno to help me figure out the lyrics to Sting’s The Soul Cages. My point here is that literature classes – MY literature classes – aren’t about learning literary periods or how to discern the narrative style or how to reproduce iambic pentameter; for me, lit classes are all about how to make lit meaningful out in the world. I leave my job energized and excited – I really feel like I belong leading discussions about books, stories, and poems.
The upshot is that I really, really want to keep teaching this class. The downside of this desire is that it’s likely to turn into a broken heart: one of the full time professors takes all the literature courses (I’m pretty sure that this person doesn’t actually teach anything BUT literature. There may be another post in here somewhere about how I don’t agree with the bosses’ decision to allow that to happen – I think there should be a range of teaching styles offered to TCC students, but we’ll get into that later…maybe).
There’s ONE class being offered that I have a shot at getting: it’s on Monday nights from 8:15 to 10:30. The person who takes the lit classes doesn’t take night sections, so there’s the possibility that I might be able to keep teaching my beloved course. I won’t know for a while, though – I’m hoping to hear from Santa soon. Until then, I’m crossing my fingers and sending up wishes to the Universe.