Today is the first day of my last class at TCC. My contract has been extended through the summer, during which time I’ll teach a hybrid literature class on Monday nights. Due to the school closing, though, after that class ends in September, my teaching services will no longer be necessary.
I’m excited about the course. I love teaching literature – it’s my favorite of the English classes that TCC offers – and I’m really hoping that my students are at least marginally willing to do the reading that I’m going to require of them because nothing sucks the wind out of a great lesson plan than a class full of kids who can’t discuss the material because they didn’t bother to read it. I’m not sure how the class will go as a hybrid (for those of you who might not know – or don’t remember – a hybrid course in TCC’s world is one in which the class meets in real life once a week and “online” once). My plan is to not ask much of them from the hybrid portion of the class – I’d rather they did the damned reading and came to class prepared.
O’Mama, who is also teaching a hybrid lit class (hers is on Wednesday nights) spent an afternoon with me last week and we planned the whole 11 weeks. We chose themes – and some preliminary readings and films to illustrate them – and even came up with a couple of pretty good essay questions for the students to chew on. On the schedule are Frankenstein, Othello (the Lawrence Fishburn film, though we’ll read excerpts of the play), Brokeback Mountain (the story, not the film), and a bunch of short stories and poems from the ridiculously expensive book the students have to buy. I don’t think we’ve put in nearly enough material – there are a bunch of other things I’d like to read over the 11 weeks – but I also know that the students likely won’t be able to keep up with what we DO have planned, so it’s a nice balance.
My one disappointment is for a student who transfered into my class when he found out that I was teaching. He emailed me a few weeks ago to tell me that he’d gotten in, and I sent him a note back telling him how much I was looking forward to having him in class and asking if there was anything in particular he wanted to read. He emailed right back with a note that simply said “On the Road.” O’Mama and I tried, but we just couldn’t make that fit in the curriculum, so I’m going to give the boy a copy and promise him that, when the semester is over, I’ll read it with him and we’ll do the whole critical analysis thing together if he wants. I’m sorry it didn’t work out, but I still want him to read it, and I’m happy to read it with him if that’s what it takes.
So, today is going to be spent building grade books and photocopying syllabi and the first half of Frankenstein. As of right now, I’ve got seven students – two I’ve had in other classes last semester – and I’m really looking forward to getting started. I’m going to do everything I can to see to it that my last class at TCC rocks.