You guys – the first day at Local U. went GREAT!
I’ve got two packed classes – 24 students in each, and everyone but one showed up for the first class yesterday.
My morning class looked a little like the proverbial deer in the headlights when I walked in at ten past eight; I couldn’t tell whether that’s because they were brand-new freshman freaked out by the whole college experience or because it was, you know, 8:10 in the morning. Regardless of the cause, they warmed up considerably by the time the class was over, and I think it’s going to be a good section. I have my concerns about a couple of young men in the class – they seem to display strong slacker-boy tendencies – but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove themselves to me one way or the other. One student asked if there were sections of the class available later in the day, and I referred his ass to the English office – if you can’t hack getting to class by ten past eight in the morning, go find one that meets at 10.
My evening class is also a lot of fun – and slightly more awake than the morning group. There are two non-native speakers in this class; one from China and one from Brazil. The Brazillian has been in the country for a long time, though, and I don’t think he’s going to need any support services. The other young man spent three years in an American high school, but speaks very slowly and with a heavy accent (and is just now getting over his jet lag – he left Beijing three days ago). I know that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a grasp of the language, but I’m going to keep a close eye on him nevertheless. I don’t want him flopping around feeling like he’s got no resources to lean on; we have a great ESL program here at Local U. if he needs it.
Both of the classes are populated almost entirely by undeclared liberal arts majors, with a few math, science and English majors rolling around. None of the students is a non-trad; each of them is 19 or 20 years old and fresh out of high school. Each of them seems to have a sense of humor, and I hope that my enthusiasm today helped put them at ease; I don’t want the class to be boring to them because *I* don’t want to be bored, either. I love my subject, and I want them to love it, too, so I’m going to do everything I can to make my joy infectious.
I think it’s going to be a good term!