1. I’ve finished assessing the first round of essays from my morning writing class at Local U., and am about a quarter of the way through the essays for the evening class. Let’s just say that it’s been an adventure.
I’ve had quite the range of topics, and a pretty serious span of grades. While no one failed outright, it wasn’t exactly for lack of trying. My favorite? One student chose to write his paper about how important water is to him and how, since a dramatic, harrowing, near-death by dehydration experience in Germany as a junior in high school (please place back of hand at forehead here), he’s “changed” so that he only drinks water now. (A very large part of me seriously doubts that. I’m betting there are other components to his liquid intake.) On the other side of the grade scale, I had one student who wrote, eloquently and humorously, about his experience getting suspended for a senior prank that involved a multitude of “bouncy balls” in the main hallway (does anyone but me remember the Captain Kangaroo skit where all the ping-pong balls fell on the moose? I pictured that when he described the scene).
I’m giving the morning class’s papers back at the end of class on Friday. They’ll need the weekend to cool their heels about their grades, and to allow the whole “we’re not in high school anymore” idea to really sink in.
2. The new term started at TCC last night. I’m teaching my last class for the school this semester; a hybrid literature class with ten students. The schedule is exactly the same as my last class – Monday nights from 8:15-10:20 – but I think (or, rather, I hope) that this group is going to be a bit more dynamic and engaged than the last. I’ve got only one man in the class – that ought to be fun – and O’Mama has agreed to co-teach the course with me. I’m thrilled by that prospect, really; she and I have some of the most thought-provoking conversations about books and stories and t.v. shows and movies, and I’m excited for the kids that they’ll get a chance to actually SEE what critical thinking looks like in action. I gave them a short story last night, and had them watch a little less than an hour of The Last Samurai (with instructions to rent the disc and finish the film). Our conversation next week will revolve around culture, guilt, and redemption. I can’t wait.
3. I’m really racking up the professional development hours. I attend at least an hour a week at Local U., and there are, quite literally, hours of lectures happening around here that I want to see. I was wondering, in the shower this morning (which is one of the places where I seem to do an awful lot of thinking), whether I should keep my public teaching credentials current. I likely will, at least for the short term, even though I highly doubt that I’ll end up teaching high school. It’s easier to keep my certification current than it would be to renew it, I think, and it’s a selling point on my resume. I really need to get my act together, though, and get all the documentation of the classes and workshops and seminars I attend in one place so that when my license comes due, I’ll have it all together and ready to go.
4. I need to make an appointment to see my boss at Local U. sometime soon to find out what the liklihood of my being offered a contract in January might be. I also want to find out whether there are any non-contract positions available. Nothing would make me professionally happier than getting a gig as a lecturer here.
That’s about all I’ve got for you today. I’m off to teach a yoga class at L.U.’s fitness complex, have lunch with my husband, and attend a composition staff meeting. Busy, busy, busy!