Thursday, July 07, 2005
Welcome to hell....
As much as I love teaching, tonight's class, which begins the second summer session, was what I would imagine castration (without anesthesia) to be.
The college is required to offer a developmental reading class at night. Last session's class was a mere five women, and we had a blast. They were receptive, bright, willing to discuss, funny, touching. Up to this point I've had one person enrolled for summer II, and one one more added at the last minute. Another signed up for a reading lab which is a TBR (time at my discretion), so I'll ask that student to join our little group. I was really hoping that this smaller group would be as receptive as the first, but it looks like I'm not going to be that lucky.
My two students, T and J, present their own respective challenges. J is Korean, speaks very little English, and is deaf. T has a backwoods bad attitude that walks 7 feet in front of her. I think J will be OK, but I have serious doubts about T. I almost hope she drops already.
To begin class tonight, I went through my usual song and dance. We discussed the syllabus, what's expected in the course, my peeves, etc. I'm always quick to tell my students, "This is a reading class, so expect to read. A LOT!" I started explaining some of the material, attempted to discuss some of the examples with them. Not much response. OK. Whatever. I called on T to read a very short paragraph--a grand total of approximately 5 sentences--and she avoided eye contact and said in a whippishly bitchy way, "I think I'll let you do it this time." My eyebrows shot up like a weenus in a whore house and I promptly told her to be prepared to read next class period. It's often uncomfortable at first, but it's ultimately one of the most helpful things we do. Her attitude is going to be a huge hindrance.
This is going to be the longest 5 weeks ever, and I have a feeling I'll really have to earn my money this time.
In other school-related news, I signed up for a graduate course that starts next week: Narrative Theory. I'm a theory nut, but now that I'm signed up I'm having second thoughts about this one. The narratology websites I've been reading look pretty dull, and I think I might want to finish my last summer of relative freedom off with some more slothfulness. We'll see. I have to cough up $517...or not...within the next couple of days.