Odd interlude

Today’s adventures included:

  • A really good AP class in which I told the students to imagine that I was asking each of them to lead the day’s discussion, and then to write down a question that would spark a good discussion.  Then I asked them to write down the name of a classmate whom they’d like to lead the discussion.  I gave all the slips of paper to the person with the most votes (a new-this-year, very quiet but very bright boy), and he ran the discussion. (We gave him a few minutes to read over the questions while his classmates looked over the chapter.) It wasn’t hard for him, since this is a particularly lively class, and since of course students are usually very supportive when one of their own is leading discussion.  I hardly said anything, but much good thinking and talking got done.  A good way to shake up discussion, especially approaching spring break, when a lot of students are tired/cranky/a little ill.  
  • Sitting in on an eighth-grade English class (the Snork Maiden’s teacher, though not the Snork Maiden’s class) as part of my project to improve my understanding of the middle school curriculum and the needs of students that age.  Students were delivering soliloquies they’d written for characters in a Shakespeare play.  As a bonus, got to see a few of the Snork Maiden’s friends in action.
  • Attended a GU-sponsored poetry reading and chatted a bit with someone who has asked me to serve on a local committee for a writing thing, and also with a couple of GU faculty members I know from my time in that department.  Asked about our candidate and received the reassuring opinion that he is a very good teacher; also, however, the less reassuring comment, “I think he’s disappointed not to have found a university job; he really should teach at a university.”  However, as I said to Dr. Tea in my subsequent email, we must consider the source: a professor who has spent 40-something years at an R1 institution.  Also a professor who, throughout my experience of him, has consistently communicated the stance that teaching, advising and service are all dangerous incursions upon one’s research and writing time.  (When I told him about leaving NLNRU and being chair at SA, he said something like, “My!  That sounds like a pretty big time commitment,” and, later, “I hope you’ll be able to find time to write.”  I didn’t get into how much better I think my life in general, including my writing life, is likely to be with this change, but I did tell him about my last two publications, which appeared to reassure him somewhat.)

Tomorrow is a medium-strength teaching day, plus a meeting about books for the regular junior class for next year (which I may or may not teach), plus some grading, plus an evening concert at SA to which the Snork Maiden might accompany me.  We have a long car trip on Saturday to attend a memorial service, but (unless I get really pooped and we get a hotel) should be back Sunday for the usual laundry and schoolwork.

Edited to add: Reading over my last few posts, I wanted to add that it was great having Ph.D. Guy visit!  Really looking forward to working with him next year.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking it, even 🙂
    I totally admire that you teach an AP class. I was recruited to teach AP Psychology and had a terrible time with it. How anyone can handle Seniors is beyond me!


    • Posted by meansomething on March 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Hi, Doc,
      Thanks for stopping by here! I always read your blog, but don’t post very often.
      My AP class (English Language and Composition) is for juniors, actually–they are delightful, just a little stressed out. At our school, AP English Literature is a senior class. I’m probably going to teach it next year, and indeed, the only reason I’m at all reluctant is that I’m not sure I’m going to love teaching seniors!


  2. […] section with whom he’s becoming friends.  This boy, let’s call him Ed, appeared in this post–he was new last year.  As it happens, both Dr. Tea and I are especially fond of Ed.  He […]


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