I teach different things in all of my classes, but the result is the same. Last night, talking about teaching, I realized how much I like it, and why. They want to understand. They are all so attentive, full of questions, ready to make connections. A classroom full of bright eyed bushy tailed kittens. And this is no small feat since according to one of my friends I teach “too late” and 7-10 classes are “for vampires.” Cute. Except even if I had a choice I would still prefer the current schedule. It is not the horary that takes its toll.
Yes, teaching is exhilarating, but it is also very draining. With every three hour lecture I feel spent. As if a part of me has been pulled out, a spool unraveling bits at a time as I deliver the information. It regenerates, but constantly taxed.
My voice is also improving. The first week and a half, after each session my throat would be soar and my voice would turn a little raspy. So far this week it hasn’t happened at all.
I just collected the first set of mini papers, and they were overall really good. Even when they didn’t understand the concepts, they showed effort. Apparently one of the examples I used in class two weeks ago really stuck since almost all of them referenced it. At least they are paying attention. I am just happy I picked works that my students seem to have a genuine interest in. Especially the novels.
As for my one class that seems to have turned into a theory course… well, I have to bring that one back on track. Rime of the Ancient Mariner next week will serve well. Although I think I have inadvertently moved from theory course to Romantics course with the next several weeks going from Coleridge to P. B. Shelley to Keats. Thankfully I have also thrown in some Goethe and Chaucer for good measure, along with a few other fun things.
I have already been told which classes I am teaching next semester and I am excited. But I have to pace myself. One thing at a time. The easy way would be to recycle a lot of the material. It could easily be reformatted into a new syllabus. But there are so many other things I want to play with! Stories and poems like toys to be probed, prodded and explored!
And what better way to do it than in front of an audience?