Saturday, August 20, 2005


I've been having the annual training days at our University -- the days where, since it's time to gear up for the fall semester, and we all have to start teaching in a week, administration, decides to lock us in workshops from eight in the morning until six at night, so that we can't get near a computer or a textbook or a student.

This is especially charming in my case, since I advise a pool of English majors that wobbles at around a hundred students (they crawl out of the pool, they leap back in, they crawl out, it's Arkansas, you know, they keep trying to escape, but how are they going to?) and many of them waited until the last minute to get desperate enough to decide they were, in fact, going to come back to school this fall -- so I had to keep sneaking out of the workshops for illegal advising meetings with students. It was very funny.

The workshops were on important topics like sexual harassment (don't date your students. If you're gone to date your students, make sure they want to be dated. But you know, who can tell whether a student wants to be dated, these days, lousy as everyone's communication skills have gotten, so just don't do it. And if you do do it, quit when the student says to quit. Right then, says I, checking my watch in stunned ox boredom. Frankly -- and I'll just break it to you gently -- I have never seen a student I wanted to date. Because, and here's why -- they're my students. That's like incest. Ick. ) and plagiarism, more interesting, and how to get promoted, and various topics that might have been interesting if we hadn't, all of us, had syllabi to write and classes to prep for.

But we did. So we were cranky and rebellious.

Teachers make bad students.

Anyway, now it's the weekend, and we get to spend the weekend prepping for classes, which start Monday. I've got five classes with five different preps: Comp I, Comp II, History of the English Language, Victorian Literature, and Literature of Diverse Cultures. That last one is one I haven't ever taught before. I'm looking forward to it -- I'm doing what my Chair (she's a great chair) suggested and turning it into a "drive-by" Diverse Cultures class -- four weeks of this culture, four weeks of that culture. I'm starting with Asian Lit, moving to Jewish, then Gay, then Feminist.

Notice I put Gay and Feminist after midterm. Heh.

And yes, I did just finish teaching Summer II.


zelda1 said...

Diverse Cultures! Oh my god that is a dream class.

Don't date your students, hmmm, I can see where that would be a problem. But I'm like you, only on the other side, I have never had a teacher I wanted to date not because they weren't attractive but ickky, that's like dating mommy or daddy. Too sick. Although, there was my sixth grade history teacher who was young and smelled so good and talked so nice and had such pretty eyes and he gave me nights of dreaming and predreaming pleasure. But that was when my body was being bombarded by too many hormones and my brain had not yet learned to control them and the teacher was the focus of all those hormones. In fact, I still had those really nice thoughts about him until recently when I ran into him at a funeral of one of my classmates and while he aged well, his sex appeal was gone and I lost that sex god that for so many years was my lust factor and when I was with a not so hot guy, well up popped the old teacher and perfecto, sex on a dime. But hey, I would never do that with Mr. Zelda because that would be so wrong. Never would I replace his face with an old teacher, old boyfriend, or Tom Cruise. Never!

Anonymous said...

Delagar, In your Asian lit, do you have any info on a female Vietnamese poet? She's required reading in Vietnam. I'll have to look up her name, but I first heard of her through the blog and then asked our former VN exchange student about her. The poet lived in the 1800s and was the second? wife of an official of some sort. She wrote many poems about life, marriage, etc.

Anyway, just thought I'd pass along the info. Good luck with the classes.

delagar said...

Do get me her name -- I'm building the class as we speak, and desperate for suggestions.