Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sardines in My Classroom

I’d like to say this first week of classes has been crazy insane, but I think I’d be lying to you. Overall, it's been more calm than I expected. Admittedly, being on campus from 7:30am to either 3:00pm or 5:00pm (depending on the day) is tiring, I haven't felt too overwhelemed -- but then again, I haven't been working on my thesis. -sigh-

Yes, I did pick up an additional class to teach this fall, but I’m teaching the same skill set as my other class, so the only additional work it has created, so far, is taking time out of my day and learning another 26 names (which I’m HORRIBLE at. Seriously, I have a hard time remembering names!). The drama of teaching 102; however, hasn’t finished yet. My constant thought is: “One day. One day my classes will be figured out!” I received an email earlier this week from a college senior who NEEDED to get into an English 102 class so he can be on track to graduate in May. Um, two questions: 1) why did you wait so long to complete this requirement of EVERY student at this university, and 2) see question #1. So me, in my infinite and delusional wisdom told him (and my boss, the Director of Writing) that he could add to my morning class. The problem? I now have 27 students in my class and seating for only 25/26, depending on the day of the week. So the questions become: When did the university start thinking of students and teachers as sardines, and who’s going to sit on the floor?

Honestly, the room I’m assigned is one of the most cramped classrooms I’ve been in on campus. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m someone who, when teaching, likes to walk around the room, makes big gestures with my hands, and has been known to (when necessary) sing “I’m a Little Teapot” while doing the motions. The things I do to keep my students interested! The room I am currently in makes those things difficult. I feel like I’m sentenced to teach from the corner of the room and can only dart out from behind my podium to brave the metaphorical fire-breathing dragon to write a quick phrase on the whiteboard before returning to my corner sanctuary. I’ve requested a new room, but haven’t got it yet. Next week could get interesting.

I’m still attempting to change my mind set for the classes I’m taking. I’m in graduate level English courses, which require deep thinking and a stretching of my mind. I’m sorry, but considering the materialistic rhetoric of national monuments, keeping in mind the different arguments created by whether it is travelling or stationary, as well as the foundational impetus’ or source of monetary donations of building these odes to those before, isn’t something that comes naturally to me. Have you wrapped your mind around that concept yet? Trust me, I know.

What happened to good ‘ol Spot who always seemed to be running? Can’t we go back to those simpler days?

I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot this weekend, unfortunately it’s not related to school. In preparation for taking a road trip to see a sister I have switched out my headlights, windshield wipers, and fixed my shorted out front turn indicator. Any time I’m able to fix or do something to my car I feel so capable. Now I just need to get a new windshield and get my oil changed – things I’ll let the experts do. Yes, I could probably change my oil, but I’m lazy and hesitant to climb underneath my car and start loosening things up. With my luck I’d manage to loosen my front axle and the first good pothole I hit while driving would bump my car clean off of it. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but better safe than sorry. My windshield? Well, it’s weathered construction in Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and deserves to be replaced. Each crack has a memory/thought attached to it, but I’d like to remember the happy times in my car, not the times when, upon getting the crack, I mentally (or verbally) cursed the idiot who kicked up the rock in front of me on the road.

Just let the past be the past and remember that permanent markers, although writing well on whiteboards, don’t really belong there. That’s a story for next time…


Chuck said...

yeah, if someone didn't flip ya thom thit thometime (haha!!!) you wouldn't know what to do! :)

Patty Cady said...

Nice reference Thuck!