-- I like teaching Agamemnon, but then I've already done it twice, and this year someone has uploaded an entire production to YouTube. Woo hoo instant lesson plan!
-- I'm not sure how I feel about teaching Beowulf. This is my first time, and I haven't studied it since my first year in grad school. My sense is that today's class felt a little flat and disjointed, despite all the pretty pictures of items from the Sutton Hoo ship burial, and I'm still struggling to frame provocative discussion questions. (Then, too, it's damned hard to talk about the poem when the students have only read a third of it.) Those of you who have taught it before, what's worked for you?
-- There are only three men in the Brit Lit class and only three women in freshman comp. Well, there might be a fourth, but she hasn't shown up yet. I'm not sure I like either of these ratios (though two of the best comp classes I've taught in the past have had only three or four guys); that sort of thing makes a class feel unbalanced, somehow.
-- I am SO not used to the two-hour marathon comp class. Yikes, what do you do with that? Out of desperation, I ended up passing out a bunch of index cards midway through the first hour and asked the students to write down any questions they had about the class -- anonymously. Somewhat to my surprise, this worked like a charm -- all but two of them asked something, and they were mostly good questions, stuff that I'd forgotten to clarify on the syllabus. I should do this again. I hope I remember. Unfortunately, most of them said they didn't like to write (this was one of the questions I asked them to address in the diagnostic essay). This could be a very long semester indeed. Or I could convert them. I hope I convert them.
So yeah, over the hump, less than half of the first week to go.