One of these days I should really post about something substantive. But for now, to mark the eve of a new semester and the approaching ten-year anniversary of my first-ever class (holy crap, ten years of freshman comp!), here are some more bits and pieces from old journals. Grad school edition, this time.
My first day in the classroom:
I can't match any names with faces, I feel like I blathered far too much w/o saying what I really wanted to, a couple of the students seem to be tough customers, and I haven't a clue what we're doing on Friday. Just a normal day, I guess...
Oh, and of course when I asked them to pair off & introduce each other, the guy who can't pronounce his R's ended up introducing Wodewick, I mean Roderick. (Shades o' Life of Brian. Luckily this did not occur to me 'til later -- giggling helplessly would have been unseemly.)
Hee. I had forgotten about Wodewick. A week later:
Well, Monday went OK, but today -- whoo! I think I made a royal fool out of myself trying to explain how to do a cite for an ad w/ no title and a corporate author in a periodical (note to self: always get these things straight before class). Don't feel like recording the gory details. Also -- despite my best efforts class ended at 2:45 or so w/ me groping for more things to say. Yow...
... Got a new student today, a guy who plays the drums. I know this b/c he wrote "I play drums" on his index card in place of his phone number. Perhaps they're talking drums...
Teaching citation format, by the way, remains my downfall -- I never know what to say besides "Look in the freaking book, OK? That's what I do." And the flailing-to-fill-up-the-last-five-minutes feeling is still familiar, although nowadays I'll usually just dismiss them without apology.
On the other hand, I take comfort in the fact that never, in all the years since that first infamous semester, have I mistook a student for my boyfriend on the phone. Some lessons one only needs to learn once.
A few other snapshots from that first semester:
-- And let's face it, a B is average these days. I know [Freshman Shakespeare Prof] wouldn't approve, but I don't think I can crush youthful psyches with his brand of panache, not yet.
-- Must remind them that business letters do not customarily begin, "Hi, my name is R. J. Reynolds..." or "I bring you greetings."
-- Drank far too much at the reception last night (luckily most of the profs did too; I shall cherish the memory of [August Teutonic Goddess of Composition] wandering around the buffet table, stealing cheese.)
-- Got an e-mail from [a student] this morning -- a petition against the evil atheists who want "Touched by an Angel" cancelled! Sheesh. Perhaps I should cut my hair so the world can see my horns.
-- Another opening paragraph for the collection:
"'Attack and / or Armored' is a practical guide to finding you, your country, or your militia a suitable helicopter for your individuals needs. It strives to answer the question: Attack, armored, or attack and armored? A difficult question to answer in today's free world."
(Perhaps I should have been clearer on what I meant by "scholarly article.")
Needless to say, absolutely none of these things would surprise me if I encountered them nowadays. Except, perhaps, for the cheese-stealing Teutonic Goddess of Composition.