Thursday, February 24, 2011

RBOStill not dead yet

-- Haven't heard back about Intro to College Life. I'm definitely interested, but I have a feeling I may have blown the quasi-interview with the administrator in charge of the program by saying that a session on the Honor Code should be part of the course. Admin seems to think that all mentions of the Honor Code are automatically punitive. I think that the only way to get students to take it seriously is to introduce it in a context where it's not punitive, where you can reinforce the idea that it's their code and something to be proud of. But I am just an idealistic hippie chick, and the Beloved Alma Mater is almost a thousand miles from here.

-- SAA paper: nearly done. Kzoo paper: SO not started. (Any of y'all going to either or both, by the way?)

-- Misnomer U. is making its first tenure-track hire in the humanities in three years. It's odd seeing the process from the other side; I am not actually on the search committee, but I got to tag along for dinner with the candidates, and it was hard to remember that "dinner with a friend and an interesting new person" for me is "nerve-wracking potentially life-changing event" for them. Anyway, I am SO glad I don't have to be the one choosing between them, because they are both excellent, and I think I would feel painfully guilty about making the call. I hope whichever one we don't hire finds something good.

-- New York was awesome. Loved it. Need to do this kind of thing mid-semester more often.

-- It is short-sleeve weather in Deep South Town; for good, I hope. The trees are coming out in buds that look like fine red mist from a distance.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Intro to College Life"-type courses

I think I may have been roped into teaching Intro to College Life next fall. Well, I sort of volunteered, but I haven't absolutely committed myself yet. This is a one-credit, pass / fail course that meets once a week, and a good number of the sessions seem to be taken up with mandatory presentations on Study Tips and Stress Management and that sort of thing. There's also a (tiny) community service component and a requirement that students attend a couple of cultural experience on campus, and I think there's also a discussion of the common reading book somewhere in there.

I'm trying to make up my mind. On the one hand, I like teaching freshmen; I like talking with them about the purpose of college and the idea of a liberal arts education, and I'm not teaching freshman comp next semester, so I won't get to do that in my regular classes. On the other hand, it sounds like the sort of course that would involve a lot of record-keeping (which I am not good at), and at worst, might also involve really bored students who resent having to take what amounts to a semester-long freshman orientation (I have some sympathy for this position). I'm not sure what to expect, never having taught such a course before.

Have any of the rest of you taught a course like this? How was it?