(But our beginnings never know our ends!)
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Late Spring To-Do List
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Objects in the mirror may be cooler than they appear
So it's the end of the term, and amidst the various dirty or hostile looks I've received upon returning papers, passing out exams, and the like (and I've received plenty), I've also received two touching and unexpected affirmations from students in my seminar on Author #1.
One of them--a highly participatory but sometimes wide-of-the-mark graduating senior who'd done abysmally on his first paper--sent me a long, thoughtful email in which he said the class had been one of the best he'd taken in his four years at Big Urban. He's a journalism major, and he wrote that he'd been very nervous about the nature of the material we were covering and had worried that he'd never live up to my expectations, but that in fact he'd learned more and been more challenged than in almost any other course he'd taken.
And as if that weren't awesome enough, it looks like he'll be working at a certain storied men's magazine after graduation. Yes, the one with the rabbit ears. So I can say that I taught someone there everything he knows about [dead white male author]!
The other affirmer was one of my two punk/metal band kids. These two always arrived together (and always 5-10 minutes late), and when one wasn't there, the other wasn't there. One of them talked in class while the other rarely said a word, but as a unit they were hard to read: they'd sit there in the back of the class, in their fingerless black gloves and ripped jackets, occasionally exchanging amused glances, and I always had a sneaking suspicion that they found both me and the class to be a complete joke.
But in fact one of them (the talker, who also happens to be an extremely talented comic writer) wound up emailing me about this and that, and in the course of doing so asked if it was true that I'd be teaching one of the courses on Author #2 in the fall: "I really should take that class, but I've already had to drop it twice due to serious lack of interest in the instructor. [Other metal kid] and I would totally take it if you're teaching it."
When I told him that I'd love to have them in my class, but that unfortunately I wouldn't be at Big Urban in the fall, he wrote back, "That sucks that you're leaving! You're an awesome teacher. [Other kid] and I loved this class. Hey, I even did the reading for it!"
Now, some of his enjoyment was surely based on the content of the course (if you know which one I'm talking about you can imagine that both the author and one character in particular might appeal to a rebellious late adolescent), but I was still touched and absurdly flattered by his correspondence.
I mean, hey: not only did they like my class, but they apparently thought that I was COOL.
Listen up, world.
link | posted by La Lecturess at 1:30 PM |
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