It’s the weekend after the second week of class, and I believe I’ve hit my stride. Or at least, I’m not stumbling like I was last week when, on Wednesday afternoon, I noted that I’d already taught five class sessions but was only halfway through the week. It was a dark moment, all the darker since it happened at the English Department get-together at Professor/Chair Ahearn’s house in the middle of polite chit-chat. I turned it into a joke–ha, five classes down and four more to go!–but I really felt like going home and crying while I slept, just to be efficient about it. Mostly I was exhausted.
But I made it through the rest of the week and the next Wednesday just fine, as I knew I would. I knew I would continue to enjoy teaching WR 214 because of its loveable practicality. It’s so refreshing to hear students often say, “I’m so glad we’re working on résumés because I need one for my internship this summer” or “This is the most practical class I’ve ever taken.” Score one for Writing! I’ve never heard such a thing uttered in any other literature or writing class because none are as instantaneously and concretely practical as this class.
Also, teaching four sections of the same class is a lot like being a stand-up comedian, which is fun, kind of. I give the same routine each class and tell the same jokes, pause at the same moments for laughter which I may or may not receive depending on the section and their willingness to let their faces move upward. By the fourth class, I’ve got the jokes down, but I also have to make sure that they retain their freshness, that I’m not forcing them in after You-Attitude and before Positive Emphasis simply because I must tell this joke. I created this joke. It’s hilarious. I’m telling it. Even if I wanted to skip a joke and just move on, I would be running the risk of forgetting which section I’d told what joke and then commit the pathetic mistake of repeating the same joke/anecdote to the same class later on. I’m sure that by spring term, when I’m teaching the exact same lesson plan for the sixteenth time in one school year, I’ll be making a fool of myself with those jokes, somehow.
And lastly, I’m enjoying my classes because I know for a fact that I’m teaching them oh so much better than I did last spring when I had two sections. Of course, it’s just having the experience, but it makes teaching so much more fun. Student, did you just ask if I know whether or not to include high school experience on your résumé? Why, yes, I do! Oh, and did you love that awesome résumé activity in which you got to critique so-called “bad” résumés, thereby learning how to construct your own résumé by noting what not to do? Of course, you did. And of course I had fun making it with my dear fellow bridge instructor, Isabelle. You can thank us later.