This class is troubling me. I know that just having discussion with a class of first-years is an accomplishment, and even more of an accomplishment when an instructor does it at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. But I don't feel like what we're talking about is really sustained, although there are times when the discussion is interesting. The students--some of them, anyway--seem to have a sort of mild irritation or vague hostility to something I can't figure out. Is it me, what we're talking about, the small room, the fact that I come to class "unprepared" (i.e. without the boring shit of typical education which is designed to merely enable students their mildly "happy," secure, comfortable, conformist, suburban oblivion?). Some of my students seem to like this. From others I get the "how am I going to use this" look--the "you're wasting my time, fucker" look. "Jesus Christ," I want to say, "they only pay me $1,200 a month here. Should we try to talk about something and make class mildly interesting and/or 'critical' or should we go over grammar and citation and how to best ingratiate oneself to one's middle management dick in order to take his position in a decade? Or should students learn to feel, if something like that is intellectually possible.
I've provided students with this URL, so hopefully a couple will consider blogging on Mindsay and reading my stuff. I'm on an honesty kick; I think that will work for me.
With a little luck, these students will have an insurrection and challenge my classroom authority--I think that would be a genuine learning experience.
Cousin Schenck, I'm very interested your position on these matters. What we're talking about in class is education (what is good teaching?), authority, knowledge, truth, and so on. The curriculum (from the demonic Writing Program) says that we're supposed to be working on "summary." We're doing that, but Jesus, don't these students deserve to have the syllabus thrown out the window, if they are, or one day hope to become, integrated human beings? --ams
PS--I just got a new cell phone--Sony Ericsson walkman/camera/phone--and must set it up.