Ah, the truth is, it's a lot harder to teach a class that people don't want to be in than to simply be in the class. Today we talked about specifics for citing a source that's gotten through a website or database, and then we talked about how to make an annotation. Annotated bibliographies, other busy work: it's all pretty boring. It's bad enough to make me want to create an alternative syllabus for English 102 like my uncle Robert has, where students would write about academic discourse and general philosophical ideas. As opposed to the busy work format. But typically my students don't turn in work that's too bad--some are great, even. But I know that "high expectations make for good results," but I don't know how or why to put much work into an annotated bibliography.
I had a flashback to my first year of college. It was six years ago, but such a long time. If I remember correctly, I did all the busywork assignments in my English 102 equivalent well and by the book. Reminds me of one of the male students I've got this semester.
So, I guess the reason that I like English 101 so much more than 102 is its open format. What I remember about great class days is talking about a concept that's interesting, like necrophilia in Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily," talking about Thus Spake Zarathustra by Nietzsche and his ideas of eternal return and the Last Man, even talking about Dostoevsky's predictions of the world wars in Crime and Punishment, in class with Nadine Brewer, who I later came to dislike, but that class was excellent.
There's got to be a way for me to teach actual literature. --adam