Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3rd time's a charm

So, after much ado semester after semester, it's finally happened: I'm teaching creative writing in the spring! 

Somehow, for the third semester in a row, the instructor who was supposed to teach this class cannot do so (and it's been a different person each time). The class didn't make in the summer, so I was out of luck there. Had to turn down the offer to teach it this fall b/c it was MWF and would have put me on campus every. day. of. the. week. (Which just cannot happen in my life.) At that point, I was convinced the dept. head would never offer it to me again . . . but, alas! 

It's a good thing, too, b/c six years into this teaching thing, freshman composition has become nothing if not stale. And tedious. So creative writing is exactly the breath of fresh air I need this spring (well, and in the burrrr cold winter months).

Normally I don't loathe comp. courses, but my class this fall would not be moved, I'm convinced, if I dressed up like a clown, came in the room and did a dance, then explained cause and effect to them in pantomime. About 2/5 of them would still sit there and look at me without even curiosity on their faces. I few would smile bemusedly. 

This sort of attitude makes teaching the same old thing very difficult. Even when, as I have this semester, you've changed up a bunch of your readings and are doing a new paper assignment and different activities, etc. That is, I'm not teaching the same old material in the same old way, but the gist is the same and it's tiresome. 

Creative writing is so much more exciting and freeing and interesting. Don't get me wrong - I have no illusions (I've taught creative writing and/or fiction courses three times before). I know it's still a class for only vaguely interested undergraduates; but I'll take vaguely over absolutely not interested any day of the week. 

So, with excitement I look forward to this course (and it's in a great Tuesday/Thursday time slot!). We'll read Amy Hempel, Denis Johnson, Jo Ann Beard, Yusef Komunyakaa, and so much other fabulous stuff. Yea! 

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