Tag Archives: teaching

things to do and places to go

being as it’s the end of week 8 of 10, the checklist begins:
– article review/critique on demian, 1000 words
– 24 independent project essays to grade, 500 words each
– read a novel, a book of short stories, and 2 plays
– 24 “character sketches” to grade, 200 words each
– cult fiction paper, 2500 words
– epic theater paper, 5000+ words
– 24 final exams to grade

also, i made you a mix tape! here ’tis:




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molly is a singer in a band

a lo divino - i would have taken better care of myself.

Go to Wikipedia and hit random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band. 2 – Go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. 3 – Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days…”. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. 4 – Use photoshop or similar (picnik.com is a free online photo editor) to put it all together.

i hate grading sometimes.

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is it dinnertime yet?

currently in the process of 1) not panicking about the conference in two days and 2) applying for two jobs in boston.  since the best technique for the former seems to be to ignore it, i think i shall post about the latter…

one of them is for the steppingstone foundation in boston, which supports underserved but dedicated students in getting a good education.  plus bob clagett, midd dean of admissions who really liked me when i worked in the admissions office, is on their board of trustees, so i can drop some namez.  i would be doing some curriculum development (i assume for their summer school program), some activity development, some family support/outreach, and some counseling of students.  it is really appealing to have a giving-back-related job on my plate, because most of the non-profit jobs i’d found elsewhere require things like peace corps experience or a social work degree, neither of which i have.  and after 2 years in academia, fully ignoring the outside world, i feel like this would be a good step for me.

the other job in boston is teaching german classes through the goethe institut.  which would be kind of grand, because it would allow me to continue teaching without having to achieve pesky public school credentials.  a lot of the materials i’ve developed, especially my grammar packets, are quite a hot commodity among my colleagues this year, and i feel pretty good about myself as a teacher (recent german 104 essays and exams notwithstanding).  and i like teaching!  i taught a fun and good lesson today, which is always thoroughly satisfying.

there’s also the fact that i just updated my academic cv to include the 2 conferences i’ll be presenting at this spring (one in kentucky, one in washington dc) and the book review that i wrote that will be published (!), which makes me feel excellently academic and intellectual and inclined to name my next pet archimedes or something.

things i miss right now:
my parents and sisters, my middlebury friends and professors
pho!  it has been too long!
my grandmother and her sappy barbara streisand addiction
ballet, theater, and choir.  le sigh.
crocheting, preferably while watching firefly

coconut lentil soup simmering on the stove, cat watching me type, fro-yo date tonight.  no conference.  don’t know what you’re talking about.

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essays, essays everywhere

i’ve spent the better part of the weekend (wearing my new fleece-lined sweatshirt and) grading my students’ independent project essays, and it’s been quite the ride.  i’ve learned a lot about a variety of topics – want to know when the hofbräuhaus was built, what composers influenced schubert, or how much a loaf of bread cost in germany in 1923?  i’m your woman.  there are moments when i’ve had to stare at the page and beg it to tell me what IN THE SAM HELL the student is trying to say because the german is so all over the place.  (you did what?  to who?  for how many jellybeans?  that poor dog!)  there are moments when i celebrate that some small grammatical lesson has finally ‘stuck’.  and above all, it has made me appreciate the people (k-dawg and b in particular) who taught me how to write.

dear b,
vielen, vielen dank, dass du mir in meinem ersten uni-jahr beigebracht hast, wie man einen aufsatz schreibt.  also, i’m terribly sorry for all the many drafts i made you read, the crappy grammar and crappier essay structure i put you through, and the complete pig-headedness with which i refused to believe that my essay-writing needed to be improved upon.  which it totally did, my god.  i hope that i can be as patient with my students as you were with me.

also, after all that drama with the conference keynote speaker, he decided to stay through saturday.  so there!

and in martha stewart that i was reading this weekend (omigosh terrible addiction i will never do productive work again), there was this lovely bookshelf:
Martha Stewart Tree Bookshelf
for only $2,500!  my goodness!  perhaps one day i will become very crafty and make one of my own, and use it to decorate one of my bed and breakfast rooms.  because… drool.  perhaps that will be the theme for the b&b: a different cool/crazy bookshelf in each room.  !!!

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if i only had a brain

this show wipeout that’s on abc before grey’s anatomy makes me feel ashamed to be a human being.

i realized today that if i were to continue on to get my phd, i could be a really good teacher.  not just teaching language, but teaching real classes.  i lead what felt like a really interesting, productive discussion today, and it felt really good to be involved in the production of thought, not just the production of speech.

i was going to write something about egypt here, because it seems to be the thing to do, but it will have to wait for another time when i’m feeling a little more awake.

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Saturday, Saturday, Saturday

i had… well have, since i haven’t completed any of them… three very different grading tasks this weekend: participation grades, vocab quizzes, and 2nd drafts of compositions.  which is frustrating because 1) it takes a million hours to do that much grading, and 2) these tasks are all very different in the way that they make me feel about my students, and therefore about teaching, and therefore about Life.

i’d much prefer to spend my saturday the way i… well, mostly did.  got up early, drank tea, made bread dough, removed layer of sleet from car, moved car into garage, set bread dough on the floor over a heat vent, drank tea, cut/grated/seasoned many vegetables to be put into veggie wraps for the week’s lunch, washed the cat (!), drank tea, did 4 loads of laundry, swept, vacuumed, drank tea.  thought in the general direction of a composition i have to write.  ran my eyes over some of my seminar reading.  wished it would stop snowing.  drank tea.

i’m so torn about whether i want to continue in grad school.  in the midst of my large heap of grading, i’m not so sure i want to spend the rest of my life doing this, either.  plus, with the semester conversion approaching and a large number of changes to my program coming with it, i feel like i owe it to my colleagues to stick around and try to impose some order on the department.  yet… seminar papers?  ugh.  mainly i hope that i will not hear back from the goethe institut, partially because i do not want to live in new york city (no offense, sinkie), and partially because it would be really convenient if hannah’s job offers or lack thereof would just make the decision for me.  there you have it.  i am a bum.

meanwhile, i pass the occasional half hour looking at apartments and houses for rent in denver on craigslist.  and the kitten is curled up as a little cinnamon bun on gramma june’s heat blanket, smelling like kitten shampoo and not yet entirely trusting enough to return to our laps downstairs.

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