Monday, January 25, 2010

Teaching Update

This week, I am teaching Wordsworth and Coleridge and Keats and Lermontov.
Next week I teach Austen and Turgenev.
Then we're up to Byron and Stendhal.
Still on deck for the FIRST HALF of the semester are (C.) Bronte and Dostoevsky. For, across my two courses, I am teaching 7 novels in the first 8 weeks of the semester, along with a pile of poetry.

And yes, I am a medievalist, thanks for asking!

Dude, none of this is a complaint. It was lovely to lie around reading Pride and Prejudice all weekend. I've managed to work up a couple of syllabi that, while entirely outside "my" field, mean that I get to engage in sustained pleasure reading all semester. (And much as I love medieval literature, it isn't...pleasure reading. Sorry.)

It helps that the seminar is terrific fun. I've got ten students, and fully seven of them can be counted on to talk at length about interesting things--to ask questions, answer questions, get frustrated, argue. There's Off the Wall Question Guy, Snarky Aside Girl, at least two Very Hardworking And Industrious Women, a couple of Rank Geniuses, more than one Poet, and plenty of Interesting Brains. They talk to each other, saying things like, "I appreciate the way that you phrased that, and that helps me to understand what you're saying, but I think that Emily was right when she said [X] because of [Y]." They're the kind of class that comes with pre-established inside jokes, who already know and like each other (and me, which helps), who are (for the most part) not at all shy. And now, a couple of students have volunteered to bring us food and/or coffee once in a while. So there's a little silliness, plenty of laughing, and a good bit of very smart discussion. Every meeting leaves me joyful. It's a pretty sweet business, indeed.


medieval woman said...

Yay for class awesomeness! And medieval lit certainly isn't pleasure reading, you're right. Not that it can't be a pleasure to read, but it's not the same thing!

Sisyphus said...

That sounds AWESOME! I'm too happy for your serendipity to be jealous, even.

Dr. Virago said...

Yay for awesome class dynamics!

And I *totally* get that medieval literature is not "pleasure reading."