I’m really enjoying teaching. There’s not a single part of it I think is a drag. Since it’s a literature class, I even enjoy reading papers (though I don’t love giving grades). I loved creating the syllabus. I love reading the texts and preparing lectures. I love the back and forth of class discussions. I love thinking on my feet during lectures. I love showing film clips and making fun of the Hollywoodization or Disneyfication of the texts. I love being at the university and talking to colleagues and students. It’s great!
It takes so much time. Everything else is left behind in the constant preparing and grading and driving and reading and then I have a day with the kids and then it all starts over. If I were able to teach the class again or I were teaching a class I’d taught before it would be a little different, but this is why I couldn’t teach while I finally finished my dissertation. Teaching takes every minute I have. There is ALWAYS something to do.
I’d kind of gotten used to my snatches of time being my own. Yes, mostly my time has been spent on my kids, and when they’re not in childcare, it still is, but those 20 minutes of a show or rare naps or sudden busy-ness with projects or early mornings or after bedtime, those snatched minutes were my own to blog or think or read or work on websites or church projects or write or whatever. Now, it’s grading and prepping and reading for class and making assignment sheets and creating tests and so on. All things I like. But all things that Must Be Done. Now.
It’s a different life.
Right now we’re doing Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur, hence the picture at the beginning. I find Le Morte fascinating because it is both very familiar, containing many of the elements that it established as part of the Arthur legend, and very unfamiliar in some of the stories it tells and the way it tells them. Great stuff. We’re doing the beginning as Arthur establishes his kingdom and then the knights begin to disperse and have their own adventures. Then we’re skipping to the Sangreal (Holy Grail). I’m skipping Lancelot and Guenevere and Le Morte itself, partly because they are more familiar and many of the students have read them, but mostly because I had to pick and choose–it’s just too cumbersome to read it all unless the course is dedicated to it–and I like the Grail Quest better than adultery and betrayal and I’m the instructor so I get to pick. Hah.