Sunday, October 24, 2010

Realistic goals vs. initial idealism

So I've reached that point in the semester when my initial idealism of how much reading/activities/writing I'd like the students to do in the course of a semester is giving way to realistic goal of what is humanly possible to accomplish. I seem to do this every semester, and not only with the classes I teach but also with my own work. The latter by the way has been sadly neglected and I feel like a complete hypocrite making my students stick to deadlines.
This weekend was my little nephew's/godson's 2nd birthday, and after 5 hours of four tots running, screaming, torturing my dog and making me bounce a balloon with them, I realized that I should let my students have a bit more fun and stop being such a Guardian teachers, to once again reference Prof. McCormick's link on Professor types. I guess that really struck a chord with me. But I digress. Today, I took the first step to setting more realistic goals, and revised the course syllabus, which means essentially that I cut out a few readings and pushed back the deadlines on few writing assignments. While I like reading/discussing literature more than I like writing about it, seeing my students working on their assignments in class, in a computer lab, and exchanging ideas/helping each other is pretty great and contagious, makes me want to write. Also, in a week or so, I'm planning to show my students a bromatic comedy as a companion piece to a reading on the phenomenon of girlhunt. I'll ask students for suggestions and then we'll vote.  Any suggestions?


  1. Miss B-- Don't be so hard on yourself-- I suspect that most of us have to be, if not a bit, a lot of the Guardian just to manage the class (to re-phrase Luke, LAGCC's student variety is what attracts us AND what makes it a tough job).

  2. I always front load my courses since I know that many students have term papers and more writing after midterms. If they survive until my midterm (which is today), they not only make it through the semester but are better prepared to juggle everything necessary for their internships. As I always tell them, the real world doesn't understand their demanding schedules - they want the job done. A few breaks here and there are good for everyone so enjoy the fall.