Oh me oh my oh, would you look at Miss Ohio….

It’s the start of week four, and I still feel like I have the semester within my control. It hasn’t slipped away from me yet, but apparently blogging has. It’s been over a week since I’ve attended to this blog, and I made a pact with myself that I had to blog at least as often as my students (once per week minimum; it’s only fair), so I’m overdue. I have one student who has clearly taken to the online writing forum that we know as a blog, and he has blogged nearly everyday since he started his blog two weeks ago. His writing is entertaining — smart and witty — fun to read. All in all, I’m super impressed with my students’ blogs. This semester they are doing themed blogs. The topics they’ve chosen range from social issues to celebrity gossip to sports to biochemistry. I’ve had a good time reading them so far.

Continuing with semester news: I was assigned to teach in a classroom that is slightly larger than my living room (I live in a bungalow in the middle of the city; my living room is NOT large). It is a classroom that is used for religious education for elementary school students (there is a bunch of kid produced artwork along the back wall that begins with “Blessed are the fourth graders…”). The space is clearly meant to hold small children, not a bunch of eighteen year olds and their writing teacher. The room is filled with rows of tables that can’t be moved at all because there simply isn’t enough space. I am accustomed to having students move into a circle/square/rectangle shape, and so was initially baffled by what to do with the space. Ultimately I found that I couldn’t do anything with it, but the space issue seems to be working to our advantage. For some reason it appears that the small (living room size) space has lent a living room type intimacy to the class community. Students seem more willing to participate in class and have shared joking comments with me and their peers about the challenges of the space (to play our ice breaker/name game students had to do a lot of swiveling to see the faces of their peers). I’ve been surprised by how well it has been working out, although I wouldn’t necessarily want to teach in such a cramped space again (not to mention the lack of technology — the neck cramp that results from trying to look at the large LG monitor that acts as both computer monitor and screen for the entire class to view).

I have a series of other blog entries that I’ve been carrying around in my head: adjunct labor, the Ani DiFranco show at the Palace, the dissertation work, seeing and reading Atonement, and recent thoughts about Facebook and Twitter. Coming soon….