Monday, January 19, 2009

First Day

Classes start this week and I am not ready. Again. Once course, I am teaching for a second time so the big challenge there is simply deciding what I like and what I should cut. It's just that there is so much I could include. Why not put it all in? (Because I and my students will be exhausted and they will end up hating the topic, not exactly the 'goals' I have listed on the syllabus.) The second course is new, so this semester is like a journey without a specific destination. Oh, I know approximately where I want to end up but it's more like, 'let's go to California' and less like ' we will end up at the Getty in the gallery with Renaissance bronzes at 2pm.'

My big struggle is that I am not sure what to do on the first day (or the second day, since one course will be watching the Inauguration). I don't particularly enjoy simply reading or narrating the syllabus, although I do want to cover course policies, etc. I have an old exercise that is designed to elicit student questions about the course, my policies, and to get a general sense of my attitude towards, well, everything ... firm but fair, etc. It doesn't work here as well as it did my last institution. So, for now I plan to do narrate the syllabus and do a little first day song and dance. If I have a creative flash, I'll post it.

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