Week 7 of Graduate School and Teaching Comp
I made it once again to another Friday, but this time instead of being in my partner’s office over in Spokane, I’m at my own and trying to finish this by five pm before the construction workers begin installing the long-delayed floors. Remaining here past 5 would possibly trap me for the weekend on the 3rd story of Moreland Hall with nothing to eat but the remnants of the refried beans I couldn’t fit in my belly earlier and bits of burnt cookie from a debacle involving a poet, a microwave and Michael Jackson.
As you may note by my crappy prose, I ain’t feeling too hot today despite being in a merry mood. Part of it has to do with the 15 research portfolios I’m hoping to grade over the next two days that are stuffed in my bag on top of an amazing book on videogames and composition pedagogy (more on that to come next week), but the more substantial bit has to do with my inability to go out and have a few pints this weekend as a result of spending my allotted alcohol money on oyster sauce and rice wine vinegar in an effort to stick to the recipe the other night when I made stir fry tofu.
Thing is though, I’m not such a huge fan of paying more than three bucks for a decent pint, but I’d like to be in a place with a lot of people where the probability of any of them work is zilch. Cafes don’t fit in that mold (and even then I may as well get a pint for what an espresso goes for in most places) nor do libraries or even my apartment where my roommate and I almost seem to consciously trade off when we’re doing work so that even where we’re not the anxiety of ignored assignments lingers. The park was a nice option for a while, but now everything is wet and not even the sun wants to hang around when all the trees are naked and skeleton-like. My guess is that tomorrow will be sent in search of some reprieve whether that comes in the form of a bike ride or vegging out for an hour or two in an effort to avoid the three final papers I have to get done before the term ends.
At this time though I am pretty happy about everything else of which I was unhappy about in weeks past. I had a full class on grammar and none of my students fell asleep or busted a vein. They even had some great insights into what they consider the role of grammar, and even though I tripped up by downplaying grammar’s importance just a tad too much, it was nice that I was able to make them laugh while addressing a topic that I hated at their age, but now love because I’m a fan of all things absurd but socially accepted.
And who am I kidding? I’m looking forward to reading my students’ papers. Even if the writing isn’t where I’d prefer it be, they’re all writing about different topics including the role of women in martial arts, Pokemon, the science of cuteness and Starbuck’s visual evolution. The majority of these papers will be average and that’s ok. My hope is that with unit 3 I can get them to do something creative with their interesting topics.
Monday I’m gonna talk about the rhetoric of Facebook using my own profile as a guide. Years of verbal abuse by people has thickened my skin to a decent degree. Let’s see if it can withstand the gleeful cynicism of twenty-four undergrads.