Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Work Ends, Vacation Begins

With my fellow teachers
I made it through the final week of teaching two classes in the International program.

I made it through an eight-week session, flying by the seat of my pants many times. And many times, I blessed Professor Stacey for teaching me improv in teaching. I can't count how many times I needed those skills he taught me.

And I appreciate Professor Doty, who made me understand my own language analytically enough to teach it to others. Native, instinctual knowledge of the language would not have been adequate.

Idiosyncratic though English is, its oddities all follow rules and have histories that put them into a sensible perspective. Luckily, I can remember the rules and explain them.

Altogether, this was a wonderful experience, although there were a few moments near the end when I had the distasteful task of having to insist on decorous behavior in the classroom. I find it excruciating to have to tell other adults what to do.

Grading and evaluating at the end was also a difficult task. It took me far longer than I expected. Now that I've done it, however, I know more about how I will handle the next class in order to make this process easier. For example, I will make notes after each class.

Life has been so very hectic, like a mad rush from one responsibility to the next. In the future, if I can possibly afford it, I think I won't work summer sessions. I feel like my summer vacation is just beginning, but in truth, Fall classes start next month.

Now it's time to plan out my Fall class, take care of my to-do list, tie up loose ends, and ready for my journey, which begins in nine days.


Anonymous said...

Will you be an international blogger? Or would that be just a little too much?

Indie said...

I will! At least I intend to, although I can't predict my internet access or my ability to post pictures. I hope to document the whole experience somehow so I'll never forget the details. :)

Anonymous said...

That's what I was hoping you'd say! ;>)

Indie said...

It is way more fun to blog, by the way, knowing there are folks interested in reading what I have to say. Thank you!

steviewren said...

How I wish that I had learned what I would want to do when I grew up while I still had the time and money to make it happen. Reading your post reminded me of how much I like the academic life. I would have loved to teach college level courses. Unfortunately, by the time I started college I only had enough time to complete my associates degree before I had to get a job and earn a living to pay for the stuff I already had.

I would love to take one of your grammar classes as well. I hated grammar all my life and tried to only learn as much as needed to pass the class. In college I realized that my lack of learning affected my ability to learn another language as well as insuring that my assays and term papers only received an A- instead of the A+ I desired. As you probably have noticed, I tend to write run on sentences or write sentences so long that I make a grammatical mistake somewhere in them. Finally, now that I am old and going gray I understand why I was supposed to apply myself and learn that stuff in grammar school!

Indie said...

A lot of students say the first time they really learned grammar was when they too a foreign language class. Then it was an epiphany to find that rules applied to their own language as well!

It's never too late, it's never too late!!! One little evening class just for fun. You're already an amazing writer with a most refreshing outlook on life. Maybe a creative writing course, maybe an academic writing course, maybe some sort of beginning linguistics/structure of language/language analysis course.

My interest in linguistics started when I took a class called The History of the English Language. It was love at first sight.

Anonymous said...

Hi K! There I read it now, 9 days (or was it 6?). Either way, I had to laugh about you planning on making notes after each class! I swear I wanted to do this for the longest time and I'm teaching English (ESL) for 1 1/2 school years in the meantime *lol* I'm glad you're done. I'm not. Still two more weeks of teaching to do, just tomorrow will be off! I'm in the middle of correcting English folders, about to start on the report cards. How did you do with that? Fill me in. Looking forward to read from you, and... I'm one of those people who will come by more often IF you'll write more! It's always worth a visit. Oh, and don't miss out on checking out my photos! More hugs, R.

Indie said...

The grading was a little hard, but the EVALUATING was awful!! I hated it!

I wanted to say, everyone tried, everyone participated, everyone improved, and everyone was a vital component to the classroom community.

Instead I had to use some generic language and say something about individual progress. I did it, but I struggled.