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    A blog about education, higher ed, teaching, and trying to re-imagine how we provide education.

Ends and Beginnings
December 8, 2013 - 8:38pm

Last week was the last week of classes. I just spent Sunday afternoon evaluating final portfolios for my Freshman Writing class. I don’t know if they were just telling me what I wanted to hear, but in their end-of-semester reflections, they all admitted to having learned something in my class, and their writing improved as a result. Possible the most heart-warming and simultaneously depressing statement from a student was that I taught them more in 15 weeks than they had learned in four years of high school English.

But using Games and Play as a theme for the class was largely a success. The creation and playing of their games was a powerful analogy for the writing process itself, complete with all of the challenges of audience, design, and revisions that come with the two processes. I’m glad it was a success, obviously. And I’m glad that I took a chance to change my class up, again.

Next week, I’ll have time to start planning my classes for the Spring semester, where I’ll be teaching two entirely new classes, an Honors class (1500-1900 are the years to be covered) and an Introduction to World Literature class. I have some ideas already dancing around my head, and will probably blog about the classes next week, but if you have any suggestions, I’d appreciate it.

I also finished revising and editing and formatting my manuscript (based on my dissertation), and it’s ready to submit for peer-review. I’m really excited about having it done, although it feels weird to not have a large project or deadline once the holidays are over. I have to make some decisions about what I want to do next, seeing as I am shifting career directions. Is this my last peer-review publication, ever? At least about literature?

Probably not, but it might be for a while.

This isn’t the best time of the year for me to be making any sort of decision; I don’t sleep well at the end of the semester, feeding off of everyone else’s anxiety about grades, graduation, and the stress of the holidays. I need the time to think things over and think things through in a space (Montreal, SoCal, Chicago) that isn’t here. Given the travel schedule I’ve got over the next month, it won’t be restful, but at least it will be away.

I’ll be ramping up my job search once the holidays are over, turning over the time that I was spending doing research and writing to…doing research and writing, except with the end goal of earning a new job, rather than another line on my C.V. I’m pretty excited by the possibilities, to be honest, and it’s an opportunity to get to know myself in a different way.

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

 

 

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