Friday, August 24, 2012

One day when I was a kid, I felt something in my ear. I tilted my head and a fly covered in ear wax came out. I expected a bean or something. Once I woke up with something in my mouth and this time, thought it was a fly. But when I opened my mouth into the bathroom sink and let it roll out, it was a tooth. Last night I had a dream about playing cribbage with my brother and he was cheating. He played five cards straight in the counting round and made a slew of points and I got so mad I stood up and left the the table. Later in the dream, or maybe in waking life, I realized that you can't play five cards straight if you follow the rules of cribbage. And thought about how if I hadn't gotten so mad and blinded my reason, I would have called him out.

Graduate school has been difficult so far. It's wonderful to have to time to read and study and discuss but the adjustment to taking classes, the schedule and relentless work load, that I'm certain will only get more intense, has left me questioning if this was such a good idea after all. Change is hard and this is going to be painful. Of course, there are worse pains and worse problems, but it will be some time before I settle into a manageable rhythm. On top of the work, there is the work of teaching, teaching a brand new course in an unfamiliar format. Fifty minutes five times a week. I told Don that I couldn't set the chairs up like I was used to doing, the rooms being so small and full. Don said, "it changes your pedagogy [these kinds of adjustments]." I've been thinking about that simple phrase ever since.

And so I'm at the bottom of the learning curve, and in some sense, slightly below it, having to unlearn six year of teaching habits while simultaneously adopting new pedagogy and approaches to teaching. The good news is that all these approaches are interesting and I think, better and more helpful to students than some of the ones I was using. And that's why I'm here, to grow into a more versatile creature. But in the mean time, survival mode is on and the walls are up. Lots more to say but there is even lots more to do, and I need to get to it. See you soon. Love,