Monday, April 15, 2013

Flashback. 2 Years Ago Today on CM.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011

Twilight Zone

I am walking through an alternate reality. And I am so struck, I have to sit and post about it.

I am in the Humanities building. There is a big event in class today. I know this because there are scores of undergrads, huddled in groups outside a series of classrooms. Two of them are texting and one of them is sleeping. But about 40 of them (50?) are reciting poems, Shakespeare, Yertle the Turtle. It seems to be self-written, based on a widely-recognized work. They have movements to go with their recitations. They are practicing. They are engaged.

Who is the professor who commands students to make total asses of themselves so successfully? I have no doubt that this is a teaching genius. I am filled with envy. Forget essays. Screw tests. I need them to perform.

Perhaps it appeals to their ego, or their sense of fun. Maybe the fear of messing up in front of an audience prevents them from phoning it in, as they do so often for my assignments. There is a message to be learned in each of their projects. And instead of killing off grandma, skipping class, "losing" their books, my god, MY GOD!! they are learning!!!!

- Academic Monkey


  1. Is the monkey still around?

    Whenever we have a flashback, especially to the old site, I find myself spending hours going through archives.

    And I, like, have essays to stop it!

  2. I think we've seen the Monkey somewhat recently, but not very recently. Come back, Monkey!

    I've had a few spoken-word poets in my classes. Leaving aside the ever-present tendency of the young to try to be shocking (usually by mentioning sex, which apparently us old folks aren't supposed to have heard of, or at least aren't supposed to be willing to talk/hear about), which is sort of touching/amusing, they're fun to have around. They like language, and playing with it, and they're passionate about stuff. All fine qualities, in my opinion.

  3. Wow. This was really unexpected. And sweet! I've since incorporated performance into my feedback with positive results.

    I'm on the job market presently, so I've been keeping quiet. It's a delicate situation to leave one place and go to another. I just had a campus visit last week. It went wonderfully, but I'm too afraid to hope that I'll get the offer. I intend to share a lot of thoughts of institutions and search committees after I hear back.

    I will say this: job searches have made me much more reliant on alcohol than I was previously. The week before and after interviews have been insane. Without a bit of alcohol (and the occasional valium), I might not have slept at all.


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