Wednesday, April 14, 2010

To Be Honest

On Monday I visited a college campus to meet with a professor. I observed a class he was teaching, and as I watched, I wondered if I missed it. The teaching, I mean.

I did, some. I missed the students coming in and I missed standing in front of the room. I missed seeing the looks on their faces when I made them laugh or when they "got it." Still, I suspected I was glad to sit where I was sitting, watching it happen as a third party. I thought: Maybe I just love teaching and learning; everything about it is fascinating to me, so it's nice that I'm still involved in some capacity. Or maybe I really miss it, I thought.

Then, near the end of the class, the professor asked a student a question about a poem. Her response: "I don't like poetry. I don't really care for poetry, to be honest." This was, of course, a complete non sequitur. She was telling him something about herself, rather than the poem, as he'd asked.

And I thought: Yes, I'm in right seat for me. Oh, how lovely to not have to hear someone I'm invested in say that almost every day. And they did. Say that all the time. I'm glad from my office I can't hear them, bless their hearts.


eden said...

i'm glad you're happy where you are. (:

Sam Ruddick said...

true true true true true so true. teaching sucks. at least teaching core curriculum college classes on the undergraduate level does. the thing is, you train in this field that you're absolutely fascinated by, then they have you teach something else, to people who don't care and, 9 times out of 10, wouldn't understand the material if they did. interested in writing? write. don't teach first year writing. interested in lit? read. don't teach first year lit. i don't like poetry, she says. what am i supposed to do with that? yes, dear student, i understand that you are shallow and stupid, but will you please just try to read without trying to solve the puizzle? that's why they don't like it. they think it's a puzzle. their high school english teachers teach them that. they do that because they (the teachers) only have undergraduate english degrees themselves. when they graduated, they were still puzzled. so it's a puzzle. right. my idea is to eliminate literature from the curriculum. then someday somebody might be able to enjoy it again.

belann said...

Loved Sam's comments. You are where you need to be right now, but don't be surprised if you end up in front of the eye rollers again.

Tia and Amara said...

Sigh. I used to have a professor who said the only thing people pay for and want to get the least value for their money is their education. Give me as little as possible please. Sam's right --there's something about a subject you HAVE to learn that makes it not enjoyable I suppose.