I am bent out of shape because I have not been to yoga class for three days! There has been too much to do. Weds. I was very tired and behind the 8 ball, with papers coming up, so I graded homework and tried to work ahead as much as possible and cleaned up a little, both in the house and on the computer, where I am having trouble getting the Internet, the printer, and everything to work together nicely. Since we got Cox and a wireless router, things are not the same. The applications are scowling at each other like kids in the playground about to start a fight, and every night, the spyware program or something else erases key components of the wireless and everything is a mess. Somehow, by afternoon, it's cleared up until the next morning. I think the computer is haunted.
Today, despite the student papers sitting in the corner and whining that I was not paying attention to them, I went to school for a presentation by my colleagues, including Lou! on writing assignments. It is always wonderful to hear what my colleagues are doing in their classes. It gives me terrific ideas and so much respect for what they are teaching the students.
As usual, there was tasty stuff to snack on, though I wish there had been something to drink besides coffee and orange juice. Water bottles would have been nice. But that's a minor point. It's nice to have anything at all! And I won the drawing, getting lots of nice whiteboard markers in a number of colors, Starbucks bucks, and other assorted things!
Lou told us about her first assignment, about Lars Eighner's essay "On Dumpster Diving." I had seen bits and pieces of it, but didn't have a full understanding of how she had put it together this semester. She turned it into a few assignments, including journal work, paragraphs, and finally a whole essay. I admired that because I have never known what to do with journals, though I learned about teaching first from a person who influenced me a lot, Charles Kay Smith, at UMass Amherst, a wonderful and very creative man who used journals extensively in that class and in his own comp classes. He wrote a wonderful Comp text that I keep around as a reference, Styles and Structures, based on definition methods. I still use his ideas all the time in my own classes today.
Smith was a biologist, I think, with a few graduate degrees, English among them. He had a restless, inquiring kind of mind, and was a terrific teacher.