Finally…. thoughts on teaching a summer lit class

It’s been hard to find time to gather my thoughts enough to record them. This class meets 4 days a week. And last weekend we went to Maine to visit Dom’s mother and sister.

First I really am enjoying the experience so far. 13 students in the class, a good number.  7 women, six men, a good balance. Three older women, two mothers and one grandmother who is raising her grandkids. The rest seem to be average college age kids… juniors and seniors all so I don’t have to put up with the freshman stupids. One Japanese exchange student, a girl who struggles with the language a bit, but is really trying to keep up and manages to jump in with a good question or insight at least once per class, which is really all I ask.

No slackers, it seems to me so far. There was one guy who hadn’t opened his mouth so far. I think he probably just didn’t get into Jane Austen. He likes Huck Finn, especially the grifters plot line. Generally everyone participates. We have some good discussion, even if I do have to prompt them along. I don’t feel like I’m pulling the whole load.

I’m giving a quiz every day, usually on who are the bigger of the minor characters or what are some of the big plot points. They seem to be reading and “getting it”. One girl asks lots of good questions. I appreciate it, makes me feel like I’m addressing their concerns.

Coming up with the paper topics is hard. But satisfying too. i haven’t read the first paper yet, so I don’t know how they are doing. That’s tomorrow’s task.

Persuasion was good. They found the language difficult and the issues a bit foreign. And maybe a bit harder for being the first book too. I spent much time going over plot points, it was harder to get into themes and issues, but I think we managed tolerably well.

Huck Finn has been a bit more fun.

I’m eager to see how they’ll react to the rest of the books.

I like the schedule. I get afternoons free and the class is not too long so there’s no drag. Seems like the best summer job I’ve had so far. And I’m making more than twice what I did temping last summer.

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