tyra (tyratae) wrote in compositionism,
tyra
tyratae
compositionism

anybody still out there?

hi.

i know it's been a year and a half since i've put anything here, and even that was a bit of a stretch for me--it's to hard to talk about teaching, & theorize the field in ways that relate to teaching, when i'm not teaching (and i really don't personally give a rat's about theorizing about it in ways that don't... although any posters/lurkers here are certainly welcome to care in that direction more than i do!). BUT!!!

this year, i shall be teaching. 5 classes, in fact, all English 101/201 variants, and i'm really, really psyched. it's been years, and far longer than any gap of any kind i'd had since i was first let in a classroom back when i was an undergrad training to teach in middle schools, so it feels as though a weird epoch has come and (i don't actually believe it yet) will soon be gone.

actually, technically, i did teach last year, a 6 hour workshop that met on 2 saturdays and a "section" of 201 that was 2 students and i meeting over coffee once a week at Barnes and Noble, but it wasn't the same. it wasn't the crazy trenches 20+ bodies in the room all w/their own agenda stuff we do this for! so it doesn't count.

point of the matter is: as part of being excited about teaching again, i'm excited about getting to talk about teaching again, and i hope some of you lurkers are interested in striking up a conversation. for the couple posts that have trickled in since i've been paying any real attention, i'm sorry; dissertation-writing in the void is lonely and hellish and can suck the "care" out of you. but i'd like to come back, if you'll have me.

who's out there? what are you teaching? what do you love most about it?
talk to me.
tyra
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  • 3 comments
Hi, sweetie. I meant to post and say "Congrats!" on your teaching jobs. I'm so happy to hear that you are back in the classroom again, both for you and for your students.

I am *hoping* to be teaching in the fall, but right now it doesn't look good. I did apply for an administrative faculty position of which I am actually qualified, but I am trying not to get my hopes up.

That said, I still love talking about teaching, and being a part of this community and talking with you would really help me keep my head (and heart) in the classroom. I am also currently working on making a syllabus that encompasses the theory and pedagogy I put forth in my dissertation, so perhaps I could share it here, whenever I actually complete it. It's all about what I describe as 'poetic rhetoric,' which is the breaking down of the boundaries between rhetoric and poetics and acknowledging that all language operates in ways which both create and defer meaning. This creation and deferral of meaning shapes both our notions of self and the world around us. The syllabus I'm working on starts out covering some of the basic principles of writing (the writing process, argument & persuasion, writing from research); then it moves into an exploration of language (looking at Platonic and sophistic notions of logos) and how it relates to rhetoric and poetics; and finally it ends by questioning the distinctions between rhetoric and poetics. The assignments flow with this organization: the first paper is a traditional academic essay, the second is a Montaignean essay, the third is a poetically rhetorical essay (sort of like an extreme version of the Montaignean essay), and I end with a revision piece of the student's choosing. It's a lot to pack into a semester, but I think it would be such a fun class. If I could find a way to do it, I would incorporate a feature where the students pick and present on readings that they found to be poetically rhetorical. Perhaps that would be something to save for a graduate course on the topic.

When I'm actually teaching, I usually do a writing about literature course. We start out with short stories, then move to poems, then we ramp up the pace and move into literary theory, and we end with students writing their own Essays. I love the structure of this course because it gets more and more challenging, and it also gets more creative and interesting. I like to set high expectations and then give the students a lot of room to create their own topics. Frankly, the papers are more interesting to read :)

What I love most about teaching: finding moments of brilliance in each paper, pointing to them and saying, "look at that; that's an amazing idea; tell me more!"

Sorry to bombard you with text! I don't have a lot of people to talk about teaching with here, and it really is something I'm passionate about. I'll always look at our grad. time as magical, because it seemed like we talked about teaching all the time. I've mentored several other TAs to teach online, and I know I drove them crazy with long emails and handouts.

Anyway, so what are you teaching? What did you miss most about teaching, and what are looking forward to?
hey yourself. :)
by all means share us your dreamy syllabus & creative ideas!

i'm teaching generic 101 classes w/textbooks & assignments chosen by the departments i work for--the adjunct's life for me! but the people doing the choosing seem so far to be fabulous, and i'm looking forward to next week, when i get to go sit down with them for a while & talk about the assignments & their vision for the course, after which point i should have a better idea how to answer that question.

good luck lucking into a class or two to teach--you could come up here, when i've had to turn people down b/c there aren't enough hours in a week! are you being hopeful at all the local community colleges up & down the highway too, or just hovering around VT?
Oh, I've put in applications up and down 460, 81, and all across the great expanse that is the Internet and so far, no one has taken me up on what I offer. It sucks, and it sours my mood most days, but I am starting to think that maybe I am meant to stay home with the Tater and try to bring in as much freelance writing as I can manage. At least, that's what I'm leaning towards if something doesn't materialize soon, and it wouldn't be such a bad thing. I certainly cherish all of my time with him, but I didn't spend the last five years working on the doctorate so that I could stay home, you know? Anyway, I'll stop pouting right now. I know that everything will eventually work itself out, and I'm just going to appreciate the best parts of my situation in the meantime.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about what you're teaching and your thoughts on composition!