Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Huh? Teaching as confusion and reward

When last year I was presented with the opportunity of teaching my own class, I was elated. Indeed, I am still in love with the idea of having my own class, shaping the curriculum, forming the continuing thread to link all the lectures together and seeing some glimmer of life in dozens of glazed eyes.

What I find most confusing, and simultaneously confusing, is my students' willingness to engage with challenging theoretical topics (copyright culture, capitalism-as far as commodities are concerned, and writings on authorship from the erudite Frenchmen in 1960s Paris). More puzzling is that the YouTube videos I screen to illustrate some of those heady concepts totally turn them off. Video = complete disengagement. I guess this is a dream situation, and it's thrilling to see it happen.

This week we're discussing a topic close to my heart: Influence and intertextuality and they are eating it up, big time. Great discussion, debate, and lots of relevant examples.

There are some days when I'd rather spend my time writing and/or researching, and there are some days when I enjoy the teaching experience if for no other reason than having great conversation, debate, and sharing unique perspectives on course topics.

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