Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An unexpected extra student

I have now had the pleasure of meeting all of my classes and all of my students – roughly 130 all told. Tuesday was decidedly calmer – I found my classes with little issue, I arrived ahead of schedule to both and even had time to prep the board. Tuesday and Friday classes are both sections of ENG 201, which teach critical thinking and reading skills – yesterday the focus was on mood and tone.

Class began with a discussion and activity about mood – look at a picture and write what mood you have from looking at it. Interestingly the first mood was of an exaggerated and stereotypical male and female brain – the male brain was segmented into: sports, dangerous pursuits, a small amount of attention, ironing, domestic skills, etc and dominated by sex. The female brain, in contrast, was dominated by shoes and a headache generator, with small sections devoted to shiny things, impulse shopping, and toilet cleaning, etc. Interestingly these two pictures garnered a whole range of moods from the students, from amused, to suspicious, to…joyous…I’m not sure the irony of the images really got through to the students…aw well…

I also assigned my first piece of unofficial homewo

rk. There is very little homework that we are supposed to assign as part of our teaching, but I couldn’t help myself yesterday and believing the right homework can only help my students I went ahead and assigned it anyways. I have asked my students to write me a paragraph that makes me feel happy, where the tone of their writing influences my mood…I have absolutely no clue if this will work, but it could be really interesting.

Possibly the most amusing moment of the day was when I took a stroll between the rows of students in my first class to talk to them individually about the present activity and found an unexpected visitor in the third row – a small brown dog sleeping on the floor next to two of the desks! I hope it hadn’t fallen asleep because my teaching was insufficiently engaging!

Another of the campus dogs...perhaps waiting for its own English class?

Two of my classrooms:

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