Saturday, August 13, 2005

Back to Work

I have a friend who -- I guess the word is -- teases me about teaching college kids. He says it's not that much of a job, since the world is getting worse every year top to bottom, and as a member of the educational elite "you have much to answer for," he says. Whatever I'm telling them is probably crap he says of which they have enough already. But I'm talking about reworking some lectures, freshening up my approach, in short acting on the notion that my sabbatical will somehow make me a better teacher. I'll have more energy. I'll have stepped back and gotten new ideas about what I've been doing in the classroom out of plain old habit, out of inertia, out of that tendency to scramble through the day like Fran Tarkenton. (And how can anyone who remembers Fran Tarkenton have anything of relevance to say to college students?) And it is true that much of teaching is driven by the iron law of: Don't just stand there. Do something.

But my friend says oh come on you'll just do whatever you have to do to make your students like you.

Well not all of them like me I answer.

And he says that would kill you you need to have them like you.

What the hell do you mean? I say. Who needs to be liked? I don't need to have you like me you asshole you cynical hurtful puke.

Well I really didn't say that. What I said was I try to teach the children but I don't hang my heart on them.

That was good. I had to write it down. I think it's true even though anything expressed alliteratively smacks more of opportunism than of truth doesn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Um, is this friend invisible?