Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Give A's for Effort!

Not really. I don't think I'm allowed to give A's for effort. I don't even know that I would if I could. I haven't really developed my pedagogical theory. What I'm trying to say is I have no idea what I'm doing teaching-wise. Just shooting from the hip. Yee-haw, if you will. You're welcome, college freshman of America!

Our curriculum demands that we give reading comprehension quizzes. They're mostly no-brainers. At least, I think they are. But as a panicky student myself, I get how and why students panic in the face of assessment. Sometimes they forget what they read. Sometimes they get confused and mix things up. Sometimes they have no idea what the answer is and they try to fill in the blank with the written equivalent of someone absent-mindedly brushing their hand over their mouth while mumbling or trailing off at the end of a sentence.

I wish I could have given her a point for getting the first letters ... whiiiiiiich I listed in the question.

Honesty time! I mostly don't like teaching. Every class feels like an improv performance that I just suck at. Also, I have impressively low self-esteem, so I still don't get why they let me pretend to tell 19-year-olds how to do anything. But you know what I do like? Students. Especially students who fill in the blanks. 

Even when they do it hilariously wrong.

*Extra Credit for anyone who can get it right!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So it goes.

The Universe has been a real dick to my friends lately. It needs to back off.

My brother, who knows this about the Universe, sent me an email yesterday that I want you to see. But it requires some background. In order to appreciate this email, you might need to know that my brother and I were one year apart in high school and we shared a lot of things: a bathroom, friends, mountains of books.... In 1999-2000 we shared a Kurt Vonnegut phase. We were trying really, really hard to be intellectuals at the time, which was difficult because we were also very dumb. I remember that on our choir trip, we both stuffed our satchels full of books so we could read in the lines at Disneyland instead of talk to our friends like normal freaking teenagers. Or maybe that was just me.

Anyway, he sent me this quote from an A.V. Club article by Scott Gordon, Josh Modell, Noel Murray, Tasha Robinson, and Kyle Ryan:

"So it goes.""[T]he repeated refrain from Vonnegut's classic Slaughterhouse-Five isn't notable for its unique wording so much as for how much emotion—and dismissal of emotion—it packs into three simple, world-weary words that simultaneously accept and dismiss everything. There's a reason this quote graced practically every elegy written for Vonnegut.... It neatly encompasses a whole way of life. More crudely put: 'Shit happens, and it's awful, but it's also okay. We deal with it because we have to.'"

And because he's Cliff, he added this:

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Right now, my dear high school friend Brittany has to deal with being paralyzed because she got into a mountain biking accident the day before Easter. She has two little kids and a husband and they are scrambling to make their whole lives wheelchair-accessible. If you can, please donate to her cause.

So it goes.