Saturday, March 6, 2010

Life as a Teacher

Am I the only person who teaches who sees all of life as fodder for the classroom? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

The bad part of it is that as I get older and still have to teach to pay the bills (because people my age will not get Social Security til they are ninety, well, I'm kidding, maybe 70 or 72)--what a detour, anyway, as I get older my personal examples from life or movies may grow more and more irrelevant and doddering. I already have grieved over the death of my sense of humor. I thought I had one, but alas, my students don't think so. (Again, kidding a little, but they just don't get my jokes, they don't watch the TV shows I do, they don't go to the movies I do--I refuse to watch Twilight just because.....I feel so old!) The other bad part is that even if my humor and references were hip, that doesn't mean they really add anything to the task at hand, that is, learning the class concepts, instead of being a pleasant distraction and heaven knows our students don't need any more distractions!

The good part of it is that it gives one's life a holistic feel, and I am really into holism as long as I can still enjoy what I eat.

I bring this up because a friend and I went to the see The Last Station this afternoon at the only theater in town that shows artsy-fartsy movies about people like Tolstoy (as opposed to movies about oversexed teenagers, vampires, sports heroes, and Jason Bourne). I enjoyed the movie--very good acting and script and visuals--although I could have done without that actress's boobs ten feet long on a big screen, and I learned something about Tolstoy I didn't know and will read more about him. So I'm trying to figure out where this will fit into a class I teach, perhaps the one on Humanities? Or introduction to literature? (No, don't bring out Tolstoy; they'll freak.) Anyway, it will come up somewhere, but my life was enriched anyway by learning about Russian literary history, and maybe I'll break down and read War and Peace and find out what a real novel is like, since mine seems to be ignored by most people.

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