Themes: Not Just a River in Southern England
Had my first English Department meeting last night at the college where I start teaching next Tuesday. Overall a good group of folk-- and everyone's been very helpful, giving me advice, suggestions for teaching, samples of syllabi and assignments.
I'm also glad to note that many of the instructors, both adjunct and full-time, are also writers (poets, fiction, non-fiction, etc.). I don't know why it's taken me so long to realize that this (writing) is what many of these teacher types do-- teach, I mean--while they are writing their novel, working on their poetry, freelancing. I guess as I get further and further into adjuncting and further away from my MFA this becomes more apparent. For some reason I thought that being away from NYC and Columbia would mean that I was isolated from other writers, but after my meeting last night I'm feeling a little better. Met some nice other writers who are very involved in the San Diego writing scene.
Unfortunately the two classes that I teach (click here to see my name on the roster!) are brand new to me and very complex so I have some hefty prep work ahead. In addition, some of the instructors last night asked me, "So what is the theme of your class?"
It seems that some instructors focus all of the readings and assignments around a theme: revenge, vampires, race, violence, etc.
I hadn't thought about that. What would my 'theme' be? And do I really need a theme? I like having a variety of readings, but maybe I should re-think it and look for some sort of theme.
Glamorous stars of the 40s and 50s?
This, however, is my plan:
My teaching schedule is Tue/Thur from 8 am to 9:15 (YES 8 AM!!).
AND Friday from 9 am to 10:50.
Then I'll have my office hours from 9:30-10:30 on Tue and Thu (and from 11-12 on Friday).
After which I will go to the library and write/work on my book-- after lunch (oh, I'm going on a diet of carrots and water, so lunch will be very quick) that is. I'm going to try to commit to at least four hours a day after teaching to working on my book. I'm going to be at school, close to a library, away from internet, away from (hopefully) distractions.
**By the way... yes, I know Thames is the correct spelling for the River in Southern England!