Wednesday, November 08, 2006

When the Dog Bites, When the Bee Stings

I really love teaching. It's without a doubt the hardest thing I've ever done (think you know about something? Try preparing lectures on it and then fielding random questions about that and everything else you know for three hours), but it's also absolutely, positively the most rewarding job I've ever had. Think of all the best conversations you've had in your life, and multiply them times a million. Plus you get to make people read things you love. What's not to like?

It is hard. And I can't beleive how busy I am (I'm teaching one class this semester. One. How do people ever do this full time?). My writing is paradoxically hindered by teaching and fed by it. One of my old writing profs used to say that teaching takes us a lot of oxygen, which is true, but oxygen's rare on really high mountain peaks too, right? And people seek those out. Once you get used to how thin the air is, you can enjoy the view.

In other news, yay!

via boingboing


momeester said...

yeah! it is the greatest high!!

trixie said...

What a great metaphor! You are such a pip! :O)

luolin said...

You've got it right. There's a problem when I make people read my favorite books and fail to make them like them, however.

sarae said...

That is the best picture I have seen about this whole election stuff. Hilarious.

seester said...

Fielding random questions is one of the most dangerous moments in teaching, I find. The desire to seem omniscient in front of a somewhat captive audience is incredibly hard to overcome. Then again, nothing keeps you up at night like the knowledge that you tried to answer a question that you had no business answering... and got it wrong.

"Hey, if one isn't a prime number, what kind of number is it? What's zero?"

"When did wars start?"

"If drugs are bad, why do people use them?"

"During the revolutionary war, how were the families of soldiers who died notified?"

Oh, the temptation to guess...

I usually fall back on,

"I'm not really sure. I think it might be ___. Next time we're in the computer lab, why don't I help you do some research to try to find out?"...or, "That sounds like a good question to start an independent research project on. If you get some information, let me know."

Oh, but they look so disappointed when I don't know.

I'm not omnipotent, either, turns out...