So, at the last possible moment, Tom got an additional half class to teach.

The person whose course it is is off on maternity leave for the first six weeks of the term, but has her course all set up in advance so that he will walk through her syllabus, then she’ll be back for weeks 7-14.

Except that her syllabus is really, really weird.

It’s supposed to be a reading and composition course, and the university has really, really tight rules about what is supposed to happen in them. And her syllabus doesn’t do most of them.

They are reading only bits of the Decameron and some translated accounts of trials in renaissance Rome, which is not enough reading, or enough kinds of reading. And not writing 25 pages of completed prose, but more like 18.

The trade off is that she’s arranged an elaborate system of drafts and peer review  groups and on-line chat groups (required participation and graded). All very uptight and inflexible and pretty much exactly not his kind of teaching.

Srsly, for every completed essay assignment a student gets a grade on the first draft, on their comments on someone else’s first draft, on their responses to other people’s comments on their first draft, and on their final paper – which requires a cover letter explaining the changes from the first draft. Oh, and they get a grade on their daily participation as well.

I would have run screaming from this class.

Luckily, she was scheduled to teach two courses, so he can conspire with the woman teaching the other one (she was supposed to have taken both, but there was a last minute scheduling glitch, hence the sudden job offer).

So today they were commiserating about teaching the trial accounts, since basically the students are finding them really hard going.

And  the two of them went on to discuss their mutual passion for tv courtroom drama (“Law and Order, it’s like Perry Mason AND Dragnet!”). Tom said he’d tried that as a way to get the class into the subject, only to discover that none of them watched that sort of stuff. Picture both of them utterly shocked at this.

Hcame home grumbling, “That’s the trouble with kids today: they don’t watch enough TV.”


One response to this post.

  1. They dont watch enough good tv, because so much of tv just stinks.

    Maybe he could do a little .5 hr consult with Mrs. Mama so there are no surprises for the students when she comes back?


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