A Return to the Classroom


I'm headed back to the Ivory Tower this Fall. My high heels have not walked in front of a class in three years. I'm thrilled to get back to the classroom. Teaching is a bit like traveling - the preparation is half the fun. I've soaked up every moment of perusing texts, considering themes, and organizing my syllabi. I know turbulence will hit. It's inevitable. But seeing those light bulbs go off is so worth the ride.

For my Intro. to Lit, class, I'm stuck with the old school Norton. Bleh. Norton editions are so limiting and filled with way too many dead white dudes. During my first run-through of the Table of Contents, I mentally assembled a syllabus based on things I'd taught before - Hamlet, Oedipus Rex, and Maus. Yikes! I'm not sure I can handle a semester's meditation on death and father/son issues right now. So I rebooted and am leaning toward A Midsummer Night's Dream as my centerpiece text. This particular Norton contains poetry, short stories, and drama, which leaves the novel to my choosing. While I appreciate this freedom, it's a bit overwhelming. I'm considering the theme of "Challenging Conventions," which will let me encompass satire, challenging stereotypes, manipulating genres, etc. I'm batting around the idea of adding The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams as my novel. I'll keep you posted.

Children's Literature will be a breeze and a gift. We'll be walking our way through the genres - picture books to graphic novels. I got to choose the textbook, and my priorities were brevity and practicality. Essentials of Children's Literature looks to be a winner. Again, I'll keep you posted on our progress. I'm having to much fun choosing the outside texts! I'm considering the subtitle, "Dragons and Diversity." I considered "Slaying the Dragon of Ethnocentrism," but this seemed too pretentious, even for me.

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