At the end of my…

At the end of my 400-level class yesterday (mostly seniors and English majors), they were brainstorming their paper topics in small groups, and so we had a little time to chat. One of them said that she'd really like to write about my story that I'd assigned to them ("Talking to Elephants" (http://www.abyssandapex.com/201004-elephants.html)), but she'd be intimidated to write about the professor's story. One of the other students chimed in that she'd written about one of my stories last semester, and then two other students, who'd also taken my class last semester, said that they'd loved reading my book (Bodies in Motion (http://www.mamohanraj.com/bodies.html)).

And then we talked about how it was always a little nerve-wracking when professors assign their own books to the class, because what if they're awful? (I dropped a philosophy course in college because the only book the professor assigned was his own. He might have been a world expert on the subject, but still, it annoyed me.) But I'm pretty comfortable assigning my book now, because when I first started doing it, I checked in with them via anonymous evaluations, and they pretty uniformly really liked my book and thought it added a lot to the class. One of them said yesterday that she liked my story better than anything else we've read so far this semester, and another said that after they'd been assigned to read half my book for class last spring, she'd raced through the rest of it, just because she liked it so much.

It's often really really hard to get your students to do the reading. So it makes me extra-happy to hear that they like my writing so much, that they read it when they don't have to. :-)

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