The new course I'm teaching should be pretty exciting, actually. It's "Writing Social Justice in the Academy," a course that gives upper level undergrads experience with reading materials related to social justice issues and practice writing about them. I should be able to use some of the same readings that I use for my identity-based "Writing About Ideas" course that I'm teaching again this spring, so there should be some good synergy/efficiency for me in teaching the two classes. And I'm just pleased to have the opportunity to work with students in a course that essentially trains them to consider making social consciousness and activism a part of their lives. They may not end up agreeing with my views -- they may not even get to know my views. But if I can encourage them to become more politically active and more effective in their political writing, whether that's writing letters to their Congressmen or spearheading a massive sociological study project on inner city poverty or writing a passionate memoir about their life as a woman of color, I have to think the course a rousing success.
Another nice thing I accomplished today was to confirm that I'll have a new assistant for my foundation work. Roosevelt has a program whereby honors students can sign up to assist professors with research; eighteen-year-old Ashley, a vocal jazz major, will be putting in up to 100 hours helping me out this year, and Roosevelt will pay her $8/hr for it. Coolness.
I'm at the Bookcellar cafe right now, and about to go back to course prep for a while longer. At 7 p.m., Jennifer Stevenson will be reading from Trash Sex Magic as part of their monthly local authors' night, and some of my students should be meeting me here to hear her and others read. :-)