So far, classes seem to be going well. Monday we had the first meeting of the online magazine production course, with three graduate students. It looks like at least two undergrads will be adding the class, which is good, because there's really quite a lot of work to do on it. Shannon, thanks for the comments -- I'll work on revising the syllabus soon, and your ideas will be a big help.
Yesterday morning, I taught the social justice class, which meets twice a week (T/Th at 11). It's thematically very similar to the writing about ideas class I taught, so for the first class I was able to use the identity exercise I developed a while back, where I make them get up and move around the room as I divide them into various categories of identity. They had a good time, and I think it's a useful way to make them think about the multiplicity of identities we all live within.
Every time I do this exercise, I ask for suggestions of further categories when I run out, and it's always interesting to see what my students live with, that hasn't occurred to me. One of the first times I did it, I forgot about religion entirely, for example, which is not surprising since it's not a part of my life at all, but of course, it's awfully important to a lot of people. And this time, one of my students suggested dividing between those raised in a "traditional" two-parent household, and those raised by a single parent, grandparent, etc. It pretty much divided the class in half, which I suspect wouldn't have happened with my students in Vermont. Fascinating.
The other interesting thing happening in my life is not so fun -- they cut off our gas yesterday, necessitating all sorts of running around, getting new ID, faxing them the new ID, etc. The soonest we can have gas again is Th morning, assuming nothing goes wrong with their many forms. So no hot showers, no central heat, no stove, no fireplace. Sadness. Woe.
I was worried that we'd have cold nights, but last year for Christmas, Kevin got me an oil-filled electric radiator to help keep me warm, and with that in the bedroom last night, it stayed a toasty sixty-six degrees; just fine for sleeping. We have one of the super-intense little space heaters in the tv room where I'm typing right now, so I think we can manage for a few more days if needed. Kev went around and taped up all the windows and french doors with weather stripping tape (which we'd meant to do earlier, but only got partway through) -- they're not beautiful, but it's much less drafty now. We'll probably try to find a more attractive solution next winter, but this was simple and cheap, so it'll do for now.