It’s been a really…

It's been a really hectic week. Classes started Thursday, so there was much frantic last-minute revising of syllabus, adding books, etc. We'll see whether I'm totally nuts about how much I think they can read in a semester. I'm sort of wishing I'd picked a different Naipaul now -- A House for Mr. Biswas is something like twice as thick as most of his novels. But it's too late to change it, I think, since I've had the bookstore order the books, and I already look pretty wishy-washy for adding books to my order the day before classes start.

The SA lit class went well, I think -- we read part of the Ramayana and talked a little about the role of Sita in S. Asian literature. It's not a specifically feminist class, just a historical approach, but lord, you can't avoid it with that text, can you? And then we started talking about Sita's parallels to Eve (both of them are women who desire something they shouldn't, ignoring the valid concerns of the men in their lives and in fact, persuading the men to go get the object, despite the men's better judgement, leading to doom and disaster)... On Tuesday, we'll take a look at what happens after Sita is rescued. Should be fun. :-)

The evening Writing About Ideas class was a disaster though -- because I GOT THE TIME WRONG! Oh my god, how idiotic do I feel. iCal told me that the class was at 7 p.m., and in fact, it's at 6. I'm guessing the problem arose because I was having difficulties with time zone shifting in that program -- I thought I'd caught all the errors weeks ago, but one must have crept in when I wasn't looking. So I showed up at 7, and of course they were all gone. My poor students have missed a class, and while I'd be thrilled to do a make-up class, I'm guessing that's going to be impossible to coordinate with 20 students, most of whom work full-time and are taking other classes in the evenings. So I'll just have to cut back on a little of the material. Sucks. V. bad start to the semester. :-(

I twisted my ankle Thursday, too, so you must picture me pathetically limping three blocks to the train after discovering my stupid mistake, until finally it hurt too much and I got into a cab. I got home and just fell apart. The only thing that helped at all was Kevin telling me that he did something similar once on the first day of class -- he got the room wrong, and tried four different rooms in different parts of the building before going back to office and finding out what the right room was -- by which point, twenty minutes had passed and all the students had left, of course. Sigh. If anyone else has horrible similar stories, now would be a great time to share them -- it might help me face my students when I go back in next Thursday...

3 thoughts on “It’s been a really…”

  1. Hi Mary Anne,

    I’d like to pick up the “Ramayana”. Who is the author of the book you are reading?

    (Hope your ankle’s better!)

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Julie, the Ramayana is a long ancient epic, like Homer’s Odyssey — but unlike Homer, it doesn’t have a single author. It’s been handed down and added to through the last two thousand years, and there are many translations and variations. If you google it, you’ll find several versions on-line. This is the one I used for class — it’s a bit sing-songy and cheesy, but very accessible. If you like it, you can go hunt up one of the denser, more interesting translations. Your local big bookstore should have at least one, if not more, and Amazon has lots.

  3. The beginning of the Fall semester is always an absolute nightmare at my college, and this year was worse than others. On the first day, all three of my classes were double-booked in rooms with other classes. The administration is supposed to have some kind of software that prevents this, but not this year. So the first day I was running all over the place just to find out where the hell my classes were supposed to be.

    And then, because the students can’t actually be enrolled in the class until their financial aid goes through (and almost every student there uses it), I only get half my students there for the first two weeks. I can’t even start teaching until week three (or I could, but I’d be repeating myself a lot, something I don’t like).

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