Still, I managed to get in to campus today, and had a good fiction workshop this morning. This semester I was teaching intro fiction for the first time, and I tried doing what had been suggested, waiting until more than halfway through the semester to start workshopping stories, focusing on craft for all the weeks beforehand. I don't like it, and I won't be doing that again. Waiting a few weeks while you get down the basics of craft, fine. Continuing to teach craft all through the semester, great! But even in an intro fiction class, I wish they'd had at least two complete stories to workshop, and that we'd spent at least two-thirds of the semester on workshopping them. I teach this again in the fall, so will modify accordingly. (Students, this is a reminder I send out to the universe periodically -- if it's the first time your professor is teaching a course, you might want to wait and take it a different semester if possible, when they've worked out the kinks. It's no fun being the guinea pig.)
Now I have an hour to prep my lecture notes for my lit. class -- we're supposedly finishing up Midnight's Children today, although it may spill over to Thursday. I was a little afraid to teach this book in a 200-level course, but they've actually dealt with it reasonably well. I do think a week and a half was overly ambitious, and it'll end up being a two-week book. That's okay. I've already pretty much decided that we're going to have to chop White Teeth from the end of the semester, although I'm still going to let students who desperately want to write papers on that book go ahead with it. (One of them, for example, had it in a gender studies class last semester, and seems reasonably prepared to write about it.) So just two more books to go, A Small Place and The Bone People -- it's been a really fun class, for me at least. Hope the students like it.
Sometime today I have to figure out my booklist for the Intro level of this course and send the order to the bookstore. I think I may just end up using many of the same books -- oddly, this isn't actually a sequenced course, where people take first the 100-level and then the 200-level. There's very little overlap, if any, between the people who take the two different levels, so I can't think of a good reason why I need to use different texts. If you think of one in the next few hours, let me know.