Okay, so next Tuesday I'm teaching Whitman. This is the second time I've tried to teach Whitman, and I admit, the first time left me a bit scarred. I was an MFA student at Mills, TA-ing an American survey class, and the prof. asked me if I'd like to try to teach a class on my own, and I said sure, and he gave me Whitman, which was a bit unnerving because I hadn't actually read any Whitman at that point, and despite trying to prep for it, I totally bollixed up the entire class. It was an hour and a half class, and I ran out of things to say after thirty minutes, and there was some miserable silence, and then the prof had to come up and rescue me, and I sat down, humiliated and feeling stupid. He was very kind afterwards, and pointed out that one problem was that I'd asked a lot of questions with yes/no answers -- and the students had responded accordingly, so I hadn't managed to generate any discussion. I'm better about that now! But I'd still appreciate any tips for teaching Whitman that folks would care to share. :-)
P.S. I just realized that it was 1998 when I taught that class. SIXTEEN years ago, my god. Have I really been teaching for that long?