Can I tell you, it is both incredibly frustrating and incredibly satisfying teaching the early American literature survey course? I mean, on the one hand, we are just dipping into one text after another, dip, dip, dip -- for example, today we covered Uncle Tom's Cabin in 45 minutes! Okay, we only covered the first three chapters, because seriously, that is all you have time for in 45 minutes, esp. if you're trying to discuss Stowe's work in the context of Puritan tradition, transcendentalism, etc. and so on. But still doing close reading of the text! Frustrating!!!
And then on the other hand -- OMG, we are reading SO MUCH GOOD STUFF. I mean, seriously, this is like America's Greatest Hits here. I don't think the students have any idea what a treasure trove they're casually walking through (okay, racing through at breakneck speed), but hopefully some fragments are lodging in their consciousness, and maybe, I can hope, they will go back to these books over winter holidays and re-read them at their leisure, for the sheer pleasure of it?
A girl can dream.