It seemed overwhelming last Sunday when I was madly reading Whitman and Dickinson for the first day of class. Now, I’m warmed up and enjoying the reading and preparation of James, Howells, Jewett, and Freeman for Monday. It’s fun re-learning about this time-period and leading lively discussions with students who are clearly excited about literature. Last time I taught a class like this–spring of 1997–I had a lousy experience. Not sure if it was my position at that stage in my life: an associate instructor who’d just finished graduate school, a recently married woman, a brand new technical writer, and, by the end of the semester, pregnant. Lots of new stuff going on. Also, I had high expectations for this class, which should have been the ultimate teaching experience–everything I’d worked so hard for. I guess it’s not surprising that the class couldn’t live up to my expectations. Everything seemed to devolve into a debate about male versus female writers and men versus women. Now I come into the classroom with much fewer personal agendas. That’s a much more comfortable place to be. Perhaps marriage, parenthood, tenure, and time have played a role in “growing me up.” I like to think so.
Apart from teaching, it’s been a wild week. I found out that Aunt Mary had a cancerous lump removed from her breast on Thursday.
She sounds like she’s doing well and they’re hoping for a good outcome. Still, it’s shocking news and I’m not sure I’ve completely absorbed the fact. I’m proud of her for being so optimistic and eager to get on with her daily activities. These qualities should help her heal more quickly.
Starting yesterday, when I’d planned to get so much reading done, I started feeling pooky–some kind of stomach bug. I’d planned on attending TEAM HOPE in SLC today, but hopefully I can catch some of the conference tomorrow morning instead.