Chapter 1: Back to school
And back in the classroom after too many years away!
Goooooooooooood morning, afternoon, or evening, wherever you might happen to be!
As I write this, I’m on a train heading off to my university to teach in person (in a real, live classroom!!) for the first time in nearly four years.
I know, right??
Of course, like the rest of the teaching world, I have been teaching over the past couple of years—just not in a classroom. And I’ve missed it! It’s also reminded me that I haven’t yet written much on here about teaching, so I’m making some plans to rectify that in upcoming posts.
Well, maybe not ‘bad’. But not great, either! At least that’s what I thought of myself after trying to apply techniques I’d used in teaching students in one university to students at another. I already had years of teaching experience, but in very specific contexts. And I’ll never forget that feeling of standing in front of my students, trying out those good ol’ techniques, and hearing crickets. So I suppose that’ll be one of the first things I write about teaching on here—about how important it is to teach the students you have in front of you, instead of students you’ve had in the past (or students you might wish you had). I have to remind myself of that every time I greet a new class, and I’m reminding myself of it today!
At the same time that Teaching Mary is getting back into the swing of things, Writing Mary has taken a few gentle hits. First, there was a rejection for a piece of short humour that was ‘extremely relatable’, but too close to something else that outlet had already published (darnit!). Then there was feedback from my agent on a proposal-in-progress that indicated there was still ‘a long way to go’. No matter! While these kinds of things are never fun, they do get easier to bounce back from with time and experience. I sent that short humour piece off to another publication I’ve been targeting for ages. And as for that proposal, I just told myself that even I had known there was a long way to go—I just didn’t like being reminded of the fact!
A good laugh
I love humour pieces that bring absurd levels of epic drama to way-less-than-epic situations. So I really loved this piece from Points in Case about taking the game ‘Guess Who?’ to extremes: ‘Since You Last Beat Me at “Guess Who?” I’ve Dedicated My Life to Its Craft’, by Colin Wentworth.
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