Friday, March 02, 2007

Potpourri No. 16

Academic current events from yours truly:

I’ve just passed the midpoint of the semester and, as the song says, I’m “feeling groovy.” Next week is spring break, which seems oddly early to me, but hey, I’ll take it. After all, I am in a celebratory mood, having just overcome the barrage of midterm hurdles that were thrown my way. Not that I mean to feign exhaustion. Somehow this semester has been incredibly manageable, but the last week or so has been a tad more stressful, what with exams and papers and a defunct bus pass and whatnot (in this modern city, monthly transit passes are electronic cards which one must swipe through a card reader!). So while I’m far from rich, Melanie and I intend to splurge with a mini-vacation this next week. We’ve settled upon Chattanooga, not because it ranks at the top of our To Do List, but because (a) we’ve never been there, (b) we’ll then have visited one more U.S. state together, and (c) we can get there within two hours. Thanks to the folks at Wikiwhatever, we’ve learned there’s more to do there than we would have supposed. I’ll let you know how it goes. And yes, I’ll take pictures.

Summer School—And I’m Excited?!?
It’s official as of today—I will be one of the grad students teaching my own section of Philosophy 1010 this summer. I aspired to this for a variety of reasons, key among them being: (a) they’ll pay me, (b) I won’t have to look elsewhere for summer employment, and (c) it’ll help prepare me for teaching in the fall. Supposedly, not everybody that wanted a summer gig got one, so I feel very fortunate. And Heaven knows it’ll require much less time of me than working at Hot Dog on a Stick while paying just as much! Do the blessings ever stop around here? Methinks not!

Dangerous Minds
When spring break ends and school starts again on March 12th, I’ll be holding a weekly mandatory review session for those current students of Philosophy 1010 that scored a 65 or less on the midterm. Sadly, that is a decent amount of students. Moreover, my review session will be open not only to those students who attend the PHIL 1010 classes for which I am the assigned tutor, but to any student of any PHIL 1010 class. This means I could get tons of people coming. Or in theory I could get none. Basically, they just have to attend one review session a week, and there are several to choose from besides mine. But, provided I do have some students show up, this experience will help prepare me for my summer job, just as my summer job will help prepare me for the fall. Then again, I’m guaranteed to be working only with those students who struggled more with (or cared less about) the class. If I really want to influence these students for the better (and be able to sell my story to Hollywood), I’m thinking I’ll need the following: (a) a leather jacket, (b) a heart of gold, and (c) a take-no-crap attitude. I’ve already got (a) and (b), but I could certainly work on (c). Not that that’s any of your stinkin’ business!

Well, like I said, I’m working on (c).


  1. Ben, you are so funny! And how proud I am of you. You are really rolling along, and to Chatanooga, too. I imagine you will have plenty of students because they like you so much and you will really help to clear things up for them. Good luck. and Good Show!!!

  2. Woot! Things are looking fabulous for you, superteacher. Glad to hear it!

  3. Wow Benny! That is so awesome! What big leaps you are taking. I'm very impressed. I keep having troubles trying to get into blogger/post comments, so let's see if this works!