01 June 2010

The First Day of Summer (Session)

Tonight I met my Summer Session students for the first time.  One of them took a class with me during the regular semester, then dropped it.  He was having family difficulties of some kind--I didn't ask.  The others seem to have heard about me from their friends.  That could be a good or a bad thing.  Actually, I don't mind it as much now as I might at the beginning of the regular semester.  One thing about summer students--especially ones in a class like the one I'm teaching, which is Writing for Business--is that they're, paradoxically, more relaxed and more focused than students during the regular session.  They're taking the class in the summer because they want to be done with it--and, in some cases, their degrees--sooner than they would otherwise finish them.

Three students in my current class told me their friends said, "Take her, she's really good."  On my way to the class, another student whom I'd never met before stopped me to ask what I'm teaching next semester.  And, after class, I found a message from another student on my voice mail.  She  wanted to know whether I was teaching the research writing class, which I sometimes teach and she has to take.

It's nice that students want to take me and recommend me to their friends.  However, I feel that  it's put me in a box:  I feel as if I have to continue to teach in the same way as I've been teaching.  Members of the administration also tell me that the students say positive things about me.  So I get the feeling they want me to freeze myself in amber and to come out of it only when I perform in front of class or at a meeting.

I'm feeling the need to change, although the direction in which I would move is just beginning to become clear to me.  Whatever it is, it must be a path that will allow me personal and spiritual,as well as professional, growth.  None of those things seem possible for me at the college.  I am starting to understand what the former director of academic advisement told me when she left:  "People come here to die."

I transitioned and had my surgery so I could live.  That's what I want to continue.