September 12, 2011

Pre-mid-September Updates

To my loyal readers, sorry I've not posted as regularly I would like to. To the rest of you, you made it just in time.

I've been in graduate school for two weeks now. I've got homework, I've got far-out paper due dates, and I've got my own class to run. As a teacher/tutor/student, I am trying my best to keep everything in my planner, and then actually look at the planner to remember what's next.

The most surprising thing that's happened so far is in my TESL Practicum. Instead of working with ESL students, through a serendipitous chain of events, I ended up as an assistant in a first-year German class. The professor is enthusiastic about having a helper in her class, especially since that helper has the remnants of an Austrian accent. I observed the class on Thursday, a requirement of the TESL practicum, and on Tuesday, I will start as an active teaching force (that's the first thing that came to mind, "force") in GER 101. Look out students, I'm about to lay some serious "Steierisch" on you. "Les ma a bissl was, ga?"

Although it has been three years since I lived in Austria, my fond memories of  Kaffee and Schnitzel still warm my heart. My German has deteriorated since then, but at a GER 101 level, I feel confidant that I can handle it.

Did I mention that I teach Freshman Composition? Well, they have also been impressed by my German abilities because I told them about my assignment. They are a fun bunch, my ENG 105ers. We had a rousing discussion of rhetoric centered around the hypothetical text message "I love you". They were so enthralled that I was worried that my subsequent lessons wouldn't stack up. I was right. Sometimes you have to be more boring. How about that for a teaching philosophy?

Graduate school is a lot of work, and a lot of planning to do work. But it's also a place where I am surrounded by people who are a lot like me. And they like coffee, so...life is good.