I survived teaching Japanese school girls over the Christmas/summer break, and now University is back up and running. I’m so relieved not to be teaching ESL – you can’t imagine. I love teaching, and I love the range of students you get with English language stuff, but the topics are SOOOOOOO boring!
So, now it’s straight back into the English department, and I’m not sure how much better this semester’s teaching is going to be than ESL. I’m tutoring (TA-ing) the basic paper on critical reading and writing. The articles which the students have to read and discuss range from the banal to the boring, with a few interesting things thrown in. And many of the writing issues we’ll be dealing with will involve teaching native speakers about how their language works, and what is and isn’t allowed in academic contexts (a point which I think I might be more conservative on than the convenor of the paper). When I last taught this course, I swore I’d never do it again, but that time I had a ridiculous load, as I was supporting my husband through the end of his PhD, and I didn’t understand the point of the paper. I think I have a much better idea about the paper’s purpose, and will be starting to introduce things like ‘What is a sentence?’ from the beginning. The lecturer is better, too, though that’s not hard.
Teaching is also only going to occupy Wednesdays and Fridays, so I should be getting a whole ton of writing done on Mondays and Thursdays, with a fair bit on Tuesdays as well (though much of Tuesday will be spent sorting things for the following week). Maybe, by the end of this year, I’ll have something published? I really need to use this semester to get more written, because I’m getting no replies to job applications. I know I’m really fortunate with the teaching load – it’s light, but pays well enough that I don’t have to go looking for other stuff this semester.
Goal for the coming week: Finish editing the articles for the book/journal, so I can discuss them with my fellow editors next week.