Category Archives: Teaching

This Week in My Class Prep: Sorting, Drafting, and Pondering

The beginning of classes is getting close enough that working on class prep no longer seems like just a way of avoiding more amorphous (and thus more stressful) tasks like research and writing. All summer, of course, I’ve been doing reading and thinking with my seminar on the Somerville novelists in mind, but now I’ve […]

My Somerville Summer Continues: Course Planning!

I continue to read both primary and secondary sources in preparation for my fall seminar on “The Somerville Novelists.” Most recently I’ve been going through Holtby’s Women and a Changing Civilization and Brittain’s Lady into Woman: A History of Women from Victoria to Elizabeth II, as well as reviewing some of their journalism: my idea at this […]

My Somerville Summer: Update

Six weeks into my ‘Summer of Somerville,’ it seems like time to take stock. In my previous post, I identified two main areas I need to focus on: pedagogical strategies (concrete course-planning things like readings, schedules, and assignments) and research in a whole range of topics (my own expertise will be needed partly to inform […]

The Summer of Somerville

Now that the dust has mostly settled from the teaching term, I’ve begun organizing my plans for the summer. One of my top priorities is preparing for my new seminar on ‘The Somerville Novelists,’ which is the first official academic manifestation of the reading I’ve been doing about Vera Brittain, Winifred Holtby, and Margaret Kennedy. […]

Not Blogging But Drowning

OK, I’m not really drowning, as this is my ‘light’ term and I’m also lucky enough to have a TA to share the essays with in my larger class. But working through papers and exams is really sapping my psychic energy right now. I hope–no, plan!–to have the last of the essays done tomorrow. Then […]

Teaching Texts: Taking The Road into 2012-13

Book orders for the fall term were due April 1. Apparently this early deadline helps the bookstore know which books are being re-used and thus which books they can buy back from students to re-sell next year–which makes sense and is a good thing to do for students! But April 1 is still very early […]

This Week In My Classes: (How to Avoid) Reinventing the Wheel

It’s too late now to do anything organized about this problem this term, but as I work my way through the next-to-last assignments my students are doing I’m puzzling over why so many of them seem not to have learned much from the assignments they have already turned in and had returned. It seems a […]

“On the Duties of Professors”: Research vs. Scholarship

A friend and colleague who read and sympathized with my previous post passed along to me an essay by the late C. Q. Drummond, a long-time member of the Department of English at the University of Alberta. The essay is called “On the Duties of Professors,” and it addresses many of the same issues as […]

This Week in My Classes: Contact Hours

One of my goals for this term was to increase the amount of direct contact between me and my students. One step towards that goal was my (re)introduction of seminar groups into my 3rd-year “lecture” class on the Victorian novel. It’s not a straight lecture class: hostile media reports to the contrary, I know no professors […]

A New Year, A New Term!

Winter term classes start for us today. Happily, it’s a dry day, with no ice or snow complicating the back-to-school logistics. On the other hand, with the wind chill it “feels like” -21C, so there’s no forgetting that it is winter. (The distinction between the actual temperature and what it feels like always seems such […]

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