Category Archives: This Week In My Classes

This Week In My Classes: Back At It Again

I was struggling over what to write about in this post, which begins the 10th season of my blogging regularly about my teaching. What angle, what big idea, what topic, should I focus on? What do I have to say that’s new? I couldn’t seem to think of anything. And then I remembered that when I started […]

Next Week In My Classes: Back to School!

It happens so gradually at first: there’s a slight chill in the evening air, the sky is a little darker on my morning run, the leaves look just a little less green. Then a faint hum begins on campus: more people are in their offices, the sidewalks are a bit more crowded, signs of arrivals […]

This Week In (Planning) My Classes: High Impact Practices

I’ve been roughing out schedules for my 2016-17 courses — even the winter term ones, because before I can order books for them I need some idea of how the readings will fit in. As I consider how best to allocate class time, especially for my first-year class, I’ve also been thinking about a very […]

This Week In My Classes: Planning Ahead

Technically, this post should really be called “This Week For My Classes,” since of course I’m not actually teaching any right now. In between other projects, though (mostly finishing a small essayish review of Mary Balogh’s Only Beloved for the next issue of Open Letters — yes, that’s right, I am trying my hand at writing a little bit about […]

Weekend Catch-Up: Reading, Thinking, Watching

Where does the time go? It seems like I only just finished reading The Danish Girl, but here it’s almost a whole week later and I haven’t written another word here. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. In fact, in among the other business of the week (which included the department’s traditional “May marks meeting” […]

This Week In My Classes: No More Classes!

Classes ended last Wednesday, and I held my first final exam at 8:30 the following Saturday morning. That seemed hasty to me! Students have a lot going on at the end of term, and two days isn’t much time for them finish other assignments, regroup, and rest up a bit. On the bright side (for […]

Responding to Srigley, Over and Over and Over

I have been very glad to see eloquent and well-informed responses to Ron Srigley’s screed “Pass, Fail” in The Walrus (which largely reiterates his screed in the Los Angeles Review of Books). I was disappointed in both venues, frankly: it seems to me to show poor editorial judgment to publish rants of this kind without checking their […]

This Week In My Classes: Hard Times – for these times

Dear reader! It rests with you and me, whether, in our two fields of action, similar things shall be or not. Let them be! We shall sit with lighter bosoms on the hearth, to see the ashes of our fires turn gray and cold. Dickens’s subtitle for his 1854 novel Hard Times was “for these times.” […]

This Week In My Classes: Teaching as Therapy

Not for them — for me! I have actually noticed this often over my teaching career, but it has been particularly evident to me this week, when I have been feeling quite frustrated, angry, and disheartened by things that need to stay off this blog (at least for now): teaching is good for my mental […]

This Week In My Classes: Catching Up

When it’s quiet over here at Novel Readings, that’s generally a sign that I’m busy elsewhere, and that is more or less what’s been up this week. After I got back from Louisville, I had some catching up to do, especially with midterms that needed to get graded so we could all move on to […]

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