Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I came back from my sabbatical year thinking "Hmm, what aspect of this job am I going to jettison so that I don't kill myself?" Midway through the semester I decided it would not be our graduate program--my seminar was going too well. In the past, every seminar I've taught has had at least one or two stand-outs, along with at least one student who is either just not up to the task, entirely ambivalent, or a complete pain-in-the-ass (why are these types in grad school?). But this past semester, they were all keepers. Each one brought a very different perspective and intellectual energy to the course, including one who asked over the summer for instructor permission (not in our department) and whom I discouraged in every way possible (no previous work in the discipline) over the course of a month, until finally folding the week classes began. On the last evening of the seminar, some of them waited around afterwards with notes of thanks and this book. Wow.  I doubt I'll ever again teach a seminar with even half the esprit de corp of this one, but I guess I'm going to hang in there for a while longer. 

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