So, this afternoon, I went into campus to get two of the films I'll be teaching for my class. I ended up having an impromptu meeting with a colleague, and as we chatted, it was revealed that I may get to teach a brand new course next summer!
I'd only been thinking of this theme for a course in a scattered sort of way while I was in Lebanon, and I'd figured I'd never teach it. See, I was thinking about it in terms of redesigning one of my upper-level undergrad courses this year, but then I decided that I didn't like the idea of revamping that particular course because I love it so as it is. And so, it was going to go the way of many new course ideas that I've had over the ages: into the ether.
But no! See, if I teach this course next summer, I'll teach it as a GRAD course. And it would give me an excuse to teach a bunch of stuff that doesn't fit into the other courses that I teach. AND - and perhaps this is the biggest AND of all - as I threw the idea out to my colleague, it occurred to me that this would be my next writing project: an article that would come out of this particular course. And it might be an article about teaching, or about the lit - not sure. But then I thought - because I'm never one to have one idea without a follow-up idea that is big and crazy - so does this mean that my plan post-tenure is a series of articles? Could be. But then I thought, what if what I wanted to write was about teaching? And if so, maybe what I really should do is write a book about teaching.
Not a textbook; a book about teaching. And this is where my ideas get the better of me, because I have no idea who would publish such a book, what the audience for it would be, or what would go in it. And, because I'm a weirdo, those are the sorts of ideas that always capture my imagination most, naturally.
Maybe it's really a good thing that school's starting again, for it seems to have energized not only my teaching brain but also my scholarly brain.
But so I won't know for a while whether I'll be teaching this course or not. It all depends on what would be most advantageous for the program, and I'm not going to steamroll my way into teaching it. But if I do teach it, what is the course?
A course on terrorism. That's right. The idea would be to teach 4 or 5 novels maximum, one novel per unit. Each unit would then also feature selections of poetry, non-fiction, and theory. And each unit would explore terrorism from a different angle - so we'd talk about Irish nationalism and the IRA in one unit, radical Islam in another.... you get the picture. Wouldn't that be so totally cool? And we could explore things like gender and terrorism and domestic terrorism and well, really, the list just goes on and on. I'm so excited!!!! Of course, the whole idea could come to nothing. But wouldn't it be so great if it didn't? Ok, need to get back to work, as the afternoon is quickly getting away from me.
6 years ago