So I woke up reasonably early this morning, and I've done my prep for theory. One of the things that's been interesting about teaching this course is that I've remembered some things about how I read theory best (in the morning, and with discernible goals about what I'm hoping to achieve) and also I'm realizing how much is really trapped in my brain about theoretical approaches, stuff I'd not really had to call on since graduate school. Another thing that's been interesting is that I've really gained a lot of confidence in my talent at "translating" theory into small blocks, easily understandable chunks. As a graduate student, I often felt overwhelmed by theory, and a definite lack of confidence in my ability to communicate about theory. I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that I felt so intimidated by my adviser and other profs in the program, who seemed to be able to discuss theory in ways that were (to my novice eye) effortless. What I think I'm realizing now is that what I learned from them was how to do the exact same thing - to discuss theory in a way that appears natural, although there's really a lot of hard work that goes into getting to that point. I've tried as much as I know how to model for my students the nature of my reading process, and I think that's a good approach, but I also see reflected back at me in their questions and in their looks of consternation that they feel a similar sense of intimidation in response to me as I once felt in response to my professors. I keep trying to insist to them that this is a normal feeling, and that it means absolutely nothing about their intrinsic abilities to grapple with this stuff. I'm not sure whether they believe me.
So I need to meet with some students about Levinas, I need to hound BES about her thesis (which she's not turned in to me - alas), and I need to catch up on work for my online class and to prep for tomorrow. Things are progressing at a steady, if slow, pace.
So now it's time to get motivated, to get in the shower, and to get myself in to the office.
5 years ago