Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Coming full circle

Monday marked the beginning of my fourth class for the semester. As I printed out my roster, I glanced at the room assignment. It seemed vaguely familiar. It'd be funny, I thought, if the room were the same one... Well, it would at least be in the same general vicinity.

When class time came around, I hoofed it across campus to the building, hiked the stairs of the building where I'd had a number of memorable classes, including an honors seminar and several semesters of newswriting with a very, um, unique group of folks. It was also the building where I had my first class, English 101, or comp. I, way back in the Fall '99 semester.

Turns out, the room was the exact one I thought it was--the classroom where I took English 101. I approached it from the opposite direction this time 'round, both literally and in terms of my role. Back then, I was literally a scared kid, finishing up high school while starting courses at the college. I had no clue what to expect, and I didn't know if I'd measure up. The room was huge, it seemed, to a previously home schooled kid. I sat--not quite in the back; the row was taken--off to the right side of the classroom, as far toward the back as I could get. I don't think I talked much in class then; I never really left my shell until the second half of my undergraduate classes, when I started having classes with people I'd at least run into before.

This time, I knew exactly where to go once I reached the classroom. I strode in, books and syllabi in hand, to the front. I sized up the room; guess it shrunk in those intervening 8 (!) years. It seemed cozy, actually, especially compared to the other classrooms I'm teaching in. I felt pretty secure in my role, and I can honestly say it was the smoothest first day orientation I've done (by the fourth one of the semester, it certainly should be!). I'm convinced that it helps that the class is after 11 o'clock, when I'm at my most functional, but I also seem to have a good group of students. They're a 102 class, so they've hopefully gotten some experience under their belts, whether they've been out of school for a while, or perhaps they learned from the sorts of shenanigans my 101 students are pulling. Whatever it takes, though we'll see how they respond when put to the tasks of actual coursework.

It was a good first day, though, the most promising one I've had this semester.

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