Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's Up?

Been a while, yes. I've had ideas for bullets for weeks, but none are coming to me now. Oh, well.
  • Received my student evaluations from last semester today. They were what I expected, like usual. But there are always those random comments that surprise me. For a class that barely said a word without extensive prodding on my part, some said that the best part of class was the discussions. What discussions? Also, in regards to my weekend deadlines for papers, one student said that they should be later on Sunday in case they want to sleep late. Some will never get that they can send them on Friday or Saturday before the deadline, will they? And that's after I say so multiple times.
  • Last week, I gave my lecture on rape jokes as part of the Humanities Center's lecture series on pain, and it went really, really well. I was stunned by the turnout and energized by the whole experience. I've already been asked to come to a couple of classes to do a mini-version of it. But what I really learned from the experience is that I have a way of preparing such presentations that works. I spent hours writing out notes and preparing my PowerPoint slides (with television on in background and internet breaks). My notes consisted of single-spaced bullet points, and the slides were mainly quotations or outline headings. By obsessing about it the few days before, I really got it all into my head so that I didn't have to refer to the notes too often, but it went smoothly and clearly. One of the biggest comments I got was how relaxed I was. I have to remember how well this process works for me (and that a single-spaced page of bullet points is about five minutes of presentation time, as I suspected).
  • I like going into NYC every week. The timing is good so I don't have to get up early or go to bed late (for me). And it feels like a nice break while still feeling productive. I'm not sure I ever said that I'm auditing a class on the intersections of law and performance studies. The class is cross-listed, so there are a lot of law students. It's fascinating being on this side of things again. I watch the profs sometimes and think about how and why some things work and some don't, why people respond well to some questions and prompts but not others.

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