Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I really can't make them do jumping jacks . . .

. . . and I can't afford to buy 20 shots of espresso twice a week, either.

So how can I liven things up in my composition course this quarter? It meets for two hours in the early evening, and the discussions are painfully slow because most of the students are just plain wore out after a long day.

Honestly, I don't think I can stand another bone-dry, interminable explication exercise like the one we all had to endure last night. And I don't think they can, either.

I've thought about just making sure that we're up and moving around more in the classroom: you know, breaking into groups, rearranging furniture into new configurations, and so on. But I'm in a tiny classroom and my attempts to get reassigned to a bigger venue have failed so far, so there isn't much space for us to do that kind of thing. There's probably enough space for "beanbag discussion," in which the last commenter has to pick who speaks next by throwing a bean bag to another student, but I can only do that so many times before it stops being effective.

So, any ideas ya'll might have on how to get the energy level up a bit and convince my students to talk without so much prodding on my part or so much hesitation on theirs would be very welcome.