Saturday, June 16, 2012

first week of classes

It's been an exhausting week, and yet at the back of my mind, I know that things have only just begun. It's very strange to be on the other side of the teacher's desk, since all of my life I've only known how to sit facing the teacher, and now here I am standing behind the desk, with thirty pairs of eyes staring at me and tracking my every movement.

For an introvert, it's actually a pretty frightening thought. And I'm handling four classes this semester. My first instinct is always to check if my hair's okay and if there's something between my teeth and that I'm wearing something suitably appropriate without trying too hard. My second instinct is panic: "Oh my god, what am I going to say?" And then suddenly, it's like something else takes over - this other person, like the Incredible Hulk, except without the green skin and anger management issues - and I just find myself settling back into my skin after the class, hoping against hope that I've actually said something worth remembering.

I don't want to say anything uplifting or trite about teaching yet; only that this what I wanted to do and now that I'm here, I don't want to mess it up. And I know that right now, at least in the place where I'm working, it's difficult and it's an uphill climb, but I want to try. I mean, that's really all I can do, right? I just want to do the best I can without going mad, and to at least teach my students all that I can, and cross my fingers that they're intelligent young people who can see how the skills I'm teaching them will be valuable in the long run.

In other news, I'm sliding into another obsession - this musical called "Next to Normal", which has managed to make it to my list of Musicals I Need To See Before I Die (so far, that list has maintained itself at about five or six titles at a time; so far, I only have a couple of titles left on that list, but now it's expanded back to three) and I managed to watch the pre-Broadway show - the one with Brian D'Arcy James instead of the one with J. Robert Spencer - on YouTube thanks to some awesome people over there, and ended up going through the whole thing in three hours and gross-sobbing at three in the morning. Also, hello Aaron Tveit! You have successfully managed to infiltrate my life and now I really need to watch "Howl" in order to see your adorableness interact with James Franco.

Aaron Tveit, who plays Gabe in "Next to Normal", sings "I'm Alive" for

But anyway, I'm trying to get back on track with my Broadway geekery, which I abandoned before because (a) I had no one to talk to about my love for Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth, and (b) everyone suddenly climbed on the bandwagon of "Avenue Q" simply because it was cutting-edge and popular and it was just becoming too crowded that it wasn't fun anymore. I mean, I don't mind it when things cross from geekery to mainstream (at least now I have friends who know who Thor is, which is great, thanks Chris Hemsworth) but it's just a very odd position to be in. I think John Green sums it up perfectly in one of his narrations while playing a Swindon Town Swoodilypoopers game.

Also - I'm happy to note that a handful of my students read "Looking for Alaska" and "Paper Towns", and that I have a couple of LotR fans (boys, obviously) and a number of Hunger Games kids, and at least one nerdfighter in class. :) I really, really hope it'll be a good first semester.

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