I just don't think my class has a sense of humor. Which kills me because the only reason that I have what sanity is left is BECUASE I laugh.
For instance, this is the banner image I put on my Blackbaord site this week:
They saw it on Tuesday. No reaction. Nothing. You know those Warner Brothers cartoons where Daffy Duck is performing on stage and when he stops you hear crickets in the background? That's what this feels like. (It's surprising how many moments of my life can be compared to Warner Brother cartoons, though I'm not obsessed with roadrunners...)
Maybe they just don't get me: they may not be used to instructors with a sense of humor. It's just... with the other classes I've taught here, I managed to have some sort fo connection with my students... with this class, by and large, I don't.
In better news, they did a really nice job on the St. Crispian's Day monologue from Henry V. We went over rhythm and breath control this week, which will help (hopefully) with The Gettysburg Address, which is Tuesday's reading. We'll see. I've done both myself (If I'm going to require my students to recite something, I'm going to recite it first, to test out its difficulty and also, I don't think it's entirely fair to require my students to do something I haven't done.) and Gettysburg is all about rhythm and breath control.
Gettysburg is much harder than St, Crispian's. Yes, St. Crispian's is Shakespeare, but Gettysburg is also antiquated language, and, unlike St. Crispian, where the words are the problem, Gettysburg requires a great deal of breath control and knowledge of rhythm and stress.
I had to explain what "fourscore and seven years ago" means, which was fine: I wasn't surprised or upset about that. We also went over some of the more difficult words and phrases. I also posted their final readings: excerpts from 12 famous 20th century speeches -- including selections from RFK, JFK, Margaret Sanger, Clarence Darrow, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. We talked about the historical background of these speeches. Some of my students were immediately enthralled with one or another. Some weren't. That;s fine, they have until Tuesday to decide.
Meantime, one of my former students thanked me this week. She won an award for her e-portfolio, and her state project (on Alaska) was pointed out for special praise. It;s nice to know that the things you do are considered worthwhile by someone.
I really should do more with e-portfolio. Maybe have my students pick their best recordings and place them there. I don;t know. Clearly, its not something I can do this term. But I'll think about it.
One of the things I love about my job in the lab is that I get to see other professors' lesson plans. I've learned an awful lot about teaching from seeing what they have their students do. Sometimes, though, their plans leave me scratching my head. For instance, this term, we're running two sections of Voice and Diction. Mine is one, and the other is at 8:00 am. The 8 am class's professor professor gave us his syllabus, which had all the lab instructions on it. Its full of things like "embrace your inner child" and "seize your performance" and "control your destiny", which... ick.
This would bother me less, but sometime in October, he changed his course ... which is his right -- I've done it, most instructors have... but he never updated our copy of his syllabus, so we can't help his students when they're in the lab.
Finally, remember last week when the administration said that they wanted us to drop all visual components from the Oral Communication Assesment? Well, I found another reason. I was confirming a video taping and audio recording session with one of the professors in our Co-operative Education Department (they handle our internships) when she told me that she complained to the administration about assessment.
These assessments are supposed to be anonymous, but if they submit video, as required, well, that removes anonymity. I guess there is a point there, But I would have thought that the college would have dealt with this already.
I don't know.