Sunday, February 28, 2016

crushing expectations

The coolest thing about being allowed to teach a poetry class is to be able to move away from the sleepwalk/recycle mode that I've been in with my other classes. Don't get me wrong; it's not that I don't care about my other classes. However, I have a slate of four different classes I teach, and I've been doing them for over a decade, so they are definitely not surprising me in any way. Moreover, I have them down to where they work, and if they're working, why change? So they require very little creativity on my part.

My poetry class, though? I'm having to think out of the box every time I plan anything. Very little from my previous classes transfers. And while this does mean I have to work a lot harder than normal, it also means that I can be creative...which is something the other classes do not require.

Last Thursday, for instance, we were covering comedy and satire poetry. We got into a discussion of how comedy is contextual, and I started talking about the international versions of "what is funny." I told them some Romanian jokes as an example of black humor. We discussed how lots of British humor seems based on discomfort. I then mentioned Canadian humor, but for some reason, none of my students had never experienced any Canadian comedy. Since we're only two hours away from the border, this confused me. One person asked for an example, so, in a fit of inspiration, I showed them this:

This, my dear readers, is why I love my job so much.

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