Wednesday, 30 March 2011


Occasionally I feel like a proper teacher - today was one of those days. Although there were the usual ones who didn't say a word or hadn't read the book (Sage's Bad Blood - read the first chapter here), we had a really interesting and enjoyable discussion in which I learned some things and gained perspectives which hadn't occurred to me, and I think I added something to their understanding. We talked for most of the 2 hours allotted without it feeling like any more than an hour to me, which is a really good sign.

Even better, some of them spontaneously started talking about how much they're enjoying next week's text (Niall Griffiths' wonderful Wreckage): one said she was almost late for today's class because she didn't want to stop reading. Whether next week's seminar is good or not, I think that's a sign that I'm getting something right. Mind you, the student who complained about naughty words in Freshers and Beauty hasn't bought a copy yet. I think I can safely say that Wreckage's dialogue makes Trainspotting look like the minutes of a League Against Swearing meeting.


ed said...

Excuse my ignorance Vole, but what module are you teaching these texts on? I'm fairly sure that none of them cropped up on my undergrad. But then, I think I only ever had one seminar with you, which makes my now peculiar addiction to your blog all the more strange.

The Plashing Vole said...

We have a new 1st-year module called literature and Identity: I got to choose Freshers for the entire class, and Griffiths, Sage, J. G. Farrell and R. S. Thomas for the individual strands we're running. I've also sneaked some excellent Welsh material onto the Myth module (the Mabinogion and Gwyneth Lewis's The Meat Tree).

The new 3rd-year Module, Positions, gave me the opportunity to do Lewis Jones, Evelyn Waugh, Geoffrey Trease's Bows Against the Barons, and lots of other texts we've never done before.

It's been hugely enjoyable, but a massive amount of work.