Things change so quickly.
I’d just set up regular Tuesday Zoom meetings with my freshman comp students at Stephens, and emailed them an update (their last undertaking is a research paper). I signed off by acknowledging that none of us really knows what is going to happen past April 14, when we were slated (but I doubted we’d be able) to return to campus for in-person work. I came back upstairs after hitting “send” to learn that Stephens’ campus operations had just closed down for the semester, and graduation had been moved to August. What a surreal situation for students, and it’s certainly the first time I will not be able to say “So long!” to a class in person. I’ve seen quite a bit, having taught in each of the last four decades, but this truly is novel.
It’s really too late to try it now, but, though I was initially resistant to videoconferencing every day, I am fascinated by how a Socratic seminar might work in that mode. Some of the temptations that can untrack a discussion would seem to be eliminated. If I am assigned a class next semester (I always teach a music-focused comp class in the fall), I’ll have to assign my students an album to listen to and annotate (or let them pick one), and give a virtual Socratic a spin.
Also, I received a review copy of Sasha Geffen’s GLITTER UP THE DARK: HOW POP MUSIC BROKE THE BINARY from the University of Texas, and the introduction and chapter headings alone convince me it could be a great required text for my fall class. Geffen is smart and brave, and her style would be challenging but enjoyable for first-year students. Funny thing is, I was alerted to it by Hannah Ewens, whose great book FANGIRLS (along with her virtual guest appearance in both my ’19 fall classes) had convinced me I needed to use IT–I certainly can’t (or at least shouldn’t) assign both. Or maybe I could…
But who the hell knows what next semester is going to look like.
Is anyone else out there watching either LITTLE FIRES EVERYBODY or HIGH FIDELITY on Hulu? Nicole and I are, and I’d be interested in your thoughts.
Stimulus package: ’bout time, BUT keep your eye on the ball. Myself, I am afraid to look at it closely. Kleptocrats were involved.
Streaming for Shut-Ins: This full album speaks for itself.