It's been two months to the day since my last blog post. I'm not proud of that. I've missed writing. But it's been a hectic semester so far. For some reason, I've taken on a record number or responsibilities and activities, which include but are not limited to: coaching U10 soccer, which is surprisingly more stressful than U8; playing on the adult soccer league (I suck, but I'm getting better); being faculty adviser for the university's co-ed soccer club; adopting a puppy; joining a writing club; auditing a life drawing class; collaborating two learning communities; and suddenly deciding that my care-free-winging-it attitude to teaching was no longer for me and that I needed to spend more time planning, preparing, enlivening my classes. *Phew* My wife's usually the one who takes on more than she should, but I seem to have caught the bug.
Despite it all, however, I'm actually really enjoying it! I have a new-found love for soccer that I'm not sure I ever had when I was younger. And I love coaching. On my birthday, my wife filmed our game and we hosted a screening/pizza party. The kids loved watching themselves on the big screen, and I used it as an opportunity to show mistakes and praise good plays; in fact, I may have learned more than them.
Our new bagle hound (beagle/basset hound) Memphis is awesome. He's ridiculously cute, and manages to lighten my mood just being. Granted, he's still house training and wakes up (literally) before the crack of dawn, but he and I have gotten into a routine. We get up and go for a quick walk, I make us both breakfast, and he falls back to sleep while have a cup of coffee and work on all that school stuff I mentioned.
Which is crazy for me. I'm making lesson plans now! I simply never bothered before because I believed in the organic classroom. But they keep me on track, remind me of the important stuff I used to forget to mention, and I still manage to leave myself wiggle room when a student wants to argue about why Star Wars is such an important film. I like the structure it's created, and I like planning assignments and activities more now--like putting together a puzzle. And my students are churning out some excellent work! I'm ashamed I haven't continued my Weekly Student Spotlight series, because there have been some great discussions that should be shared. So starting next week, the series will return! It should be especially interesting as my Movies in the Classroom Learning Community begins its Case Study about Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.
And as the Fall Break begins this weekend, I've lined up some reading in preparation for the 200-level literature course I get to teach next semester. I'm extremely excited about it, and we're offering it as a learning community about popular culture. I'll be a taking a kind of "Pop Culture Through the Ages" approach to it by having students read a traditional work of fiction like H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines followed by a contemporary comic like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The other pairs include Tom De Haven's It's Superman! with The Dark Knight Returns and Robert Coover's The Universal Baseball Association (which was recommended to me by my chair, and so far, I'm enjoying) with Scott Pilgrim's Volumes 3 & 4 (which seems odd, but I have my reasons). I'm very excited to try my hand at teaching lit.
So yes, it's been an insanely busy semester, and I don't foresee having a ton of time for blogging (or reading or gaming for that matter) for the rest of it. But I think that's okay, as long as they don't feel like major sacrifices. And right now, they don't...Though Fall Break will likely be a chance to recharge those batteries.
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?