Back to School, Again

…or “Two Nights in a Row? I Must Be Dreaming”
First posted 07/27/10

It’s the first day of school at TCU and I’m in the classroom I’m going to teach in. The room is all wrong though, it’s not very deep and the students are crowded. A group of giggling girls is sitting on the ledge of the whiteboard, the ledge is larger than it should be anyway. No one should be able to sit on it. I shoo them away to some seats and am surprised they do as I say. This bodes well.

My height, however, does not. What inches I gained last night have been taken away double this night. And the whiteboard is higher than it should be, I can barely reach it. I won’t let it stop me. I hop (and I’m short enough that hop I must) onto the same ledge those girls were sitting on and I start writing the course number on the board.

Then I realize… where are my materials? I have no syllabus with me to hand out, no examples, no pre-homework. All the things I planned, why didn’t I do them? I feel flustered, sick with worry. Behind me I hear whispers as I finish writing the course number. It’s about fifteen digits long, yet I have it memorized. The whispers behind me are amazement, they can’t believe someone would memorize such a long course number. (In reality, the course numbers are much shorter.)

I turn to the class and start talking, but I can’t understand what I’m saying. People are nodding along in agreement though, they understand. There’s a football player in my class and he starts moving tables to demonstrate a particular kind of tackle. The area in the middle of the room turns to grass and other phantom players show up to aid in his demonstration. Everyone goes wild for it, it’s a good show.

“As much as I like football, now is neither the time nor the place.”

Even though the class lets out a disappointed sigh, the football player also bows to my wishes and returns to his seat and the room returns to normal.

I explain that I don’t have my things (papers to hand out and such) because I did not get my order in to the secretaries in time. I will e-mail copies to everyone though. When I dismiss class I realize I only did half of the things I planned to do. We didn’t vote on office hours (I didn’t even mention them). We didn’t talk about the different between the homework grade and the completion grade. We didn’t talk about what I’m going to teach! Although, I do think I mentioned Ven diagrams.

A second class comes in but they are only seven. My class has 38. But they think I’m their teacher. I am. I go through the same thing, only this time I remember to talk about office hours and completion grades. I still forget to go over some things though.

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