Kids off to school--one syllabus done (or done enough to distribute)--one more to write, and then off to teach 'em.
My second syllabus, which I'm finishing on the fly, is for ENG 220, Reading Poetry. The was the course that DePaul hired me to teach, more or less, and I've done it 24 times now--but not in a year, so I'm feeling rather excited about getting back into the groove of it.
I've ordered the new edition of Helen Vendler's Poems, Poets, Poetry for my textbook, but haven't spent enough time browsing it to see which of the poems I like to teach have been cut, or to decide which of the poems she's added I want to assign. Most weeks, therefore, just have a bare-bones assignment on the syllabus (e.g., "Vendler, chapter 5")--I'll have to choose poems as the quarter goes on, and get the word out to my students by email or something like that.
(I've also warned them, right on the syllabus, that I'll be having them read poems in class for the first time, in order to train them in on-the-spot analytical moves. To be fair, I'll also let them assign me poems right in class, so that I can model unrehearsed close reading for them. Keeps me young, that.)
So: it's 10:45, more or less, and I don't teach until 4:20 pm. The challenge for me this Winter Quarter will be to use these blocks of pre-class time, and not simply for classes. Logging off to mull over the lists, then, and get something done. Maestro Weller, send us out: