the world from afar

I am tired. I have a headache. I let my students out of class early today because I could tell they were freaking out about how much work they have to do. Welcome to the world.

We're reading David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. The reviews from the students so far are mixed. Most of them do not like the essays. They don't see the point. This is a response I expected and one that generates intriguing questions about the nature of personal essays. And of stories in general. We talked about these kinds of issues in the authorship course I took with Amy. Who's stories are listened to? Who gets to tell their story? Who feels important enough to tell their story in the first place?

I'm actually looking forward to class on Wednesday to discuss some of these questions. I love how it will look like I planned all of it and in some ways I suppose I did. But it's nice when things seem to come together. Of course, we'll see how it comes together on Wednesday. One of my brightest students is hard core Christian and I'm wondering how he'll react to the essays. I find myself defensive of my choice of the text as well as my own life. I genuinely like this student and he responds well to me. I can't help but thinking his view of me would change if he knew I were gay. And this bothers me.

I don't talk about my personal life much in the classes I teach. However, this course is on narrative and I do ask students to disclose parts of their lives with us as a class. Shouldn't I be able to do the same?