What’s Missing

What’s really missing from my life is an opportunity to teach Castellanos Moya’s Moronga in class. And it’s not because he’s Central American and I’m a Peninsularist. I could create a really great course on novels about ETA on the one hand and Central American guerrilla on the other.

Instead I get to teach “my name is, today is Tuesday, how are you?”, which nobody needs a PhD or even a Master’s to do. I don’t care about teaching the way I do about research, so I’m not massively heartbroken about this. It would be fun to do something at least a bit challenging in the classroom, that’s all.

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16 thoughts on “What’s Missing”

    1. I don’t have students capable of doing the readings or understanding the material. I’d have to start the course by explaining that Central America is not the name of the central part of the US.

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        1. In order to get them anywhere by the fourth year, you need to at least teach content-based courses. And of course having some college-ready students would be nice.

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      1. Working that info in is part of the working in. I seriously think that 15 minutes in English, even, talking about the latest book you’ve read in Spanish, is not a bad use of class time once in a while.

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        1. I agree, definitely. But I long for a class where I have to prepare because the material is not so basic that I can present it in my sleep. I’ve never prepared for class. Unless you count printing out activities or question lists.

          I want my brain to be involved.

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          1. I am constantly overprepared, yet underprepared due to teaching out of field and trying to design courses that will be nationally valid and fit various bureaucratic and student needs here. I’ve also taught at good universities where yes, I got to do interesting things that I prepared for and that were interesting and that had to do with my own research. But in this situation, I think you should at least do something with the things you know.

            I will say I find it deadly boring to spend all the time it takes to create intermediate level exercises with brilliant texts, and I admire the people that enjoy this.

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            1. I do something for sure. This semester, for instance, my course on Culture of Spain will be Spanish history from the Basque perspective, which is new for me. Last semester, I did the Latin American history course from the perspective of race relations. I make it as interesting as I can. But it’s still miles away from the level I’d like to take it.

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              1. I tried to talk about literature of crisis in class. Once I mentioned the word neoliberalism and started talking about the new economic reality, everybody fell asleep. This is a crowd where the only kind of talk about the economy they want to hear is anybody can become a billionaire with hard work and effort. And it’s not what my research shows.

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  1. Why you don’t have at least 2 Spanish departments? Here at Laval, we have 3 English departments, one for language acquisition (with only adjuncts), one for linguistics and one for literature.

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    1. You need LOTS of students to support that kind of departmental structure. I don’t think Clarissa’s department has enough literature students for that to work.

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