Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Next Semester's Classes

This morning I received the list of classes that I will be teaching next semester. Some of the old, a little of the new:

  • Creative Writing [Senior students]
  • British & American Literary Criticism II (Contemporary Ideas) [Senior students]
  • English Presentation (Public Speaking) [Junior students]
  • Basic English Sentence Writing [Freshmen]
  • Basic Animation English [Freshmen]

The first three on this list I was also assigned last year, but the Literary Criticism class had few students so I gave it up and instead got assigned Advanced English Grammar, which I didn't care for much, especially because the textbook I was asked to use was terrible. Next semester we will try the Literary Criticism class again. The department chairperson is quite keen on this class, as am I, but students are less excited and since this is an elective class there really is no guarantee as to the number of students that will take it. If less than seven students enroll for it, it will be cancelled and I will teach only four modules. This may or may not be a good thing. It may be good in that it will free me up a bit, which is good as far as my personal studying goes--the PhD is taking quite a toll. But it is bad in that I won't be paid the overtime I am currently paid whenever I teach more than four modules. 

The two new classes which I will be teaching are both freshmen classes: Basic English Sentence Writing and Basic Animation English. As for the first, I chose the textbook for our department, so I guess it is only fair that I sample my own medicine, so to speak. It will be an easy class to teach (I know, because I chose a comprehensive textbook, which basically teaches itself). As for the other class, Basic Animation English, I really have no idea what the purpose of that class is. I'm assuming that it is some kind of language skills course--possibly, listening comprehension--using animated films. I haven't had the opportunity to look at last year's syllabus yet. Honestly, I think it is a peculiar class to have in an English department.

I won't be teaching 19th & 20th Century American Poetry next semester, something I am a little sad about. We have a new American faculty member who--being American--can possibly bring a more native perspective to the subject matter. While I am sad about not teaching it, it is a time consuming class to prepare for and grading essays also take a lot of time. The Literary Criticism class will take up enough of my time, so that I'm not overly sentimental about the poetry class. I also hope to refine my Creative Writing course and actually have in mind a textbook of sorts, focused on the creation and representation of characters. I can use this class as motivation to work on that.

This week is the 13th week of our 16-week semester. After the 16th week I just need to grade exam papers and then stick around for an extra week of admin, where after I'll have vacation. Looking forward to a well-deserved break!

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