Thursday, March 19, 2009
Why I do this
Today I was at a lunch for all of the Honor Scholars preparing their final theses, and the faculty who are on their defense committees. The faculty member in charge of the Honor Scholar program gave a wonderfully funny and passionate description of the process, reminding all of us that the defense is an opportunity for a well-informed group of people to sit and talk for 2 hours about a subject that they care about. This is what I want all my classes to be like, a conversation that helps everyone involved to learn more about subjects we love. Unfortunately enough of my students don't like the subject, or haven't prepared enough to contribute in a meaningful way, that I don't often get that rush. I suppose that is the true joy of teaching graduate students. After all, I had many deep conversations with fellow students and with my professors when I was in graduate school. We had the time to study the one discipline that we cared about. We had the broader knowledge base from our undergraduate studies to apply to the conversation. And we all loved academia. I'm looking forward to this intense conversation about creative writing as an analytic response to music, learning at least as much as I teach during the process. That is why I do this.