24 August 2007

On Pleasure Bent Again...

I depart today for the rainy woods of British Columbia for the next week...I'm looking forward to a week of trees and lakes and wind and magic and a complete and total respite from academia and the petty to-do lists of daily life. It feels ridiculously indulgent to be able to take an entire week's break from my life. I will post pictures when I get back, in the meantime, I hope everyone else gets some sort of mental August vacation, however short or long, before the back-to-reality crunch arrives in September.

21 August 2007


Well, my class finished last week and I am now returning to the land of not writing lectures every day. It's kind of weird to be back. Suddenly organizing my desktop files holds tremendous appeal. The last day of class did, as predicted, bring on a lot of nostalgia. I am reminded of one of kungfuramone's post from a few weeks ago about the constant obsolescence of things, places, people in our wacky modern lives. I know so many intimate details of my students' lives after this class -- it may have been the nature of the subject matter, or my discussion style, but the range of personal experiences shared by the students with me and the rest of the class was amazing, and humbling as well. From abortions, to lynchings, to custody battles, to racial profiling by cops, to child abuse, to military experiences around the world, it was present in our little class and our conversations were richer and deeper for it. And now I find myself a) hating to grade them, hating it, hating it, hating it, I'm way too much of a mother hen for this part of the gig; and b) a little weirded out that I'll likely never see or hear from any of them again. We spent two hours a day every day having intense political, historical and personal conversations (I didn't really share personally, but they did hear a few stories from law school, including that of the infamous Texas party, and they certainly have a good idea of my political positions), and now it is done. It's just the nature of teaching, of course, but I've never had my own class before, so it takes an added adjustment to just saying goodbye at the end of a discussion section. Also, on the last day of class several of them actually asked if we could have a bonus class -- an extra class the next day despite the fact that it was their "dead week" day. They wanted to finish some of the topics we hadn't gotten to on my lecture outlines. It was very sweet, and I was tempted for a split second but my "you'll kick yourself later" sense jumped in and deferred. Always leave them wanting more, right?

I have finally updated my flickr account with photos from the fabulous tour of the east side of the mountains by Trust in Steel (sadly I didn't take enough, dumb battery) and photos from our month-long tour of county fairs, which is ultimately all about the adorable animals. And, this weekend, photos from J's graduation and celebration. Cupcakes were had. Pinatas were beaten down with baseball bats. Good times.

14 August 2007

Next Summer: History of TV, Wine & The Rock and Roll Music 108*

The last day of my summer class is tomorrow, and while I am in some way (as predicted by Erin) melancholy because I always get all nostalgic and mushy at the end of things, I am also, you know, kind of looking forward to it. If by looking forward to it you mean desperately waiting for that glorious day to finally be here. If you can't tell from my (lack of) blog activity for the past three-plus weeks, I've been teaching a two-hour class daily for the past...three-plus weeks. It was a great experience, I do really enjoy the students, amazing opportunity, tons of intense discussions, learned a lot...blah blah blah! Let's face it, folks, I'll say the nice stuff about it later, right now I'm just really looking forward to not spending every single afternoon and evening (and the following morning before class) writing lectures. I would like to do the 80s dancing, watch the crappy television, and drink the nectar of the grape. I'm through being ProfessorLawyerMommy at least until school starts in the fall, and even then, I'm gleefully looking forward to having someone else lecture for a while.

This is all by way of reality-check, because in about two days (let alone two weeks) I will be all sad and missing my students and fondly reminiscing about our fascinating discussions. And that's fine, I know myself well enough to know that. I'm a softy, and I carry rose-colored glasses right next to my radical-feminist-Marxist red pair. But I will suggest for any of my fine friends who have the opportunity to teach a course on their own during PhD-getting-fun -- maybe don't try to teach the entire stretch of US history along with ten different major categories of law in a four week class. It may be a tad ambitious. Although I do feel like I have gone through my own version of law-school re-boot camp. Relearning the nitty-gritty details of contract law, corporations, family law, criminal law, constitutional law, property law, civil procedure and Indian law in the context of the whole history of the U.S. and then teaching it to non-lawyers and non-historians was definitely...educational. And it made me feel, for the first time since starting to read for comps, as though there may someday be an end point to this path that actually does involve running my own classes and doing my own research and reading. And that's a very, very good thing.

Now I am off to show off some mad LSAT skills. In future posts there will be pictures of the fabulous trip to the eastern side of the mountains as well as many, many photos from my tasting menu of local county fairs. Goats. They're cute.

*101 is just so obvious.