Ah, the sound of students chattering. The smell of stacks of paper. The thrill of being back at the podium. I wouldn't say I'm happy that summer is at an end, but it's good to be back teaching. I have twenty-five students in one class, nineteen in another (where all but TWO are female, my oh my), all of them definitely thinking of better places they could be on sunny Thursday afternoon than sitting in CO102 listening to me rah-rah about public speaking. I got so jazzed up I started singing the theme song from Little Einsteins. Yes, yes, I did. Listening to it every. single. day. has permanently engraved it into my mind, prone to bursting forth at any given moment.
It was a nice afternoon. I didn't have to worry about the girls since Sydney has resumed her weekly treks up north to spend Thursday nights with my parents, and Jules was in the very capable and wonderful hands of Rebekah, our fabulous college student friend who is living with us this school year. We are so fortunate to have Rebekah back with us this year because she's amazing, and it means I get to leave the girls at home while I go teach. Lucky me.
I wouldn't say the class went off without any hitches. The school, being technologically savvy and all, upgraded all their computers to Microsoft Office 2007. That meant when I opened up PowerPoint I was in for a terrible shock.
WHAT ON EARTH?
It took me 30 seconds just to figure out how to open up a file. Gone was my feeling of confidence as I bumbled through the new program. For a fleeting moment I thought I might have to get through all 75 minutes of class without having screen notes, but then I did get it somewhat figured out. Obviously, the school needs to keep on the up-and-up with software, but I hate it when my programs get messed with. Have you seen Word 2007???!! Grr.
Mid-way through class I lamented to the students about the new PowerPoint.
"Look at this!" I project a screen shot of the new PowerPoint for everyone to see. I hear a rumble of despair as students see that buttons and menus are not where they should be. I ask rhetorically: "What is this?"
Sam, from the back row, took the opportunity to answer: "It's the devil."
The PowerPoint devil. Exactly. At least we all hate the new program together. Good for bonding, I suppose. The rest of each class went well; I even had one student come up after class, say thank you, and shake my hand. I don't care if she's overdoing it because I'd rather have super polite students than the reverse.
Oh, are you wondering which joke I chose to open class with? You left me some great chuckles, which will no doubt make their way hither and thither into my classroom lectures, but in the end I had to go with the joke that would allow for optimum storytelling because those are my favorite kind of jokes (I am not my father's daughter for nothing). I didn't think the joke would work well (or believably) in first person, so the main character became my youngest brother (hi Jake!).
This summer my brother, who's of the athletic sort, decided to go kayaking. He dressed to keep cool, since it was one of the few days where the weather was over 90 degrees. But then later in the day it started getting colder on the water, so he was trying to figure out how he could get warmed up. He didn't really have any extra layers to add, so in the end he started a little fire in the kayak to keep warm. Well, obviously the kayak caught on fire and burned, forcing my brother to swim to shore.
It just goes to show: you can't have your kayak and heat it too.
We can all thank J-L for that. Loved it.