Thursday, February 23, 2006

Update - teaching abroad and Chaucer

So, because I'm sure you're all dying for an update, here goes. I turned in my materials to teach abroad in the not horribly distant future. Now it has to get my chair's approval (my chair tends to be very supportive of such things) and the dean's approval, and then it goes into the university office. So, fingers crossed and all.

I had to write basically a statement of purpose and propose 3 classes I could teach while there; the statement of purpose felt awkward. I just wanted to write, "Choose me! I want to go live in another country for a while! Choose me!" But somehow that seemed lame. Then there's the "I've always wanted to travel thing" which seems just as lame. Seriously, if I'd prioritized traveling in my life, I'd have made other choices, and wouldn't have stayed in one place long enough to earn a PhD, get tenure, or whatever. So what do I say? I want to travel and still retain some of the security of being part of the academic system? Which is quite true, to be honest. I did try to play up what little travel experience I've had, but it's 20 years ago now, and less than impressive, I'm thinking.

Part of the statement of purpose has to talk about how you can advise students on both academic and personal matters. I'm okay maybe even pretty good on academic stuff but personal stuff? Err, "don't hurt others and don't be stupid if you can help it" hardly seems adequate, does it?

Proposing three classes was easy enough, at least. I could write basic class proposals all day. It's actually teaching them that's difficult. I proposed three pretty basic classes well within the scope of my normal teaching: Shakespeare, Intro Lit, and Poetry. I could teach the Shakespeare or Poetry at either sophomore or junior levels, if I needed to, and said I'd find a way to make them all meaningfully travel or cross-culturally oriented.

So I'm back to "Choose me! Choose me!"

I'm pleased that I didn't procrastinate more than I did, and got my part of the application process done today. (The whole thing has to be in by the first of March, so now it's up to my chair and the Dean.)

Meanwhile, back on the road to Canterbury, can I just say, "The Knight's Tale" amazes me once again. I think it's gotten better since the last time I read it. We're reading it in four parts (from the Ellesmere), and are on part two now. I have nothing original to say, but I hope we'll get into talking about gender and fates or Fortune tomorrow. I just love the way Arcite and Palamon talk about the strictures they experience, and Emilye doesn't get a word, except to join with Hippolyta in talking Theseus out of killing them. It's not like she really wants to marry either of them.


  1. Oh, dear. I have gotten behind in my Chaucer, having delayed after the GP and foolishly deciding to ...oh...grade papers, prep for a conference, work on my French.

    Now, you're being my prod. I must pull out my Chaucer tonight!


  2. Oh, you're in for SUCH a treat!

    Read on!!