Friday, September 17, 2010

Belly dance fun, but teaching woes

Ok, so fun stuff first. I have belly dance tonight, and we're hard at work on some new numbers. We have a holiday hafla slated for December. One of them is a drum, which as you know, is my favorite. One thing I love about belly dancing is how feminine it makes me feel. There's a 'celebration of fertility' vibe that I really love.

We ordered our new costumes, which are set to be shipped from Egypt shortly, and we couldn't be more excited. Mine is below:
I'm super thrilled.

In not so great news, I have a my first library instruction class of the semester coming up. And it's one of *those* classes. Remember, the one that nearly gave me congestive heart failure
last January. *shudders* I'm not nearly as spastic about it as I was last time, but still, I'm anxious. Part of the reason is that I actually don't believe that this format of instruction even works in this large setting; I'm doing it only at the specific request of the faculty member. He's been teaching this course for a long time, and his preference is to have a librarian come to his class in front of his entire 220 student lecture hall(as opposed to when they're broken out into 24 student groups). My feeling is that the students zone out about 1.2 seconds into my presentation, and that the lack of ability to actively engage them in the material (simply due to the format and location) means that they won't absorb it.

I don't like to bore people. I work hard not to bore people. But in a giant lecture hall, I have limited options. Usually, I have them work on examples on their own, but again, this would be in a computer equipped classroom where each student has their own PC. Not the case in this lecture-style situation. I can ask them questions and try to wrench answers out of them, but when they're all seated about 15 feet away from me, this feels awkward to me. "Forced," really. I don't want to come off as condescending.

"Ok, I need some key terms from this topic. Who can tell me?"

*crickets chirp*

"No one? Somebody be brave." *winning smile* "Anybody? How about you in the blue sweatshirt in the back?"

*quick discernment that he was texting his girlfriend and has absolutely no idea what I'm talking about*

See? Awkward.

*sighs* I'll do what I can with it, as always. The faculty member is always very happy with it, and his students often email me afterwards, so I suppose that's good. I just want them to like me. *sniffle*

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