Sunday, September 16, 2007

Teaching at the University of Oklahoma

I'm currently in my second semester of teaching classes in the Professional Writing program at OU. I've been teaching writing for 18 years. But I've never had a steady diet of college minds to play with.

I've discovered they're incredibly sharp, but naive in some ways, and usually ready to challenge a professor's credentials on some level, which keeps things even more interesting. I never let it slip into the adversarial role, though. I enjoy them too much. I see myself in them 30 years ago, and in spirit that wasn't so long ago.

I'm also blessed with the cream of the crop. These are students who really want to learn something. As a teacher, it just doesn't get any better than that.

I think I have a good rapport with them, and we share a language. I also make sure they know I'm often learning as much as they are. The old saying, "If you want to learn something, teach it" is certainly true when it comes to writing.

They make me think every day. And often they make me think thoughts I wouldn't have thought on my own or in ways that wouldn't otherwise have been open to me.

However, college is also filled with jokers. I'm one of the worst.

But, every now and again, I find a student who rises to meet the occasion.

One of the students I pick on the most (and yes, if I pick on you it means I like you -- and actually may see hope for you) is named...well, let's call him Tyler.

Anyway, my novel class was instructed to create a loose working outline of their novels for me to review. They were supposed to send them to me by Monday, tomorrow night.

Tyler sent his tonight. Here it is.

I wrote back and told him it wasn't neat or legible. In fact, I don't think there's a straight line on the whole bulletin board.

Well, Monday's class should be fun. I gotta find my sock puppets so I'm ready.


Meg said...

Nicely done, "Tyler." Such a quick wit on that one.

Katie said...

LOL. Looks like some of the ones from your evening classes too.

Ron Simpson said...

I agree, when I taught my tech support classes at work, I was constantly on top of it all. When I stopped teaching (the hired a dedicated trainer) I started to lose that edge.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you're having fun Mel. you still teaching the class next month at MNVT on Wednesday evenings? I'm planning on taking it if you are. Have a good one.

Ron Simpson said...

I will be in class next semester too.

Anonymous said...

Ron, you'll be in the one in October? That's the one I'm taking.

Sevenine said...

I'm taking an internet Creative Writing course right now, but it sounds like I'd enjoy your class more, especially with students like "Tyler". Ha ha! I'll start writing a novel of my own in correlation with three major projects for that course over this semester. I'm not totally final on the idea for it yet, but I have it between a James Bond-type thriller and a mind-working psycho tale. I love letting my imagination go wild.