Friday, March 14, 2014

Three Beautiful Things 03/13/14: Pasta with a Touch of Sauce, IPA Revival, Back to Billy Mac's

1.  I'm in the deep twilight of my years as an instructor.  Right now, if my teaching style were an Italian dish it would be pasta with a touch of sauce, not much.  I don't lay much sauce on my students.  I try to raise some good questions with my students through the reading we do and, as they start working out their insights in short papers, I keep things simple, support their efforts, and trust them to get things right with my light-handed guidance.  Today, as some students were finished with the course and others turned in their final work, many expressed gratitude for WR 115.  As always, some first let me know that, at first, they "didn't think they'd like this course" or they "didn't know at first what to make" of me, but, in the end, it all worked for most of my students and many expressed thanks; in fact, several found the class fun and enjoyable. I liked hearing that.  Learning to write is a long, slow process and schools are set up to try to make it happen in short periods of time, like a ten week term.  I refuse to teach to the clock and the calendar.  I see myself as trying to make at least ten weeks of this long, slow process enjoyable, thought-provoking, and as relaxed as possible, even fun.  Relaxed students work better.  So do relaxed teachers. If we let them, institutional clocks and calendars undermine what's best for all of us.  I try not to be undermined.

2.  Lately, I've started to enjoy IPAs again.  It's been many years since I enjoyed IPAs.  Today, at 16 Tons, I had a couple Claim 52 Insta-IPAs and I let the citrus flavors and piney aroma work on me and I enjoyed this beer and I'm thinking more IPAs might be in my future.

3.  It had been a while, too long in fact, since the Deke and I joined Lynn and Pam and Michael and Russell and Anne and Allie and others for Thursday at Billy Mac's.  The Deke and I have had a lot to talk about over the last few months and have spent a lot of time on our own in quieter settings talking over stuff going on in our family and deliberating over the possibilities of the future.  We wanted to see our Billy Mac's friends tonight and it was especially fun because Molly, Olivia, and David came to Billy Mac's, too, and I had a really good time talking with good friends I haven't talked with in too long of a time. 

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