Monday, April 19, 2010

Last early morning!

Yes, I'm up at 7 am - it's our last lecture for Musicology 240 today, and I couldn't be more excited to go!  Because it means that I don't have to GSI again for at least a year and four months.  Not that I don't like teaching.  For some reason, though, this semester really burnt me out.  I need some time to recover from students complaining, grading, etc.  Maybe by the time I come back students will be grateful and will want to be educated, rather than doing everything in their power to get me to teach only to the exam.  I don't remember being like this at Vassar - it seemed that people were really excited about learning there, even if that didn't extend to everyone.  Perhaps I'm glossing over moments because the grass is always greener, but I'm pretty sure that school of music kids, in general, are less inclined to care about the academic side of music, despite the fact that they need to know how to write so that when they realize they won't be playing in the NYPhil, they can figure out another career path that won't lead to a cardboard box in Central Park.

I'm falling into predictable cynicism again.  I loved most of my students this year.  I think the ones with attitudes just really got to me, for some reason, because I don't understand why they think it's helpful to come into musicology thinking that they know everything already.  Perhaps the class isn't taught as in depth as I think (or they think) it should be taught, but that's the nature of a survey course.  Pay your dues, move on, and take upper level musicology.  Believe me, I wish it wasn't like that either, and if/when I get a job teaching western music history survey courses I'm certainly going to try to make it much more than just chronological lectures and three page assignments.  But for now, I can't change anything.

Oh, right, I should be positive on this last day.  Nine month summer, here I come!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Al. Sitting here on my Brooklyn bed, having a low-grade panic attack about all the things I have to do in the next 3 weeks which I have not planned for accordingly, I admire you a lot. You are really doing a good job with yourself. If I had to write a dissertation I would probably end up weeping in one of those cardboard boxes your students are destined for. I'm sad you can't come to Alaska. Come to the East Coast at least!

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