January 16, 2013

Back to school

My campus office is in the library, which is the place where students gather to study. I’d just arrived and turned on my computer when I got a text message from Shaggy Hair Boy, who was apparently working at one of the tables in the library. “I can hear your cough. You must be in the building.”

Pretty much everyone heard my cough yesterday. The first day of class is the one day when I have to do a lot of talking, and my words were garbled constantly by fits of coughing. My students, luckily, are a sympathetic bunch. They rooted through their backpacks to find cough drops to offer me. I think it’s just a bad cold or maybe the flu, but we’ve decided to call it the plague. That just sounds so much cooler.

Despite the coughing, I had a great first day. I love the way the energy on campus rises when the students return. I’ve re-vamped one of the courses I teach: I’m hoping this semester to use the internet to expand the conversations about environmental issues we have in the classroom to the larger community. (Read the article I wrote about it.)

Today was the first day I was able to talk about the new plan with my students. They began jumping in right away with ideas that were way better than anything I’d put on the syllabus. It’s going to be a good semester.


Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Let us know what the hashtag will be, if you go that direction - or how else we can find their ideas. I'm really interested to hear what they're saying, them and other young environmentalists; in my community I only interact with kids in elementary school and adults in their 40s-60s -- I don't know any 20-year-olds at all. The internet is a great place to meet.

BTW, as a suggestion, links are more compelling when they go where the words say they go, ie: Read the article I wrote ... (rather than using the phrase "click here," which could take a person anywhere.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Oh my. That was incredibly poor grammar. I need to take your class, apparently!

jo(e) said...

Jennifer: Oh, that's a good idea. I'll definitely blog the hashtag so that you can be part of the conversation.

Good editing on the link -- I'm going to take your suggestion and change it.

Melissa Sarno said...

Just read your article and got SO excited. I want to be a part of the conversation and I want to learn from you and your students. I'm so interested in how your semester goes. I hope you will update us here and elsewhere : )

Anonymous said...

That sounds a lot like my daughter's experimental(ish) high school in terms of making it relevant to the real world and incorporating environmental issues into the school work in more modern communication methods/media. (I actually know a young woman from the h.s. who went to your school and wondered if she had taken your class but did not want to be stalkerish and out either her or you. ;) )