Roster One

Thought to myself right before class started that if I can’t teach well I can do nothing well.  I need everything I do to entail some educational facet.  Be it educating myself, or students here at SRJC, people that come to one of the wineries, my kids, all.  The only thing stopping any of us from holding what we want is a lack of effort into our education.  I’m not saying you have to enroll for 20 units at your nearest community college.  No.  Educate yourself.  Read.  Study.  Practice.  Take more notes than you ever have before, ever.  And in this realization, the one I had right as the last student walked in, told me I need to educate myself more, and with wild and famished urgency.  On several things.  Don’t have time to list them all, but writing in a more disciplined and journalistic carry would be one.  My style of writing, of course influenced redolently by Kerouac, tends to wander, stray, not so much lose direction but take detours that last a bit longer than they should.  I will teach myself to be more student-like… what I instruct in terms of coherence, thesis support and examples, explanation of quotes and everything my poor students hear me rattle, rave, and blare in class, I need myself do.

The class I’m teaching this Summer is ‘Developing College Reading and Writing’, or something like that.  The “lowest” level in the department’s pathway, the most developmental of developmental English classes at the JC.  Huh, here I am the teacher and I feel like I should taking it.  Seriously.  So, my pedagogy this Summer is for them and myself.  Standing there, in that singular stationing in front of class, I thought (and these are the actual words), “I need to study more.” So, what do I do?  Easy, what they do.  What you tell them to do.  Keep a journal, take notes, log what you read, type reactions…  I’m decidedly serious, I’m going to do this.  I’m going to teach myself through teaching this 305.1 class, which is so small I tell them to consider it a seminar (make them feel special, because they are, and not the “lowest of the low” as someone in the department said), how to read and write again.  I’m going to write my way to… to whatever I want.  My education will transport me, to where I want to go and to touching whatever I want to touch—the Eiffel Tower, my home in Carmel, sailing off the coast of Portugal…  Anything.  I will write with more journalist shape and wink directly resulting from my studies.  Watch…

The Joyce quote I shared today, “Shut your eyes and see”, was really more for me than them, admittedly.  Closing my eyes now in this shared adjunct office, I see myself tonight, reading through the pages of one of my favorite books, on the floor of my living room, taking note in my new notebook.  And what I feel in those passages, what the author’s telling me to do.  Learning, my addiction of addictive pulses.  And I’m an addict.  Oh am I an addict of matriculation.

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