Back to school

In about 45 minutes, I get to go back to work.  Most people, it seems, resent the ends of breaks.  Maybe “resent” is too strong a word.  They’re not happy about the ends of breaks.  I, on the other hand, have a sort of in-built clock that goes off 2-3 days before the end of any break, no matter how long, at which point I’m ready to be working again. 

The next two weeks in my WRT 205: Investigating Experience course are going to be interesting.  We have to talk, in broad terms, about the sociopolitical values attached to work in mainstream American culture.  Students have spent the first part of the course studying a specific workplace in order to understand what it’s like to experience the job as an insider.  Now, we’re going to situate all that in the more complex contexts of families, friends, neighbors, and others who judge work and workers often without any inside knowledge of the work whatsoever. 

The challenge with this unit, for me at least, is to minimize the extent to which my quasi-Marxist leanings control the discussion.  I don’t hold my views back–that would be both dishonest and tactically unsound since the students already know where I’m coming from anyway–but at the same time I don’t want people to agree with or parrot my view simply because they’re mine. 

This is a conundrum for most teachers; for some reason, it seems to be heightened for lefties (or maybe we’re just more concerned with it? or feel more scrutinized?  gee, my Radical Teacher essay needs to deal with this question directly!). 

Wish me luck.

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