Boring Teaching and midlife bullshit post (xpost)

Yesterday was pretty much entirely taken up with writing a syllabus for my Music Theory for Non Music Majors class. It took so much timer primarily because there is a new edition of the text and I had to also write a “75 minutes for two days a week” syllabus versus a “50 minutes for three days a week” syllabus.
I also got the bright idea to write a teacher’s syllabus in which I recorded my ideas about how I was going to teach each session. Just a few sentences like “Collect Homework. [give]7 pts. [credit for this assignment. There are now] 63 [homework] pts. Remaining.”

This ends up being a mini-lesson plan as well as syllabus. Helpful when I teach it but a contributing factor to why it took me so long to do it.

I found my copy of “The Trial” by Kafka last night. I sort of had the idea to try to finish some of these books I have been reading before next week. I read a bit in it, but I’m not sure I’m going to get it finished. Also just about done with “The Pickwick Papers.” I do like Dickens.

I am feeling more isolated recently (as I think I stated below). Not sure what’s up with this exactly. Everything is really okay in my life. It’s just I have a diminishing number of people that I feel like I can actually talk to about ideas. I guess it’s basically down to Eileen, Sarah and Elizabeth.

It feels like too much weight for family relationships.

I am increasingly conceptualizing relationships with dead people like Kafka, Bach, Dickens, Bartok. Also, as I mentioned yesterday, I find myself in conversation with my old teacher, Ray Ferguson. He really was the best teacher I had. Very helpful at many levels. Probably the most gracious person I have known. And, of course, eccentric as hell.

I think it’s silly to choose to live in Holland Michigan (or probably most places in the US right now) and kvetch about companionship. It’s a strange world and most people seem to be preoccupied with stuff that doesn’t interest me (money, religion, confused ideas about the world).

I know this is arrogant, but I can’t help how things seem to me, right?

And I do have the teaching which should help. But increasingly I am trying to be a better teacher and less self-indulgent in how I approach it. Better teaching, but a bit less colleagial pay off. In other words, students just watch and don’t talk usually. They are reacting on the INSIDE. I guess.

I looked over last years, student evaluations for the Music Theory class. It turns out I remembered most of them anyway.

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