The Rest of Semester

I’ve been looking for a way to work in a podcast into one of my classes, especially the Media English class, but there just wasn’t room this time around. However, I did a slight overhaul of my rest-of-semester-plans with some of my students. Here are the results:

  • Students in my Media English class are making presentations. This is for most of them in lieu of the Media Diaries which they were supposed to start keeping in Week 2, but which most of them never really started. It adds a little to the workload, since they’re supposed to be getting their final projects going, but, well, I warned them that the Diaries would matter for their final grades.
  • I try not to bludgeon students with my own interests, like SF, but after casting about for some way of working something podcast-like into the Media English course, I finally settled on the Orson Welles production of The War of the Worlds. The MP3 and script are available online, and it’s only about an hour long, with lots of repetition and neat stuff. Plus I can talk a little bit about the panic it caused, and it’s easy to pause for discussion. And heck, it’s cool. (I also asked them to look out other versions of the story, including the original novel, in English or in Korean translation if such a beast exists, or one of the two movie versions, so that we could discussion the idea of “adaptation” in the light of Welles’ downright masterful adaptation.)
  • My Public Speaking class students suddenly had class on a day when they were not supposed to, and I presented them with a task — to help me provide exercises for the next week according to what they feel they need to improve. The kicker was that after having a good chunk of time to prepare, they had to perform impromptu speeches explaining the one activity or focal skill they wanted to work on. I did this partly just by sudden inspiration, but it worked well. They spoke spontaneously and then we voted on activities. One of the more interesting activities we’re going to do is a Ghost Story night, on the theory that those who still need to work on voice-emphasis and gestures will get a chance to exercise those skills that night. It’s technically a make-up class and might not actually happen since according to a secretary, the reason for the class needing to be made up might not be one that requires a make-up class (if that makes any sense) but I think it would be a pity as it would probably be a very fun activity, in a dark, deserted classroom down in the basement of one building, by candlelight, etcetera. I think we’ll probably go ahead and do it even if we’re not required, but the hard part will be finding a time that fits all schedules.
  • Several of my writing class students are bewildered, because their homework for the week is to write me a letter and actually post it to my office. (Not hand it in — to actually post it.) But I think it’s a fun activity, and the grading will be on a done/not-done basis, so they’re free to write as serious or as silly as they like — as long as they try to use as many of the structures and techniques we’ve studied as they can fit into a one-page letter.

I’m already feeling dread about the first and second full weeks of June. I’ll be teaching classes and I think the rest of my free time will be devoted to marking final projects and presentations and such. I will probably spend tomorrow bringing gradesheets up to date, inputting formulae, and tying up loose ends in other areas. I also need to do up a clear to-do list for what needs to happen before I leave for Seattle; I have another article to write for cahoots and a pile of editing and of course reading, research for my Clarion Workshop story ideas, and so on. Sooooooooo much. So it’s time to get off the damned blog, already.

2 thoughts on “The Rest of Semester

  1. Yeah, it’s available for download from the Wikipedia page on the broadcast. The mp3 link is near the end of the page. There are tons of appropriate podcasts out there, but nothing of enough clear significance that it could budge me from this idea once I had it. For a while, though, I was playing with the idea of using some of those old radio plays from the series “The Shadow”, some of which are available online as well.

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