Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore.....

Actually, I've never even been to Kansas.

This semester I'm teaching Contemporary Literature online again, and I feel much more comfortable with the course the second time around. At least I don't have to worry so much about staying ahead of the students, since the readings are all the same. Well, I do sort of have to worry about the ones that I didn't get to last year because I couldn't quite stay ahead. It's incredibly difficult to grade assignments over a reading selection I haven't read. I usually just pick out the one student whose assignments are always right on target, and I grade that one first. Then the rest of them pretty much suck in comparison, but I have a general idea of what to expect.

Because the course is usually an elective course, the students typically are hard-working and like to read and write. How refreshing in an English course!

The group I have this semester has surprised me so far, surpassing even the top-notch group of young ladies I had last year. I'm not being sexist -- the guys all dropped out.

Here are a couple of examples of posts from a discussion board topic on what they considered the ideal woman, ideal wife, and ideal mother.

This one is from a young man:

I think we are all equal in every way possible, personally, aside from the inherit physical traits that make us Male and Female. Even then, those lines become blurred at a certain point. The gender dichotomy that used to be painfully enforced for arbitrary reasons (see: the entire Victorian and Edwardian era) is coming to an end with the advent of medical and social advances.

This is from a young lady in the same section:

It's true that if a man marries he is expected to take care of his wife, providing for her and the children she bears. But I'd like to add what I consider to be another example of inequality, which you may have alluded to but did not state...while women are certainly expected to marry, men are not. Though they may choose to do so, few people scorn a man who hasn't taken a wife.

Excuse me?

"Dichotomy"?

"Arbitrary"?

"Alluded"?

"Scorn"?

I may have to brush up on my vocabulary just to converse with these young people. I have a feeling they are going to keep me on my toes.

1 comment:

Starry wonder said...

Sounds like they read a fair amount of historical based books. At least that what it sounds like to me, AND where the heck did they get that? They sound rather OLD, but not old old. Ya know what I mean.