Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Last Class of the Quarter

Last Class Meeting of the Quarter
Today was the last meeting of my undergraduate African-American literature class this quarter, and as I told C this evening, it was one of the most enjoyable classes I've ever taught. I still have papers to receive and grade, but I feel like this was the undergraduate class that I'd been waiting and wanting to teach (along with the graduate one in Fall 2005) for years, and it took me nearly a decade to get to the point where I was ready and able to do so. My teaching assistant and the students were incredibly sharp (no surprise there!), so much so that our class visitor last week, Rone Shavers, who spoke on Afrofuturism, Nalo Hopkinson, the race-class-culture triad, mediated blackness, and other topics, noted this as soon as that class meeting had ended. I hope I'll have the opportunity to teach it again, to refine and streamline it, adding new critical texts and figuring out a way to include even more poetry, and even bring in some visitors next time, but that said, it was a joy, and I can't wait to teach a new version of it or a similar class in the future. (I know I won't sweat with nervousness as the start of each class the next time!)

Short Takes
  • The Louvre gives Toni Morrison free reign, and she turns it out.
  • Albert Evans is the first choice of foreign choreographers, but New York Ballet chief Peter Martins doesn't understand why.
  • Campbell's Soup jumps on the Warhol bandwagon with limited edition cans at Barney's, Warhol's ghost laughs all the way to the bank.
  • More David Blaine hijinks in New York City (of course I am dying to see it!).
  • Robert Altman, native Missourian, highly original, flawed film director, passes away (M*A*S*H*, The Player and McCabe and Mrs. Miller are masterpieces, Kansas City has incredible music, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean is an unknown gem, Gosford Park's atmospherics are its strongest suit, Three Women creeps me out...).
  • Trouble dogs HW Bush in Middle East, W Bush in Honolulu, Bushette in Buenos Aires
  • Please, God, somebody, teach people the difference between possessives and plurals!
I'll save my Kramer's Krazy-Ass Kry for tomorrow....


  1. OOH damn!!

    just as im rushing to pack to make my way to JFK to catch a flight to Ohio (JetBlue is cheap..and i LOVE cheap! lol!)

    I stop by and check out today's post...congrats on the class, john! i have a feeling you will definitely have more classes similar to the one you had last night...

    Toni Morrison: she really DID turn it out..I read the article..WOW! just WOW.
    Love her!

    I have to run....I will talk to you soon.

    happy holidays!

  2. Congratulations on a great semester! I love it when subject matter, teaching, and students come together like that. And Ms. Morrison never ceases to amaze.