Door Number Three


On the first day of a course you walk into the room, fiddle with the computer, pull up your "Welcome to Class" powerpoint and then stand waiting to begin.  Sometimes you make a little joke and try to create a relaxed rapport.  Maybe you even see a familiar face from an earlier semester and make small talk, but this isn't as easy as it used to be.  Students these days are mostly buried in their palm-sized home entertainment centers. 

Nobody sits waiting any longer.

Even so, I always like the moment before anything has happened.  I have no idea who I'm dealing with or whether this will become a class I remember for years or am anxious to forget.  It's even possible in those few, brief, anticipatory seconds to reconnect with the na├»ve, hopeful and ambitious professor I once was. 

Something similar happens just before I grade the first set of papers. There they all are in my stack or lined up in my on-line grading box.  In this moment it's still theoretically possible that a new car is waiting behind door number three (and not a goat munching hay).

The first round of initial reflection papers comes in today at 11:30, and this evening I will crack the stack and start to grade them. For some reason I keep thinking of a line from Ginsberg's A Supermarket in California.
Where are we going, Walt Whitman?  The doors close in a hour.  Which way does your beard point tonight?

Comments

Anti-Dada said…
You're becoming more prolific than I am, PQ. Have fun grading--hope you get a new car! ;-)
Anonymous said…
i definitely want the goat munching hay
Anonymous said…
It takes enormous courage to present an open mind to the current world in which so much is confusing, ambiguous and threatening.

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