Guess who just inherited a lecture on the Chanson de Roland? *Cackles maniacally some more*
For tomorrow, granted. But happily for me, I can talk about Roland until I turn blue in the face, despite having done very little work on him since, oh, second year. My boss and I have a rather predictable pattern going by now. It works like this:
1. Boss is sick for some reason.
2. Amy inherits lecture.
3. Amy cackles maniacally, takes opportunity to lecture a captive audience on the construction of masculinity. And, y’know, other relevant things. But with more genderwank and Discourse Jar terms than they would otherwise get.
Good things: when this happened last semester, I scripted my first lecture from woah to go, including the Star Trek jokes; the second time around I lectured straight off the PowerPoints, and, aside from breaking out in a sudden unplanned rash of Sassurian sign theory, that worked fine. So planning the next three weeks – one surprise lecture and two I was supposed to do anyway – is not nearly as daunting as it might be.
Things I’m trying to model in my lectures:
– Clear structure
– Close reading skills
– How to draw on critical sources and relate them to evidence from said close reading
– How to be quite ridiculous and still know your stuff
I’m pretty sure I do all of these reasonably well, but I’m thinking this time I need to flag up that these are my intentions: that I don’t just want to stuff information into their brains, but to give them working examples of certain academic practices. It took me a long time to start critically thinking about the lectures I attended as an undergrad; but once I did, that was one of the best forms of academic training I received. (I still attend undergrad lectures for precisely this purpose.)
I did make a point of brainstorming tutorial presentation skills with my tute group last week, and when I did so, I asked them about what made good lectures and how they could apply the same principles to their presentations.
I could give my class all copies of the tutorial marksheet and ask them to ‘mark’ my lectures? Not this week, because I won’t see them before the lecture, but perhaps next week or the week after. I wouldn’t come up very well on things like argument (I try not to lecture on a single argument; they can get single arguments from journal articles), but it might be an interesting exercise for the students. Or perhaps I will simply allocate ten minutes to talking about what they like/don’t like about my lectures. Good for me, good for them. Potentially terrible for my ego, though.