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sunday, january 11, 2004

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the first class of the new year is over and it apparently was quite a success. i guess teaching based on research is okay. i always feel uncomfortable teaching sometimes, because i'm not really an expert. an expert to me is someone who is published. someone with a higher degree than mine (although, it used to be that a b.a. was okay for teaching college). i realize some classes can be taught based on research - i can't exactly create a physical world to prove myself an expert on world building. and i've heard that some people are wonderful at teaching writing concepts even if never published, they can even get students with publication credits, it just always makes me uncomfortable. i'm still learning and probably always will be.

not that i let the students know that. even with classes where you're volunteering, you should show a bit more confidence than that.

i have my schedule of classes for dii all worked out, assuming each gets enough students: world building, creating fiction: the basics, novel plot building, and revision: the work of the writer. i also am doing a summer workshop series with 1 day saturday workshops: punctuation refresher, rebuilding after rejection, formatting a manuscript, critiquing fiction, critiquing poetry, and the novel proposal package. i hope to eventually be able to teach an advanced fiction class and a basic poetry class. they're on my list of classes to develop anyway, along with writing a research paper.

a couple of these classes i'm pretty confident about. i created the novel plot building method that the class is based on, so who better to teach it? i've almost always gotten high marks for punctuation, and have sourced some of the best books that simplify punctuation rules. basic fiction, critiquing fiction, and critiquing poetry are classes that someone with a b.a. should be able to teach. rebuilding after rejection is based primarily on my own experience with rejection and i better know how to format a manuscript by now. but most the rest i have to research (well, okay, so i do research on the others as well - there's always something new to learn).

the class we just started is world building. there's an appalling lack of concrete information for writers on this. that's not to say there's no information on it, jut not a lot, and most of it is very vague. i feel like i'm back in my college classes where the professors just didn't teach and i had to go and find the information myself to get a handle on what i should be learning. what little i am finding is for rpg games, primarily, and i'm having to modify it so it can be used in writing. nothing new there, i suppose, i had to do that with my own stuff for alden (which will eventually have to be developed back into an rpg system, believe it or not). at least i have my experiences of building alden behind me to help me figure out what works and what doesn't . . . sorta.

i probably shouldn't feel so weird about teaching. i really need to do something about this lack of confidence thing, you know? it's gotten better, but sometimes - a lot of times - i still feel like an idiot when teaching. i suppose i should be glad there's some lack of confidence there, maybe, because that's what makes me go out and research a subject, take notes, and then use those notes to develop the lecture and homework. and i like input from my students. some of them know more about things than i do. i liek having a class that has some discussion, particularly in areas where a person could find it more helpful to do things in a different way. so, it's not like i'm trying to teach from just my limited knowledge as if i know everything.

maybe i should be more worried when i stop researching. then it will seem like i do think i'm a know it all. worse than that, that's when i will stop learning. and it seems to me that would be even worse. we're all learners. researching is a good thing.

and i guess that means i'm not all that bad or unqualified after all.

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word of the moment: radiant

radiating rays or reflecting beams of light; vividly bright and shining, glowing; marked by or expressive of love, confidence, or happiness; emitted or transmitted by radiation; emitting or relating to radiant heat


Since July 9, 2000

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