Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Diesel Boys

Today I gave my first midterm -- it's a takehome -- and as I noted before, writing tests is HARD. I'm teaching business ethics to the boys (all boys this go-round) in the automotive technology program, with a few add-ins from other programs around the college. But it's primarily "The Diesel Boys," which is a dire misnomer because they mostly work on gasoline engines. Still, it's a cute nickname.

I received dark and dire warnings from gloomsayers about agreeing to teach in Voc Tech, so I've been most pleasantly surprised. They're generally diligent and engaged, and the ones who sleep through class are very polite about it. (And I don't mind as long as they a) don't make noise and b) don't complain about their grade after sleeping through 90% of lectures.) They seem to like me, probably because I used the word "burgle," which they totally did not believe was a real word, and because for every dull abstract hypothetical in our ethics textbook I have a lurid local legal case that fits the fact pattern.

I really enjoy teaching, so I'm excited to get to 3 p.m. and into my classroom. I also think it fills a deep-seated inner need of mine to listen to myself talk. I'm missing whatever inner connection it is that's supposed to make you nervous about public speaking. I LOVE public speaking, probably because I secretly imagine that everybody is DYING to know what I have to say. (I hate acting, though -- I throw up with nerves when I have to and shake like a leaf the whole time, which is usually not in character -- because I might screw up when it's somebody else's words.)

We've been discussing Kant this week and the idea of a duty of beneficience. So today I brought them cookies and when asked why, replied, "Well, I have a duty of beneficience towards you all!"

Mumbles. Puzzled looks.

"Guys," one said, rolling her eyes. "That means she has to be nice to us."

Little nervous about the midterm now!

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