Monday, August 20, 2007

"Maggie's Farm," Bob Dylan

I don't even really know this song, but a bit of the chorus was in my head when I woke up this morning. Apparently, my subconscious wants me to know that it ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

This weekend was a wash, work-wise. And now the rest of the world is heading back to school, which is making me more and more anxious-feeling. I have two weeks until St. Happy starts up, and two weeks after that before UChaos (which is also when I'll have to hand over two chapters to my advisors), so things are not dire quite yet.

But I am going to have to start looking over syllabi soon and decide if I'm going to try to incorporate secondary criticism in my Big Willie class. I'm sure it would be useful, and the best St. Happy students would definitely benefit from that kind of rhetorical model. On the other hand, though, there's a big chunk of each class that struggles just to get a handle on plot and imagery, and I worry that throwing criticism at them would derail even that. And, from talking to a student who was in the other Willie section last spring, I found that the other instructor for this class had assigned a 15-page final paper incorporating 5 different critical sources. Which seems just evil for everyone involved. While I'm still basing my assignments on a syllabus from the tenured professor in the field, I think I'll feel better if I talk to the dept. chair about what I am and should be doing.

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