This semester, yours truly is a teaching assistant in the Philosophy department.
Don’t ask why or how it happened, it just did and I’m excited.
Don’t rain on my existential parade.
Even though I don’t have to create a syllabus or anything like that, I was still pretty nervous about my first day of being a “teacher.” I don’t have a fear of public speaking, but when you’re majoring in English with a concentration in Multicultural Literature and you have to get up in front of a group of undergrads and explain PHILOSOPHY, your palms may start to sweat. You may get a little nervous. You may have to wear your lucky sweater. You may have to tell yourself over and over again that the undergrads will not pelt you with wet garbage.
The undergrads will NOT pelt you with wet garbage.
All I had to do was lead discussion.
Did I mention that I’m an English major?
Did I mention that I was leading a discussion in a PHILOSOPHY class?
Oh, I did?
Well, I’m just making sure that you were aware of the situation.
You must know that when I’m nervous, I often make jokes that are funny to no one but myself. And even myself only gives me a pity chuckle.
Me: Your cell phones should be turned off or on silent when you’re in class. If your cell phone goes off, you will dance to your ring tone.
Students: Wait, what? Are you serious?
Me: (inner voice) Show no fear! Show no fear! (out loud) Yes.
Unfortunately, someone’s cell phone rang during class and I made him dance like Michael Flatley.
And out of the corner of my eye I saw someone else recording it on his cell phone.
That’s probably going viral as we speak.
After the public humiliation, we started our discussion of Logos and Mythos. Praise the Lord that I got a decent batch of students that have no problem expressing their opinions. Out of everything I was scared that I would get a group of wallflowers that barely speak above a whisper and are scared of Teddy Ruxpin, (I’m terrified of Teddy Ruxpin) but I didn’t. They politely listened to each other’s points and were considerate of each other’s points of view.
At the end of class one of my students came up to me and said, “I really enjoyed the discussion.”
Student: That was a great way for us to get to know each other.
Me: I’m really glad you enjoyed it.
Student: By the way, someone dropped a knife in the back of the room.
Was it because I made them dance?