Stephanie Burgis
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Rotten Wednesday
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Well, gaah. Yesterday afternoon just sucked, mostly because of the teaching. I feel like I've gotten to the point where I can lecture or lead seminars competently, and I'm also fine at chairing good student presentations. But I'm not so good at the other kind, and it depresses me like here's a question for all the teachers out there: what do you do when there's a student presentation on a topic that the class has to know about (for later exams, etc.), and the students get it wrong? How do you go about correcting the errors and getting the rest of the class to understand the correct information without horribly publically embarrassing the students who are standing up at the front of the class? I tried very hard to do that, but I'm not at all sure that I succeeded--instead, I hit a middle ground where I was being laid-back and respectful enough of the students in front that I'm not sure the rest of the class actually got that there was, in fact, a different interpretation of the readings that was much, much more accurate, as opposed to two equally decent possibilities...and at the same time, I'm afraid the ones in front still ended up feeling stupid. And there's no worse feeling in the world than being made to feel stupid in front of your peers.

Bleagggghhhhhhhh. Bad afternoon. Bad evening. (For all of us, really, since I spent it being stressed, depressive, and obsessing, and Patrick and Nika had to bear the brunt of that!)

Oh well. We ended up playing "Traveller's Trivia", a new card/trivia game that we got for Christmas that's comfortingly distracting and often insanely obscure--at least if you're American. How the heck do I know why a certain cricket player had to quit his job in disgrace in 1973, huh?--Of course, depressingly, I also got some of the American questions wrong, and had less excuses for that...but somehow it was fun anyway, and got my mind off my bad mood.

This morning we got up early as usual and I wrote the first three-and-a-bit pages of Chapter Twenty-Three of The Music of the Stars. I'm off to meet with my teaching supervisor soon to take care of some of the administrative trivia for the job (and, I hope, to pick his brain on better teaching strategies), but with luck I'll manage to type up all of Chapter Twenty-Two before I leave.

I can't wait to go away on holiday next weekend!

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