My infatuation with teaching bolted down upon me in August of 1986. I love teaching, even during those times I don’t. The Covid crisis? Not about the performance. Always about the lack of masking and the contortions the college and the state goes through to make everyone feel politically okay, rather than working toward the public good. Teaching, though? Yes, I love teaching.
This semester, strangely enough, I’m teaching a subject I have never taught before. The teacher at the college who taught Mythology retired last spring, and our dean asked me if I wanted to teach the course.
I suppose if you know me, you would know the answer, wouldn’t you? 😀 It’s not my area, but it is my life. Even though the class was live, I decided to teach it.
Let me tell you: my classroom hasn’t seemed this magical for me in years. I am doing an approach which is a scattershot of world mythologies across the port bow. We started with Greek Gods and moved into Hero Stories. This week it’s afterlife and apocalypses. Among the material we’ll be covering this semester is Norse cosmology, Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, and the march of Christianity through Arthurian Legend and Norse Folktales, and across the many bodies of the Witch Trials.
There’s more than this. Each week I engage in a conversation about mythology with enthused students who are mostly there because they want to be. The online course shell is alive with vibrant enthusiasm. Is this what it’s like to teach a true elective? I wouldn’t have known before this, being mostly a service class teacher. It’s bizarre. The curtain is closing on my teaching career, but this act might have been the best act of the play.
All of the students have to do a presentation and a deep research paper. I’m excited to see what they will do.