Monday, 7 January 2008

Going Again

Started a new academic term today. One young fellow came up to me after class and said he hoped I wouldn't mind his stutter. He said it gets worse when he's nervous. After we chatted for a while I told him I get nervous going into a class for the first time. "You didn't look nervous," he said. Later he told me he hoped I'd have fun this term.

Earlier, I'd advised a former student who's now an instructor to make sure to have fun with his classes.

Of course, the "fun" here has little to do with jokes and fooling around. It's about being as open as possible to the inherent playfulness of language itself--language as a lively hound dog that can never be fully trained. So I like to tease and otherwise encourage my students to admit such playfulness into their reading and writing practice. Heel, then romp.

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