Saturday, March 13, 2010

Doubts on Teaching

Every now and again, I'll doubt my desires to be a professor. I worry I don't know enough. What if I can't think of books to read? What if I don't know a reference someone makes in a paper? What if someone asks me about a 19th Century Irish novelist whose name I have never heard and I appear suddenly small and insignificant to my class?

Thankfully, I usually pull myself out of this doubting situation rather quickly and easily. It's called research. It's not like it's going to stop when I'm the one assigning the papers; if anything, I'll be doing even more. It's called Google and Wikipedia and that ancient thing called a library.

And then there are days like today, when I was prepping for a seminar I will have to teach as one of my graduation requirements for the MFA. I literally outlined the whole thing on the hour-long train to Providence this morning, and couldn't stop yammering about it over lunch with some of my classmates. I had so much fun figuring out how to engage the class, present the information, and create the handouts, that I was reminded that this is why I want to brave those random questions I might not be able to answer. It's because I love to do it.

The doubts will probably not go away. I will probably doubt myself all the way through my first semester. But hopefully I will still love to do it, and still have moments of epiphany, and still wade my way through Freshman comp papers. I guess at this point all I really can do is try it and see.

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