Thursday, September 12, 2013

Putting on my teacher's hat

I don't wear my teacher's hat often, so it doesn't sit securely on my head. Tonight I led the first discussion of my four-session non-credit class, "Why Cowboys Are Our Heroes--or Are They?" It was supposed to last an hour and a half--we made it to an hour and ten minutes, only twenty minutes short.
I had outlined a discussion that included figuring out where the American West was, who the mythic cowboy was (they wanted to talk a lot more about reality), who went West, where the women were. But with five students, who were sort of talkative, it was hard, and I went through my notes too quickly. On the other hand, as the discussion ranged, I was pleased with the bits of knowledge that I dredged up from the back of my mind--like a fairly long discussion of the influence of Celtic culture on cowboy culture. One man said he's taken every class that had to do with the American West, so I asked him toward the end if we were repeating things he already knew. I was reassured when he said, 'No, not at all." I would judge the evening not one of my astounding successes but neither was it one of my great failures. I hope none of the five drops the class.
We meet every two weeks, but the next meeting is at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art for a docent-led discussion of the work of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell.
So it's a month before I put my teacher's hat on again and then it's to lead a discussion of The Virginian, Owen Wister's classic 1903 novel.
Meantime, tonight, I'm going to sink back into Diane Mott Davidson's The Whole Enchilada, a culinary mystery I'm enjoying thoroughly. I've written my 2300 words for the day. I guess I can sleep well with a clear conscience tonight and put my teacher's hat aside for a bit.

No comments: