All posts tagged: teaching

Shoe-photo

Throwback Thursday: Barefoot in the Faculty Lounge

The college semester is starting up again although I lucked out with an extra week of prep time thanks to Martin Luther King Day.  Here’s a throwback post for all of my professorial friends (of both the adjunct and non-adjunct variety). In my infinite wisdom, I decided to wear my (fake) snakeskin peep toe stilettos this morning. Why? Well, I was teaching my first summer class of the semester. And my experience with summer semesters is that the students don’t really want to be there, even less so than regular-semester students. As such, I decided to head them off at the pass with my very best power suit (to show them that I mean business), and orange juice and donuts (to show that I am nice and approachable and care about their well being). I teach in heels all the time. I like heels. They make me feel older and more put together than I actually am and usually, they’re not a problem. But I failed to take into account that this morning’s lecture, on …

CALIFORNICATION (Season 3)

The Pretty Hair Professor

As a freshman in college, I managed to talk my way into an upper level art history course taught by a visiting professor from Johns Hopkins University. He was gorgeous. Everyone thought so. I know this because I volunteered to collect the student evaluations at the end of the term and most of them said things like “hottie” and “super cute.” Not mine, of course—I was more dignified than that—and even though I agreed with my classmates, I was incredulous when I saw their comments. Fast forward ten (yes, ten!) years and I’m reading my own student evaluations now. Most were extremely complimentary this last time around and a few even contained phrases like, “my favorite professor,” and “I wish there were more anthropology classes” (to be perfectly honest, I got a little misty-eyed just reading them) but then… then there were the others. “The kid who sat next to me scared the crap out of me.” “Why is this class so late at night?” And finally, my personal favorite, “Professor Richter, your [sic] really …

Shoe-photo

Barefoot in the Faculty Lounge

In my infinite wisdom, I decided to wear my (fake) snakeskin peep toe stilettos this morning. Why? Well, I was teaching my first summer class of the semester. And my experience with summer semesters is that the students don’t really want to be there, even less so than regular-semester students. As such, I decided to head them off at the pass with my very best power suit (to show them that I mean business), and orange juice and donuts (to show that I am nice and approachable and care about their well being). I teach in heels all the time. I like heels. They make me feel older and more put together than I actually am and usually, they’re not a problem. But I failed to take into account that this morning’s lecture, on account of the condensed summer schedule, was a four hour lecture. Four hours and five minutes, to be precise. I also failed to predict that the computer would not be working, that the projector would be upside down (how does a …

freestuff

The Faculty Only Restroom

Last week, I met with my boss (one of my bosses, I should say) to request a promotion to Senior Adjunct Status. I had to go to the Far Away Campus for the meeting, and the administrative building is laid out in a rather infuriating, honeycomb type of pattern that leaves hapless adjuncts wandering around in circles. (Then again, maybe it’s just me?) Since it was too cold to wear my beige suit (because my only beige shoes are open toe), I went for gray dress pants, a black turtleneck sweater and black blazer, set off with about six million red accessories. The accessories weren’t a problem until I had to go to the bathroom.  The secretary sent me to the “faculty only” bathroom (about which, having never before experienced the joys of an exclusive toilet reserved for the elites of the community college world, I was quite excited). But then I discovered that the “faculty only” bathroom was actually rather antiquated.  And there was nowhere to hang my purse.  Or my hat.  Or my …

Engagement ring

Put a Ring on It

I’ve always been rather suspect of marriage proposals made on Valentine’s Day.  I consider them too predictable for my high-drama tastes, too commonplace.  Plus they allow the man squeak by with very little effort.  I mean, what’s one more box of jewelry when the entire universe is already decked out in hearts and roses and boxes of chocolate? That said, I have some very dear friends who got engaged on Valentine’s Day, and they don’t seem any worse for the wear… and so, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my new best friend: It’s a lot bigger than I’d ever imagined. And much more sparkly. In fact, it’s the prettiest ring I’ve even owned.  Unfortunately it still feels weird wearing a ring after nearly three decades of not-wearing-a-ring so I’m glad I’ll only have to wear it once a week. Which reminds me: I’ve let out a few significant details concerning the acquisition of said ring :) This time next week, I’ll be delivering the first lecture of my cultural anthropology course …

bad dance students

All This to Avoid the “F” Word

I like to think I’m a good teacher.  I’m encouraging.  I’m patient—at least most of the time.  I lead by example and I challenge my students to think on their own.  But every once in a while, I’ll find myself standing in the studio lecturing my students and wondering “what the f*ck am I saying right now?” Last Saturday was one of those times. I was at the studio with 16 of my students for the first rehearsal of this year’s production number.  (Technically it’s a “Large Group Routine” and not an official “Production” because the latter requires at least 20 kids and I’m such a stickler about technique that I only selected 16 students at this year’s auditions but “Large Group Routine” is just such a mouthful, don’t you think?) At any rate, we were plowing through the choreography: the intro, the first chorus, the horn solo; even the stop time section.  The girls were focused.  I only had to yell twice and by the end of the three-hour rehearsal, I was feeling pretty …

chocolate covered strawberry

No More Beach Balls

So I’m in Target, perusing the Dollar Deals section in the front of the store for preschool-friendly goodies as I always do when it hits me: I have no need for foam super hero stickers or glow in the dark bracelets anymore.  I don’t need play dough, magic wands or butterfly wings this year. Why? Well folks, I’ve done it again.  I’ve quit my day job.  I’ve resigned from my position as Teaching Artist and Creative Movement Extraordinaire at “The School” and I won’t be seeing my little beach balls anymore. That means no more nonsensical knock-knock jokes.  No more crazy dance moves.  No more philosophical conversations about nail polish between the bathroom stalls.  No more attempts to explain that I do not have a baby in my belly and that my hair did not get “broken.” I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss them like crazy.  But teaching underserved kids in North Philly isn’t exactly an easy gig.  The work itself was fun, but if you’re a good teacher (which …

I Blame the Krispy Kremes

Yesterday was Donut Day at The School.  It was also the day when I woke up—both literally and figuratively—and realized that I want to be with The Wedding Date no matter what it takes but we’ll get to that later because in addition to being Donut Day, it was also The Day Before The Annual Spring Concert. Despite the fact that we have three concerts a year every year, there’s always some sort of drama in the days leading up to the big show.  This year my studio had been completely upended by a dozen construction workers who chose Monday—three days before the end of the school year, mind you—to install new windows.  Nobody had bothered to tell me this would be happening so rather than putting all of my books and CDs into the cabinet when I locked up last week, I left them on the shelf like I always do. As a result, they were coated in sawdust.  And don’t even get me started on the gymnastics I had to complete in order …