When March Meant Summer

So this is crazy: this is my LAST WEEK of leading tutorials as a T.A. In the film department, we only meet with our students every other week. Because of Easter next week, they’ve down some schedule-juggling, and have declared that this will be our last week of tutorials. I am shocked – SHOCKED! -by the realization that today and tomorrow are the last times that I will be meeting with my students.

It’s been quite an adventure. My first time working in an official ‘teaching’ role, I’ve learned a heck of a lot. I still feel befuddled sometimes — when the students ask me questions I am thoroughly unprepared to answer, or when they catch me contradicting myself (ahrg- embarrassing!) — but all in all, I feel like the last few months have given me a solid chance to hone my standing-in-front-of-the-class skills.

There are still days when I’m talking (and dear readers, it should be noted that I talk with my hands a lot) and the students stare at me like I am OUT OF MY MIND! Rather than feeling intimidated by them, however, I recently started taking a new tact. It involves me staring back at them and saying “what? You guys keep looking me like I am CRAZY. Do you really think I’m CRAZY? REALLY?” (or something along those lines). It usually elicits a laugh of some kind, which leads to a more relaxed atmosphere and, ideally, waves of class-relevant conversation.

It’s still be strange being in the authority-role. It’s interesting navigating the line between pal and teacher. This morning a student sent me an email saying that she couldn’t be in class today, but she hoped I would send her links to all her peer’s film projects on-line because she wanted to see them. The friend response would probably be to send the links along with a “sure! aren’t these great! we missed you in class today!” note, but my teacher-instinct is probably going to have to be “uh, you missed class – which means you missed seeing your classmates’ work… sorry!” Anyone have any thoughts?

It’s been quite an experience, all-in-all, and I have to admit, I’m going to miss it/the students. But I can’t believe I am bidding them farewell and sending them off to their summer holidays in MARCH!


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