August 31st, 2009

I Believe

notes on the Greek classroom

The Greek class that I taught in this summer had only eleven students. I took the same class previously, and we had 20 students. The change in group dynamics was striking. Students were more timid about getting up to do work on the board; but once it began happening, an amazing small-group camaraderie formed that could not form in my class.

The fall class has 25 students if I remember correctly. It is held in "the original room..." Greek and Hebrew are offered as joint classes between the seminary and the undergraduate religion department. The seminary hosts Hebrew, and the undergraduate department hosts Greek. We moved the summer class over to a room in the seminary due to some construction that was going on in the undergraduate building. So now we are back in the undergrad building...

I never explored the room... Today I began. I got here at 7:00 AM. There were no students present and no custodians nearby. So I opened the door, turned on the lights, dropped off my bag at a desk, and walked the room.

Undergrad classrooms are stocked with the chair/desk combos that one must cram oneself into if one weighs more than 100 pounds. I seem to remember the ratio here is seven girls to every guy; so I suppose someone thought this would not be a problem. I don't know how male athletes sit in these things! There are 40 of them in this room: four rows of ten spaced out so that a person can walk in front of the row to get to their seat. I suppose they could get in by lifting up the desk (hopefully not with their coffee on it), sitting down, and then slamming it back down over their stomach. Hey, look! Students in their own personal prisons! Undergrad really needs a refit. But I'm just a volunteer!

I decided to try a new vantage point this morning. Instead of sitting in the front on the right side (convenient for making a beeline out of here), I moved to the middle. It might be easier for hearing questions from all points in the room or moving around if needed. We will see.

  • Current Music
    the custodian jangling her keys