Week one of Fall 2011. Teaching has begun.
One of my favourite things to do is to prepare new lectures, which is a darned good thing because I’m teaching that new course this term and I have to prepare every lecture from scratch. I love the assembling of materials, the careful reading of the texts, the glossing of meanings and the noting of stylistic effects. I like forming an interpretation and putting the literary work in context. Oh, yes, that’s why I’m an English professor. I LOVE this stuff! But today I’m also remembering how long lectures/classes take to research, organize, write up at least in point form. As well, I’m making some nifty presentations with visuals. In this course—Global English Literatures—I need a lot of maps. So today I am grabbing stuff from the internet and designing PowerPoint slides. Not too many, just some eye candy.
Question: when you grab an image off Google images, drop it in your slide and it’s too big (head cut off, for instance), how can you make the image smaller so that it will fit your slide? Huh? I’m spending way too much time on this kind of thing. The other day I spent at least an hour figuring out how to embed a YouTube video in a slide. Worked like a charm on my computer/s; but the link in the slide wouldn’t connect to the internet during the presentation. And no one seems to know why not. Grrrr.
Today’s lesson (actually next Monday’s lesson) will be on British imperialism in general and colonial India in particular. The two literary works we’ll be studying will be Rudyard Kipling’s “The White Man’s Burden” (yes, I know, dear old Kipling gets a bad rap and this poem is, as Arlequino points out, probably his least representative work) and Wilkie Collins’s essay “A Serman for Sepoys.” Very cool stuff. The challenge will be to complicate the obvious themes of both by making Kipling look less like an imperialist goon and Collins less like a friend of the colonized.