JM asked me what I'm going to wear. Strange, but I have no anxiety on this count after a lifetime of not having a clue. I think during my time working in programming and tech support, I developed my philososphy of what to wear to work and I stick to it. Reasonably nice jeans or work pants (like Dickies) and a shirt with a jacket over it. I have maybe 2 jackets - the nice black one that is sort of hipster-chick-esque that fulfilled ALMOST all my requirements for clothing (non-fussy, abundant pockets, fits, throw in washing machine.) There is no inside front pocket - its only flaw. I'm not too stressed about what kind of shirt b/c it doesn't seem like that kind of place -- yeah it would be good to wear "shirt with collar" i guess but, i don't really have any other than a couple of button down ones that I can't find anyway.
Boots - arm warmers - long underwear - they don't seem to be able to afford heat in this community college - so the long undies are crucial. A belt.
I figure as long as there is a jacket or some other boob-disgusing garment, a belt, and no holes in the jeans, that should be just fine. I don't feel any need to try to pass as a nice middle class mall-clothes-lady; it won't work anyway, because of the hair, and even without the hair and with girly hair, I wouldn't pass for more than one or two classes until something way too strange came out of my mouth. So, why bother with any prissy ass cable knit sweaters... At the dept. meeting I was thinking, "Okay, a lot of you are nice middle class mall ladies, good on you, i'm not and I can still pull a room full of people, including you, to listen to me and give me props." If that turns out not to be true, I don't think a haircut and office lady clothes worn rumpled-ly with kleenex coming out of the pockets (as I surely would) are going to kick me up a notch in anyone's esteem!!!
So!!! I finished my syllabus. It's not perfect and I only have a rough outline of the course, with due dates chosen for the major paper and the holidays specified.
For the first class most of it will be syllabus going-over and add/drop and "fill out this info sheet on yourself and tell me your myspace or whatever"
With whatever extra time, I'll do personal narrative lesson 1. I want them to read 2 short animal fables. One Aesop's and one from Peter Beagle. My idea is that if I gave them an example of someone's memoir or story telling, they'd follow its format too closely (at best) So we'll read the short fables (they fit on one page) and then "write a story about soemthing that happened to you - if you like it can be intense or meaningful - " sort of assignment (in-class, super short) Then look at them and (not written on the paper) pull out a meaning, a moral, a generalization or abstraction, the "point of the story".
Class#2 will be a lecture on prewriting (try 4 techniques: mind map, freewrite, outline, brainstorm) and then an in-class benchmark essay - ungraded - using an old exam question. Class#3 we will go back to those first stories and morals/meanings/abstractions, and improve on them, brainstorm/prewrite with them, add description, etc and rewrite for the first real assignment. So that takes me up to class #4 with no textbooks and I can lecture/improvise endlessly and interestingly using all that as anchor points. Brainstorming and mindmapping as a group will be a good icebreaker. Personal narratives, anyone should be able to tell, and the "abstraction/generalization" plus description should kick it up a level in thought/writing quality.
In there somewhere I will go on about "register" and audience, and how talking in different levels of formality is code-switching between different languages which depend on the situation and audience and your goals. That might could be a whole class and would be super valuable. Maybe an exercise of writing the same narrative 3 different ways - tell it to your boss's boss, tell it to your best friend over IM, then.. maybe take someone else's IM chat story and tell it formally in 3rd person. We will read stuff by Aung San Suu Kyi (from Letters from Burma (big pdf if you are curious).
I decided to go with google groups for the class's online component, or at least its most basic manifestation. IN fact I might have to make class#4 in the computer lab and make them all sign up on the list and create profiles and write emails. Hmmm, there's a thought!
Then I want to move quickly out of personal narrative and into "how to", summary, synthesis, etc. And then whole 2nd half or 2/3 of the rest will be argumentation and research paper.