Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Summer Class

It looks like I may well be teaching a Public Speaking course over the summer. I am looking forward to the opportunity to teach this summer, and to make some extra cash this summer. This is a far cry from the days when I looked forward to taking a summer vacation with the family. As a child I had many opportunities to travel with my parents, brother and sister. I hope one day to be able to do that with my wife and son (and maybe dog).

I remember one summer, as a youngster, heading down to Florida and going to Disney World. It was the first time I was there. It was exciting to go on the different rides. This was back in the day when getting Disney World Ticketswas very different. The rides actually had different letters and you paid for a certain number of “A” tickets and “B” tickets, etc. I believe it went up to “E” tickets and those were used for such rides as “It’s a Small World After All” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

I remember the family deciding that we would all go on “It’s a Small World After All,” and I was not so thrilled; I was not looking forward to seeing dolls. I remember being on that ride, however, and really enjoying it. I think I enjoyed all of the “E” rides, including “Pirates” and “Huck Finn’s Adventure,” which was really creative. (It’s amazing how much of this trip I remember despite being over 35 years ago).

I did have the opportunity to go back years later. My most recent trip was about ten years ago, shortly after I got married. It was amazing to me how they had changed the park. They keep adding all of the different attractions to go with the park, including Wild Kingdome. These were all fun but somehow, it was the first trip to Orlando that was most enjoyable and memorable.

So, if you are looking for something to do this summer, your first option should be talking a class with me, so I can make sure I have the necessary enrollment. If you are unable to do that, then you should consider heading to Disney and enjoying a vacation. And, don’t forget, orlandofuntickets.com has the best deals to get you into all of the Disney Parks in Orlando, FL. Use the time to relax and come back refreshed so when the new semester starts, you can focus and do well.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Speaking In An Electronic Age

Technology changes everything. This is often a good thing and some changes do not come fast enough. Still, other changes will make you scratch your head and wonder. In this day of competitive education, of Community Colleges not just looking to cater to a select group of people (all colleges as well), the colleges are looking to teach more and more classes online. Where I teach (and I am sure other instructions as well), the goal is to be able to allow students to obtain a degree without ever having to step foot onto the campus.

This means more and more institutions are looking at teaching Public Speaking on-line as this is a required class for many disciplines. Teaching Public Speaking on-line seems a little odd. How do you judge certain criteria, even if you have the person on a video in front of you? Do you really get a full appreciation for body language and gestures? It seems that a lot would get lost.

On the other hand, in this day and age, when presentations and done via the web, when we have e-conferencing and webinars, there clearly is a place for an on-line Public Speaking course. Teaching people how to handle the technical aspect, having people feel comfortable when they are on a screen, is helpful and important.

The bottom line is, this is going to become a reality, regardless of my feelings. As a result, I am hopeful that I will be able to teach some of these classes. It would cut down on travel time, teach me a new skill and get me an extra class or two (hopefully) to teach.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Try To Follow Instructions

I am always amazed at students who choose not to listen to instruction given to them by their instructors. I require my students to take a speech they have heard during the semester and critique it. I tell them it can be any speech except one of their own. I also tell them I don’t want them using a speech from a movie. My thinking has to do with the fact, when the speech is critiqued, I want it to be based on the actual events and the speaker’s ability, not on the way some movie director wants it to come across.

Despite my instructions, most of the time, some student hands in a critique of a speech from a movie. This semester was no different. The only difference was, the student spent the first two paragraphs explaining why he did this and why he felt this speech qualified.

I think this approach is foolish. If he was right, let him talk with me after class, before the paper is due. Let him explain why he feels this way and let him let me respond. If he is wrong, then he is going to get a poor grade on the project because he did not complete the assignment according to my recommendations. Either way, he is not in good shape.

Students, I have a helpful hint for you; when you are given a set of instructions, usually it means the instructor wants you to follow them.