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  • Virginia M. Schwarz

Teaching: Building and Improvising

I am teaching "English 201: Race, Racism, and Writing" at Madison College this term. It's been a little rebranded, "English 2: Writing, Research, and Identity." But the readings, videos, assignments are mostly the same. There's more about intersectionality and ableism and disability. There's probably also less of my own energy because, let's face it, writing a dissertation is demanding.


Anyways, the people in my classroom are really cool! They all care about one another which makes the labor in the class easier. And several stayed after class to tell me English helps them get out of bed in the morning. Woah. I did have a student say some pretty terrible things and ask me (and the class) why he has to pay $600 to "learn about identity." The discussion went well, but this will not all be super smooth sailing. On the whole, though, I think they are learning a lot from one another and generally having a good time.


There's really no point to this post other than to say I am going through this thing with some people, and I did not know what to expect. I did not know who would show up to our class. That's my favorite part about teaching-- building and improvising something with a group of people in situations I can approximate but never truly predict.


When I am at Madison College, I believe (for 75 minutes Mondays and Wednesdays) that anything is possible. People who would probably never otherwise meet are in this class- and what can we do with that? What can we collectively become?


And how can we make sure everyone passes and graduates, because this is a required class after all.

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