After a sedentary year of fellowship, it's nice to be back in the swing of teaching. (Side note: using the word "fellowship," normally defined as the "companionship of individuals in a congenial atmosphere," to describe an academic year spent mostly at home in pajamas is supremely ironic.) Classes start tomorrow, and I've enjoyed a happy day trucking around campus finding the bookstore, learning to operate the air conditioner in the fourth-story walk-up attic office I share with three other adjuncts, and abusing my faculty parking privilege.
I've studied and/or taught at a pretty full range of educational institutions now: a small liberal arts college, a small private university, a gigantic public university. Widener is definitely the hardest to pin down. It has an interesting history, having been founded in 1821 as the Pennsylvania Military College, and only became a comprehensive coed university in 1972. The main campus, where I teach, is in Chester, but they have satellite campuses in Harrisburg and Wilmington, Delaware (where my colleague Joe Biden teaches in the law school). I have no idea what the students will be like. Presumably the quick-witted amongst them will find this blog soon; greetings, young music historians!
One thing I will tell you teaching on the campus of a former military school--the conceptual line between an academic quadrangle and a parade ground is disturbingly unclear.
Off to meet a tech guy who is going to show me how to plug an iPod into my classroom. Some of you might appreciate that tomorrow I am going to teach the fundamentals of listening critically to music by way of Katy Perry.
4 days ago