named James Dean. And he is just a teeny tiny, HUGE BALL OF INSANITY. And I mean insanity in the weird sense, not the crazy sense. Par exemple, that means for example to all of you non French speaking people, he will just sort of space out in class. We don’t really know what he is thinking, but a good 30 seconds of silence goes by before he resumes his thought. The girl who sits next to me seems to be the only other one who finds him absolutely hysterical, even though he isn’t trying to be. I mean, we generally spend 3/4 of the class laughing at him (in kindness, mind you) and 1/4 the class learning. He just has a unique way of phrasing things that can either sound really absurd or really inappropriate.
He also really, really loves medieval literature. I mean, he teaches an entire class devoted to Chaucer, who we are studying right now. The stories we are reading in class are written in our textbooks as they originally appeared which means original medieval language. We then have to read the story, get online, find the translation he has provided, and sort of try and figure out what the story is about, as the translation isn’t all that translated to begin with. Good times. We just finished the Miller’s Tale from The Canterbury Tales, and I’ve got to say that James Dean mentions the fact that this is “THE MOST BRILLIANT AND WELL WRITTEN STORY IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.” I mean the man only says it every other second. But the thing I like most about this medieval language (which isn’t much) is when James Dean reads it aloud to us.
Now, he is a very white, very old, very American man. But put a page of medieval english in front of him and he becomes this very energetic, very ancient, VERY BRITISH man. It is like this accent takes over his body and you would swear someone else had come into the class to read to us. Knowing this about himself he likes to show off and the other day he decided it was time to show how horrible we were at this. He had us split into groups and pick a few lines from the text and elect one person to read them aloud. He came by each group and helped (as much as he could) with the accents and which letters to pronounce, but it was still a big old mess. The group before us actually chose our lines so we switched lines about ten seconds before we were called on and we only messed up one consonant pronunciation! Huzzah!
Other than that thrilling story my life at University has been quite horrid. While James Dean is a hilarious teacher he isn’t a fantastic grader. And meeting with him during office hours is a whole big awkward situation. I had a group presentation (I hate those so, so much) where we had to teach subject-verb agreement to 19-21 year olds and that was interesting. My group was one of those only communicate by email type groups, so I ended up typing every thing out as far as the lesson plan went and the handout for the class. THEN! The girl in our group who had the game we were going to play in class got extremely sick and wasn’t there on the day of our presentation. And she didn’t email us, so we had to make up a game on the spot BUT we got a good grade because sometimes being a teacher requires you to do things like that.
Also I failed my French quiz (and I don’t mean take pity on me I think I failed, I mean I REALLY failed… we got our grades back today) so that was encouraging. Apparently the section I did the worse on, the majority of the class did terribly on, so he is letting us do a make up quiz for that part. But I do have something good concerning French… today I was at the store and I was looking for a certain type of a hand wipe things. I picked up said item and looked at the package to see if it was what I wanted when I read the description and put it back. Then I sort of did a double take and looked back at the thing, and turns out I was reading the french description! Without realizing it! And I knew what it said! That definitely made up for the quiz.
Well holy frick would you look at the time! I have to get up trés early to go to my field observation. Oh the joys of being an education major.