One thing that's happened since I inexplicably stopped blogging is that I've picked up a teaching position at a local university (not the one at which I'm doing my degree). I'm just an adjunct, teaching one course that combines two of my major research interests, but it's still bloody terrifying. I haven't actually taught in several years, and when I did teach it was in the capacity of a high school classroom assistant or an ESL teacher, so I'm not quite sure what possessed my department chair to trust me with a classroom full of students who will likely be, on average, two to three years younger than myself. But trust me she has done, even knowing my lack of experience. "University X," she said with a wink, "is a good place to learn how to teach."
The thing is, I'm naturally a pretty good teacher. Teaching seems to come easily to me, at least according to most of my former students, and I think that showed in the interview (which consisted of about one hour of questions and one hour of enthusiastic chatting about my field). But there are certain classroom-management and other pedagogical skills that have to be taught or developed, and I don't have those yet. I know everyone makes mistakes in their first classroom, but perfectionist that I am, I know I'll be incredibly hard on myself for every one I make. I've been devouring the Teaching Carnivals, but I'm still putting a call out now for my one or two readers (welcome, Carine, by the way! I LOVE your blog!): help?
Overall, it's been a pretty good holiday season. We didn't really do much, as my family is all across the pond and my husband's family is dysfunctional and doesn't really speak to each other, but we've spent a lot of time together being boring homebodies. I got Arthur and George by Julian Barnes - one of my favourite writers on the planet - for Christmas, plus a £30 Borders gift certificate which I used yesterday to buy books on critical and literary theory because I am a first-class nerd. As I am far poorer than my husband, he got a Gryffindor house scarf knitted by moi, which he wears around the house while saying "'Ello, 'Arry" like Hagrid. It's hilarious.
I hope the holidays have been equally kind to all of you. Happy 2006, everyone!