Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Of Sofas and Students

            My apartment doesn’t have a sofa, and I’ve never appreciated how much sofas can gather people together. When we’re watching TV, Rachel sits at the kitchen table while I sit in a camp chair borrowed from a friend. We’re hardly watching together. Perhaps I will ask my baby sister, who is studying interior design, if the sofa was a revolutionary invention in social history. The telly definitely was. At least we’re watching the same screen.
            I’m teaching three honors classes right now, and in a few short weeks, I’ll be adding a composition course and a keyboarding course on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I love teaching! Once I’m in front of the students, I’m in my prime, I’m in the zone,  I shine. I keep telling people that I don’t want to teach forever, but that’s a lie I’ve been telling myself. I’m too selfish to stop teaching. I don’t know if it’s because of the strict schedule I need to keep or the academic setting or the energy from my students, but I learn and I’m inspired to learn so much when I’m teaching. Because I have so many science majors, I’ve picked up an old compilation of essays on science. I’m trying to incorporate civic themes in class for my social science students. I’ve studied ways to use math terminology when talking about writing, I’m looking up word etymologies, and I ask questions aloud in class that I do not have an answer to.
And our class discussions have been fantastic! My students have open minds and know how to argue respectfully with others, and they’re not afraid to challenge something I say. One of my goals has been to use my imagination for moral good, to see beyond my own experience, to understand other perspectives. My students are helping me do just that! We’re helping one another reach our potentials, and that is an unbreakable bond.
So, I think I shouldn’t complain about our absent sofa. Rachel and I have already had deep, late-night discussions on subjects ranging from social media to Shakespeare, from character development to Church principles, from smoothie recipes to superheroes. We talk about literary theory, fate, and mental illness. We giggle at puns, gifs, and tweets. We don’t need a sofa right now because we learn together, which is far more important than watching TV together.
Although, what if we want to learn about TV?