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On teaching

I've taught printmaking on and off before, usually in small groups or one on one, and quite enjoyed that. When I first had to teach a large class about five years ago, I nearly had a nervous breakdown, and it took me a long time until I wasn't completely terrified of going into a room to teach to ten or fifteen people. About once a year for the last few years, I've co-taught a class with my wife, called Journal and Sketchbook: Ways of Seeing (that's what the class is called, not my wife). She is a very experienced teacher, and is Associate Professor in Fiction Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Even having Patty as the lead pilot wasn't enough initially to quell the terror.

But here we are in 2010, and tomorrow (Thursday) we begin to teach this class again, for fifteen weeks, and for the first time I am not unduly nervous. Practice makes for - well, less imperfect. There'll be a few nerves in the hours before the class, but once it starts, I know it will go fine. And who knows? Maybe the students will enjoy it, and feel at the end of the semester that they've learned something of value.


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