The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

It begins

Yesterday was the departmental welcome day at U Ottawa where I finally met some people with whom I had corresponded over email as well as some professors. Afterwards most of us went to an expensive bar near campus (6.80 for a pint of Hoegaarden, and 6.25 for Keith's). By the end it was only 5 of us including me, i.e., the hardcores.

I also found out what what form my assistantship will take, viz., a TA for "Technical Report Writing." I know it sounds lovely, but I'm told that I will likely only be grading stuff (fingers crossed). Most students have been assigned to a class known only as English 1100, an Essay writing class which most undergrads in all disciplines take. I can't say at this point which is better, but I will keep you posted.

That's one strange thing I've learnt about Ottawa, i.e., the TAships: at York, most TAs would teach a literature class. Apparently that's a rarity at Ottawa, for whatever reason. Again, I can't say which is better since I have no frame of reference, but I do know this: Ottawa gives the opportunity (sometimes) of actually directing a class, which sounds pretty neat.

6 Comments:

Blogger Dr J said...

Course sounds dreadful, though perhaps slightly better than trying to teach literature to engineers-in-training, especially with Forster on the syllabus. Good luck with it, though. Look forward to hearing how it goes. (He says, snickering ever-so-slightly under his breath.)

8:33 PM  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

We'll see what happens. I think it may be a marking only job, which is fine by me (they aren't essays). After all, what the heck do I know about Business writing?

I don't get the Forster reference: to what are you referring? all that Indian stuff? :)

9:18 PM  
Anonymous zelda said...

hey, it's gonna be fine. you want to focus on your own work. how many courses do they have you taking this year?

6:39 AM  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

As a PhD student, I have to take 6 half courses, one of which is a mandatory research methods kinda class. Definitely doable, especially if I decide to take one in the summer (we'll see). I've been lazy with reading lately: I really should read ahead.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Dr J said...

Try teaching Howards End to 19 year-olds, of any major, and see how it goes. On second thought, don't. You might as well give Austen to Sweathogs.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

Howards End I haven't read, though I did recently read Passage to India (I imagine that wouldn't be bad to teach). Austen to Sweathogs, haha. Good one. As for Austen, I really do see a gender difference: I've never met a male who has genuinely liked Austen, whereas intelligent women love her to death (in most cases) and don't like stuff like Beowulf. It's the whole guns 'n' dolls thing. I like and respect Austen, but she's too slow for me.

2:48 PM  

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