Friday, August 20, 2010

The room I'm teaching in

It's something like fifteen minutes walking from the English department offices. You have to walk with a crowd of students across Espina street. The stop sign situation there can be frustrating for everyone, as half the world is trying to drive through the crosswalk and the other half -- the half with right of way -- is trying to walk across it. The walkers generally win, but the cars get fed up ("WE'RE CARS!") and drive all the way out into the middle of things to claim the space the second there's a gap, sometimes too fast.

My building is across the way from another building where, as best I can tell, they keep cows. (NMSU was an agricultural college first, after all.) You can smell them pretty clearly. Thankfully the smell doesn't follow you inside. The halls of the building look bad but the rooms themselves are fine, if a bit spacious for a CW class and entirely inappropriate in their arrangement. The students are arranged in spacious rows, facing front, and the instructor is afforded a ludicrously large empty space in which to stalk in front of the class like a puma, but not a desk. (I need to move one of the tables over to serve as a desk, or possibly make my entire class of 20ish students form a circle of chairs at the front of the room, so we can actually talk. Crowds scare me [really, they do] and if I'm standing up in front of a class I feel like I have to talk a lot and be funny, which sometimes works out well and sometimes seems a waste of everyone's time.)

The best part, though, is that this massive room -- my class fills maybe half of it with plenty of air to breathe and move -- is lined with the severed, mounted heads of various large animals, elk, eagles, fish, and so on. I'm not sure if they're real, but there are dozens, and they all stare -- many gape-mouthed -- in a sort of mute judgment on the center of the room, i.e., the students.

Actually in some ways I like the place a lot. I do wish I didn't have to get in so early to make the walk, though. I'll have to take pictures.

1 comment:

  1. If you ever get desperate for a writing prompt you can have them each pick one of those heads and do three paragraphs on its life.