Saturday, February 13, 2010

Teaching & Learning

Second year PhD students in my department are require to teach 3 classes during the year. Either two classes in the fall & one in the spring OR one class in the fall & two in the spring. I was supposed to teach Human Sexuality last fall; our coordinator had already told me I was teaching it and that of course made me happy. I went away to Africa for 3 weeks only to come back and see that it had been RIPPED away from me and given to someone else. To add insult to injury, I had an email that said I was assigned 2 sections of Personal Health. I threw a tiny hissy fit and bought myself some more time. I made it through dumb Personal Health & now I am teaching two sections of Human Sexuality this semester.

I'm actually having a good time teaching this semester. It's a class I enjoy and I feel like I've improved from last year. I've also lined up some new and different guest speakers & tried some new activities. One of the things I decided to do this year was to have a panel of transgendered individuals come and talk about their experiences.

I have to say it was one of the best things I've done! I conceptually understand transgenderism and I'm totally supportive of transgender individuals but I have to say, I've never really "gotten" it. I can't really explain what I didn't "get" but I just feel like I really couldn't wrap my mind around the whole thing. I can't sum up the whole hour plus panel discussion but hearing the individuals speak was very inspiring and informative.

Here are two of my favorite quotes from the evening(s):

In response to "how did you know you were transgender?"
  • "You know when you go to the grocery store and get a cart that has one wheel that is wonky? You push your cart around and you know something isn't right, but you just keep trying to make it go? That's what being transgender is like."
In response to a discussion about sex reassignment surgery and dating:
  • "Even if your body feels wrong (having a penis) touching it still feels good!"
So I think it was really informative and exciting for my students but it was also a fascinating learning experience for me. I'll definitely keep this in mind for the future.

2 comments:

Laurie said...

hey, you might find that you like this teaching thing after all. or is that pushing it too far?

Diva of Diversity said...

Let's not get crazy ok? I can tolerate it...and maybe have some fun. But I'd much rather be doin just research!