Tuesday, January 15, 2008

so far, so good

I've been to five of my ten classes so far, and it seems to be going well. Obviously, this is a very early assessment, but it doesn't take terribly long to ascertain whether new professors are satisfactory and class dynamics generally positive. Last semester I had three professors who had either never taught before or were teaching the class for the first time, and the brand new professors were not the greatest. I don't want to say that it was a bad experience, necessarily, just less than I would have expected from my university.

My Baroque music history class is a little bit quiet, but I think it's going to be fantastic. It's a new group of music students, a mixed class, so we were all feeling each other out a little bit. I foresee much more participation and jocularity in the near future. The professor of that class is another of those brand-new guys, but he was very well-prepared and knowledgable, with just the right amount of humor. It should be a wonderful semester in that class!

I was slightly worried about my Dialogue class (like writing, but with more discussion than your average writing class). I have not had any female professors in discussion-based classes yet, and I've found myself to be a little sexist on that point, to my great surprise! I couldn't help feeling that a male professor might be better-suited for this class, but I have been proved wrong. My professor creatively and subtly engendered a discussion on the ethics of same-sex marriage and somehow prevented the usual grappling that ensues when such a topic is presented to highly opinionated college students. I am so impressed!

As for Music Theory, I have not much to say. We got our old professor back!! She is so intelligent and compassionate and just plain good at teaching. I learn something new every day in her class (which is difficult in music theory at times). My favorite thing about her is her knack for remembering even the tiny little things you say. You might mention in class one day that you've been feeling a bit overwhelmed, and six weeks later she's asking you about it with no prompting whatsoever. And our Theory class has been together for three semesters now, making us a pretty tight crew. Yay! (it turns out that I had a lot to say about that one after all...whoops!)

This morning we had Aural Skills. Aural Skills is probably my least favorite class. Of all time. And this morning, I was thinking to myself, "I sure hope that this new guy is better than the last new professor we had." I honestly do not feel that I learned what I should have learned last semester. However, our new professor is wonderful. He is friendly, articulate, creative, and a great musician. And of course the class is great--it's basically the same as our Theory class.

I was a little nervous about the new profs, but I think everything is going to be fine. Yay!


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