A series of teaching moments.

The following are actual emails sent and conversations had in the halls and classrooms of my department.

Me to my “Satire and Humor of the 18th Century” class:

Dear class,

Our end-of-the-semester party is officially on. I have reserved the back room of Jose’s on Dickson Street from 6-8 pm next WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5. You’ve demonstrated your ability to reckon with the greatest minds of the 18th-century literary scene; now show me you can take your peers in the karaoke face-off of the century. Dr. Collins: YOU’RE ON.

The event organizers make the following request: “Please make sure to have your students arrive a bit before 6pm to start selecting songs and get situated. I’d hate for them to not fully utilize the time frame.” These people are clearly professionals. I would hate for us to waste precious karaoke minutes as well.

Drs. Gertz and Tucker: you and your students are also invited. Please join us, if you dare.

All best,
EZ, a.k.a. Lady Z, Karaoke Queen

Dr. Collins to her “African American Literature” class:

Dear class,
I told you earlier that Dr. Zuroski challenged us to, and I quote, a “karaoke face-off of the century.” Well, she has reserved a time and a place for said event–the back room of Jose’s on Dickson Street from 6-8 pm on WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5.

If you would like to join me as I teach her a thing or two, we will be glad to have you all. I include at the end of this message what Dr. Zuroski or as she refers to herself, EZ, a.k.a. Lady Z, Karaoke Queen, said to her class about us. She has clearly been reading too much 18th-century literature. So, if you are free, come prepared to get down with the get down.

According to Dr. Z, the event organizers make the following request: “Please make sure to have your students arrive a bit before 6pm to start selecting songs and get situated. I’d hate for them to not fully utilize the time frame.”

Oh, and for those of you who are taking both of us this semester, you have no choice. YOU ARE ON MY TEAM!!!!!!

Dr. Z’s challenge to her class:
“You’ve demonstrated your ability to reckon with the greatest minds of the 18th-century literary scene; now show me you can take your peers in the karaoke face-off of the century.”

Yes, you should be insulted and ready to sing like you have never sang before. Do it for all of those oppressed, disenfranchised, invisible African Americans you read about this semester.

Student to me in class:

“I’m really sorry, but Dr. Collins said I needed to be on her team for the sake of invisible, disenfranchised African Americans.”

Me to student in class:

“What? Who has more invisible, disenfranchised African Americans than the 18th Century? In fact, have you seen ANY African Americans at all in the literature in this class??”

Student:

“Um…no?”

Me:

“Exactly.”

8 thoughts on “A series of teaching moments.

  1. Wow! I don’t recall the halls of academe being like that when I was in college. Of course, we were too busy being intensely political (or getting high). Where was karaoke when we needed it?

    Question for history class: Describe how the world would be different today if LBJ and Ho Chi Minh had settled the war in a karaoke face-off. Who would have won? How drunk would they have been at the end? Justify your answer.

  2. Nervous You Are?

    Lady Z, it sounds to me as if you are SCAAAAAARRRRRRRED about tonight’s showdown.

    Well, you should be!!!

    You didn’t tell the good people about how you organized a practice run last night did you? No you didn’t. Practice my darling. I’ve been up since 6, and I’M COMING FOR YOU LADY Z. I’M COMING!!!!

    Sweet Voice C

    (Hey its Shelia. How do you like my new name. I think that I shall be called that forever.)

    • Re: Nervous You Are?

      Dear Sweet Voice,

      We ain’t NEVER scared! I’m gonna do just whatever JOAN JETT WOULD DO, and that’s kick yo booty!

      Plus, I practiced “Shoop” in the shower. So BRING IT!!!

      Lady Z

      • Re: Nervous You Are?

        Plus, I practiced “Shoop” in the shower. So BRING IT!!!

        Woman, if you’re gonna beat her, you need to think outside the box.

        BARRY WHITE.

        If you can pull off Barry White, you will have the entire place eating out of your hand. “Practice What You Preach” would be perfect.

        (Oh, and if you have not yet been introduced to the wonder that is Destination: Infestation, gird your loins. It makes Mansquito look like Oscar material.)

  3. Laughing out loud in public places

    Okay, I can no longer read this blog site while dissertating (yes, it is a verb) at the public library. One, I talk to myself as I write. Two, the karaoke smackdown made me laugh hysterically and now I am getting dirty looks for very serious students in the World Languages wing. Isn’t it strange how when you have headphones plugged into your computer with your Itunes playing, you just assume that no one can hear you?

    By the way, what medication are you two loons currently taking? I need a strong dose! Just kidding. But I must say, since I am currently reading White Citizens’ Council propaganda (makes you want to puke) for the diss, I must pull for the disenfranchised African-Americans.

    Good luck–and I want a full report including cell phone video clips at Theo’s (if you guys make it out on Thursday).

    Maxwell

  4. Dang! My semester is ending soon too, but I don’t predict anywhere near this level of fun. Am I teaching at the wrong university? Or am I just an old stick-in-the-mud? (Or both?)

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