Many bloggers have completed the "50 things I like about myself" meme including my beloved TheBloggess (OK, she kind of completed the meme, but in a most brilliant way). I'm not even going to pretend that I can come up with 50 things that I like about myself.
"Liking" things in general isn't really my style. I love lots of things. I hate lots of things. I'm ambivalent about most things. I find myself utterly irritating. (I mean, what is with all of my issues 'n' shit? FFS.)
Besides "liking" is what teenaged girls do.
But yesterday I realized that there is at least one thing at which I'm "good."
Maybe I should start a meme called "50 things I'm good at" — but that title ends in a preposition and I hate ending in a preposition, so screw it.
During my lunch hour yesterday I ran up to the college campus to retrieve some stuff I need to prepare for my fall classes. In my mailbox was an envelope containing my student's evaluations from last semester.
I read down the lists of numbers which the students used to rank my performance, knowledge, enthusiasm, etc. They were good numbers.
I was not surprised.
I'm good at teaching art appreciation.
I love doing it. I let my enthusiasm show and do my best to keep my students interested and to keep the class relevant.
Of course, despite the fact that I'm good at teaching this class, I know that I can't please everyone. There's always a couple of students that don't like my teaching style or my face or whatever and say so on the evaluations. They leave mean-spirited and/or honest comments, as well.
And you know what? Their's are the only ones that I care about.
I skim over all the comments telling me that I'm an asset to the college and how much they learned from the class and how they never even cared about art until they took my class.
Instead I read over and over again the ones that tell me that I'm not "warm" enough or that I don't smile enough when I enter the classroom (really, I had a student write that one semester) or that I shouldn't read any part of my lectures from my notes ... at. all (keep in mind that my notes are only outlines and I speak extemporaneously most of the time).
And I take heed. I now smile when I enter the classroom (I told recent class about that comment and one of the comments I received this semester was "Lots of smiling. Keep up the good work." I love my students) and I try to be "warmer" and I try to never look at my notes (which means that I make up a lot of stuff ... not really... except sometimes).
But I got one suggestion this time that I won't be following.
The comment read, "Wear more colorful clothes when teaching."
Now, those of you who know me in the world outside of cyberspace know that my work wardrobe is entirely black (OK, I have one charcoal pin-stripe pants). Most days that I teach, I go directly from work. So I mostly wear black to teach.
Then I stand in a darkened room and lecture in front of giant color slides on a screen.
Why in the name of all things Technicolor would it make a difference if I was wearing black, red, green, yellow or plaid?