I was supposed to be interviewed this morning on campus by a filmmaker for a thing, but gray skies and snow flurries got in the way of that, which honestly was fine with me because and so anyway, later in the day I had another interview, during which I was asked a question that made me flash back to elementary ESL classes, to my mother who still tells stories about how when I first got here I had a whole repertoire of Korean nursery rhymes that I sang endlessly on repeat, and then I thought of my former AntiGravity master teacher-trainer, who made me take a vocal/chanting/meditation workshop before she would let me solo teach AG (and lol I was allowed to bring a friend for free and I brought Rachel) and for like all ten hours neither Rachel nor I uttered a syllable but during a coloring break from the singing/chanting/meditating when we had to draw the om symbol on giant posterboard mine (predictably) was big and purple and decorated with lots of tiny pink and yellow flowers and Rachel dug all the black crayons out of the crayon bin and rage-scrawled about a million oms of all sizes on hers, which looked like this, and all the ladies in Lululemon in that intermittently lavender-and-peppermint-DoTerra spritzed room were horrified and I knew then that Rachel and I were meant to be besties and so what if the next time I saw my master teacher-trainer she said, I don’t know when in your lives but someone took your voices away. It’s been years since that day but I got to thinking and (1) I really wish I still had Rachel’s billion-black-oms poster because I’d frame it in glass and hang it on my wall and (2) maybe it doesn’t matter if someone took our voices away because people like us put our words on the page. Have you read Durga Chew-Bose’s Too Much and Not the Mood? When I got to this line, I felt so seen: ”I was too shy to sing louder than a hum. Even today, no matter how simple the tune, I’ll ruin it. The tricky jump of ‘Happy Birthday’ continues to give me trouble.” Me. Freaking. Too. I mean, seriously, who was that little girl all those years ago who sang Korean nursery rhymes while sitting like this and can you imagine, what if she had grown up to be me? And that’s when I answered the question, cool. as. ice.
One day I’ll come back here and update this post with a reveal of the actual question and I promise—all of that will make a kind of beautiful and perfect sense.
Saturday, February 9th
OK, so, yesterday I was offered the job and I accepted—Graduate Fellow in the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence at the University of Utah. The interview question was this: In addition to faculty observations, you will also conduct focus groups during which the professor will leave and you’ll talk with students. Tell us how you will you break the news to the professor afterward that his students report not learning because his accent is so heavy they can’t understand him? My answer was: Ouch, OK . . .. so, I think I’d say it’s going to be hard to not take this personally, but this doesn’t actually reflect on your teaching. Then I said something about clicker technology, which I’ve never used personally, but might be among other technological interventions that I’m sure CTLE would inform me about.