Tag Archives: Teaching

Manic Pixie Dream Lecturer

Riffing off the Manic Pixie Dream Girl genre description, the Manic Pixie Dream Lecturer is a self proclaimed

“bubbly, shallow [academic] creature that exists solely in the fevered [corridors of university] to teach broodingly soulful young [students]to embrace [the coursework] and its infinite mysteries and adventures”

Or in other words, the character I play on stage in teaching.  I’m relatively manic in reality, but amp it up to 11 for the lecture appearances. Really sort of headed way further into that territory this season with Market Research, since Research is the ultimate repository of the brooding and resentful students missing out on life’s great coursework adventures.

Hopefully it works.  If not, it’ll still be fun to be the manic pixie.

The Upside of Teaching

The first half of the semester is over, and it’s two weeks of non class time to recapture lost momentum in the research pool, bolster the ranks of the productivity inducing schemes, and generally spent 14 days without standing in front of a class.  As much as I love teaching, there’s some quality time to be spent with my keyboard.

The Cons of Teaching

There are downsides to teaching, and the way I teach.  MKTG2032/7037 (bless its little noodly socks) is a chaos engine, spinning up more problems than solutions – which, y’know, as an e-marketing subject, it probably is making a decent case study on the internet.  Things broke, labs were poorly equipped, the Firefox still doesn’t run flash, and the IE browsers are ill tempered brutes stuck in IE6 timewarps. It’s harder yards this year than previous years, and, by my own hand, I’ve drafted myself into a 11-5pm teaching schedule when I’m really only supposed to teach 11 to 2.

Teaching is quite physically demanding – on Thursdays, I perform a 1 hour show, followed by a three hour seminar.  I need to switch minds, present, perfom, and then come down from the performance high and be functional to prepare for the six hour shift on Friday.

Teaching is mentally demanding, and it’s some times difficult to switch back from EXPERT to EXPLAINER.  Monologues get interrupted before you’re ready, and dialogues turn into the sound of one hand clapping.  It’s a chess match played on a scrabble board with Calvinball rules.

The Pros

The moment when you’re sitting around, either talking to the students or listening to them talk, and you can just hear it click into place. They get it.  Last two weeks have seen so many points where people in my classes have said something, asked something, or, (and it was so cool today) felt something about the course materials.  Listening to my students who first encountered blogs with a lolcattern DO NOT WANT! talk excitedly about blogging, technique, and how they were addicted to their analytics was awesome.

Reading new ideas, seeing new ideas, and learning from explaining. I’ve published several papers that began life as examples in class, notes on a whiteboard, or two slides in powerpoint, and turned into something bigger.

Putting new ideas and new spins on ideas into practice because your students have beginners minds, and give you the option to explore from a new approach.

Performing.  There’s no other gig on the planet I can get that pays this well, offers six hours on stage a week GUARANTEED, and, where I can write my own script, or improv as I see fit.  It’s a glorious life for the stage performer at heart.

The Wrap Up: AAAA++ Would definitely take this career again.