Dirty Jokes and the Enlightenment

The two really don’t have much to do with one another, save that I taught both this morning.  Starting Thursday I’m likely going to start writing a post for each, but today, we mainly did interviews in my Enlightenment comp class, so there wasn’t much on the order of content save a brief lecture on my part about the intellectual, political, social, economic, and other upheavals that created the need for an Enlightenment.  Thursday we start in with Kant’s essay about the world’s coming of age, so I should have more interesting things to write then.

In English lit class, we did the first act of William Wycherly’s (I never know how to pronounce that last name) The Country Wife.  I’m still torn about whether I should have put that play in the syllabus, and our discussion today largely revolved around what criteria teachers should use when deciding what to teach and what not to teach.  I confessed to them that, were the class not a historical-era-defined survey course, I likely would have taught something more interesting to me, but they seemed alright with the idea that a survey ought to engage all sorts of texts from the historical periods covered.  Our most interesting digression had to do with whether or not, three hundred and fifty years from now, 21st-century literature classes should view (or read the screenplay) to Wedding Crashers or not, since the plots of that Vince Vaughn and our William Wycherly are so closely akin.

Overall I’d call it a good teaching day.  I’ve got two full-on lesson plans to put together for Thursday, though, so I’d better get on that and then on to dissertation writing.


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