Monday, January 7, 2013
Teaching by the Seat of my Pants
Two autumn semesters passed without a flicker of interest. The first winter semester was announced, and the silence was deafening. I posted a call on Facebook over the weekend because they said they were offering a 10% discount to see if they could muster up some people before giving up on the idea.
Until today. I got a call at 4:30 p.m. to tell me that my first class was tonight. In 2 hours, during which I still had to finish my work, get home, get changed, get supplies together (they didn't know if the students needed starter kits or were equipped, so better safe than sorry), find a couple of books with pictures for inspiration and to get the conversation started, a few finished projects and go over the notes that I had prepped back in the summer.
Of course my notes mentioned the handouts that I'd never gotten around to making, since the class kept getting canceled. I got there tonight at 6:15 p.m., to find out that I had one whole student (the second one hadn't paid or shown up), and that they were making a special case for her since the class had been purchased as a gift by her daughter, a frequent student at the arts league.
I was hoping for a total beginner, but she's done some stitching before, and what she's really looking for are ornamental stitches that she can incorporate into her quilting projects. Since I wasn't quite ready for that, tonight we did refresher basic stitches, talked a lot, compared our thoughts on sewing machines and wondered what was wrong with the mostly non-crafty rest of the world.
I'd say about 90% of the class was a total bluff on my part, but I think she only caught on to about 45%. I'll be more prepared next week, and I told her to bring along a sample of her work to get an idea of what she really wants to do.
This could be interesting, frustrating, or both. But either way, I went, I taught, I survived and I came home and drank wine. It wasn't so bad after all.