Wednesday, November 20, 2019

November 20: It Committed Suicide, "Brokeback Mountain," Class Observation

"Simple.  I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its external computer feed.  I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it," said Marvin.

"And what happened?" pressed Ford.

"It committed suicide," said Marvin, and stalked off back to the Heart of Gold.

You will have to forgive me if this post sounds a little like Marvin the depressed robot blogging.  You see, I just finished watching Brokeback Mountain with my film class.  Whenever I reach my Brokeback week in this course, I have to brace myself. 

It's a great film.  One of my favorites.  Beautiful cinematography and music.  A stunning performance by Heath Ledger.  (His best, as far as I'm concerned.)  But . . . it's really depressing.  And, when I'm already in a somewhat down frame of mind, Brokeback Mountain pushes me over the edge.  This afternoon, I noticed a few people in class actually crying.

I apologize for my absence yesterday.  I spent most of last night preparing for my evening class tonight.  You see, I am being observed by another professor for my annual performance evaluation.  While I've been teaching at this university for close to 25 years, I still find peer observation very unsettling.  Perhaps it's the little Catholic boy in me, always expecting to be punished and told I'm not worthy.  Or it just may be my low self esteem.  Anyway, I'm kind of a nervous wreck this evening.

So, to sum things up--I am depressed and anxious tonight.  A little while ago, I was depressed and anxious and tired.  However, I drank a 5-hour energy drink, so I will be fully awake for whatever is going to happen in the next couple hours.  (No lectures on how bad those energy drinks are.  I know.  I work in a cardiology office.) 

The professor coming to visit me will only be staying for about the first hour of my class, long enough to witness me lead a class discussion about Brokeback Mountain and a chapter in our textbook.  Then, my students will take a quiz, and my colleague will go home and watch TV or read or book or type up his observation notes, excoriating me for my lack of effectiveness as an instructor.

If I sound paranoid, I am.  Although I think that I'm a good teacher, I always feel a little bit like a fraud when I'm standing in front of the classroom, like a student will stand up in the middle of my lecture on depictions of masculinity in Brokeback Mountain, point a finger at me, and shout, "You don't know what the fuck you're talking about!"  Then they will condemn me as a witch and burn me at the stake, or something like that.

I have about a half hour before this observation begins now.  I need to do some deep breathing, review my notes for class, and make sure there are no sharp objects on my person (in case things really don't go well).

Saint Marty is now depressed and anxious and a little panicked.  Maybe he should just jump on a horse and go hide on Brokeback Mountain for a couple days.

1 comment:

  1. Take comfort in a scene from another great movie: Meatballs.

    (All Chanting) It just doesn't matter! It just doesn't matter!