Thursday, July 13, 2006

Teaching English with a Shimer degree


I was wondering if anybody reading this is a recent Shimer grad and a high school English teacher.

I'm asking because I've hit a wall in my application process for this one-year post-bacc teaching certification program (through my local community college.) My stumbling block is due to the new No Child Left Behind laws, which state that teachers must be "highly specialized" in the subject they wish to teach. Basically, I'd need 24 credit hours (plus to pass a test, which I'm sure I will breeze through) in English.

My advisor glanced briefly at the very very outdated sheet of paper the registrar sends along with official transcripts, which describe the equivalent subject matter of courses from 1960-1978, most of which say that Humanities classes are "literature" classes. Hum 1 is 2.5 art credits and 2.5 music, Hum 2 is 4 Lit credits and 1 Composition credit, Hum 3 is broken up amongst philosophy, theology and literature credits, Hum 4 is literature, history, philosophy, art, and IS classes aren't even listed.

Perhaps this is wishful thinking, but I had hoped that such a reading and writing heavy Great Books curriculum would translate to more than just one measly Composition credit for Hum 2. (Unfortunately, I'm supposed to have "English" or "Composition" classes, not "Literature.") Or maybe I am wrong and this is just my futile attempt to avoid spending an extra year and several thousand dollars to take English and Composition classes that I doubt will teach me anything that I don't already know.

I was just wondering if anybody else has gone through this debaucle and how you navigated through it.

Thanks in advance!!


P.S. I met a girl at the gym late late last night who saw my Shimer t-shirt and told me that's where she really wanted to go. She then followed me around the free weight room peppering me with questions about which political magazines she should subscribe to and how to become more educated. I finally relented and gave her my e-mail address and told her she could come over and look at all my books.

P.P.S. I met a Philosophy graduate student who shares my obsession with Plato, and I'm sure that our discussion of Lysis (once we are both done rereading) will be reminiscent of those lovely octagonal tables... though nothing beats discussing Marx by candelight during a power outage... but he does know Greek... Hmmm!

P.P.S. I'm gonna make high school kids read Shakespeare!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Commencement 2006

A record crowd of alums from near and far joined us under a perfect sunny sky in May at Shimer Commencement.

For those who couldn't attend, you'll likely be interested to read the words of Eileen, Don, David and a few others as they were delivered that afternoon.

Commencement Speech Website - Shimer Graduation 2006