I teach in two distinct performative modes. In the first, primarily used for social-science instruction, I am the INTIMIDATING KNOWLEDGE EXPERT. From the moment I take attendance—and you better be in your seat when I call your name, Chuck—we are on the clock. My clock.
I speak drone on for about 75-80% of the class. The maws of my tense charges are sandblasted with facts, theories, counter readings, historical illustrations, and the occasional human interest story.
Don’t yawn, or appear to be texting because I will call on you. Oh yes I will. And you will stammer. And the pleasure will register on my face in the way that unsightly extras in a Kung Fu movie toothily smile and flail their arms at the Act Two thrashing of the Good Guy.
In the second mode, I affect a completely different teaching persona. I am now, to use a term I particularly abhorred from the 90s, a…