Undergrad kids
Friday, Aug. 25, 2023 - 9:34 pm.

My first class teaching undergrad students went well, I think. They're, well, undergrads, so out of 30-ish only 9 participated in a stupid Menti exercise I set up to break the ice. This thing is like, you ask a question and they answer from their phone. I thought that was their thing.

They're not remotely close to the enthusiastic crowd I came to expect from my colleagues' comments about the subject I'm teaching ("these kids are hungry to address issues on sexuality and gender!"). But hey, no one heckled me or told me I was offending their beliefs. So far, so good.

A student -a guy- raised his hand near the end of the class and asked what I thought about males losing value in society. Jesus, give me strenght. I did not answer his question, that shit was bait. I did made clear that I was not there to tell them how to think, and that however the knowledge I brought fit into their worldview was their own problem, not mine.

Then a second guy asked me what I meant by "the value of males" and I replied, I didn't say that, your classmate did (I was appalled by this kid's inability to keep up with who had said what twenty seconds ago). I pointed at the first guy and asked him to clarify what he meant. He did, and the second guy said ok.

Thankfully, I think most of the students were uncomfortable with the first guy's comment, which were very incel-like. He asked his question and the classroom filled with concerned whispering.

As for me, I gotta be vigilant of my own emotions and reactions in class. I think I handled it well, but I do that thing of worrying about worst-case scenarios. It's partly my personality, partly minority stress that has me hypervigilant and expecting the worst: I'll slip and say something out of line (because I'm used to talking about these topics in a relaxed manner), I'll lose my temper with conservative views that may arise, someone will be offended by a dumb thing like the image of sperm and eggs, or whatever.

This worry consumes a lot of my mental energy, but I try to reassure myself and think of something else. First, I'm wasting energy over something that has not happened and might not happen at all. Second, I'm a fucking adult.

On the plus side, there were two queer kids (sorry, queer emergent adults) sitting on the front row who got excited at the mention of Judith Butler and because the subject for their research assignment was non-binary people. There was another girl whose face lighted up when I brought up Oscar Wilde's "bisexuality" (can't call him that as it'd be imposing a label that did not exist back then). They all raised their hand at some point to provide sensible input.

It's the little things, I guess.

Also, good news: my PhD student won an award this week at the Uni's Postgrad Conference for his five-minute thesis presentation. I'm so proud of him. Unlike the undergrad students, postgrad ones are more like colleagues. My PhD student and I bond over queerness, in our academic work and our own personal lives, and he'll be an amazing academic in a matter of years.

Other than that, work's weird. I do a lot of shit but I finish squat.

Outside of work: a short story of mine is about to be published. A writer from my home country sent me a photo of the book fresh off the presses, though for now it was just for my eyes only.

I was bit annoyed when I was first contacted because it's an anthology of *women writers*. I feel I'm sought after (just barely) because I'm a woman rather than because I write well (I wish someone told me if I write well). But at least the title doesn't mention it's just women authors.

And fuck it, it's a major, international publisher and I got paid for it! I was gonna go to the bank this week to cash the check, but work got in the way.

Well, time to forget work for a while. I've been trying to focus my weekends on writing and drawing. My happy place, so great for my mental health. That plus hanging out with Andrew; this weekend we'll run errands, go for coffee and attend a friend's birthday party. We have fun, man. We're so good together.

See you next week.

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