Saturday, December 13, 2014

My South Asian Literature Course Just Ended

My South Asian Literature course ended yesterday, if I can frame things that way. In any case, yesterday we had our last class of the semester. We still have to prepare for the final examination, scheduled for Monday, barely two days away.

I don't know about other professors, but creating examination questions is rather challenging for me. Every time I teach a course, it is a different experience from any previous offerings of the course. My thoughts about any literary work change, influenced by various factors, such as the books and other writings I read all the time.

There is also the fact that rereading a literary work yields new insights. Then, each class of students is different in many ways from any previous class, resulting in different discussions of any given literary work. Nor is the sequencing of the readings constant from year to year. I also complicate matters more because I like to include, in the course, a text or texts I have never read.

In view of all this, I cannot simply give the students questions from past examinations. I have to think hard in efforts to capture the uniqueness of each iteration of the course. Since we did not manage to get to the end of Gunesekera's Reef, our last text for this semester, I have also to figure out how to incorporate this text in the examination., or how to give students the opportunity to use or invoke it. I cannot omit it entirely, since we have spent considerable time and effort on it.

That is the challenge I am facing this weekend. However, I am not overly concerned. I have always encountered such challenges and produced what I consider suitable examination questions.

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