So, the student who starred in my previous blog post missed another appointment with me. No email. Not a surprise. He came to class and his cell phone rang. Twice! The second time, it interrupted a student oral presentation. I glared at him and said, “You’re kidding, right?” He actually tried to make some excuse. I shut him down pretty quickly so I have no idea what it was. Writing now I am a little curious as to what he would have come up with, but at the time I wanted his classmates to be able to continue their oral presentation of a Gary Snyder poem. The student was flustered by the phone and/or my reaction, and in reaching to turn it off, he dropped it on the floor and it fell apart into a bunch of pieces. Karma. (But I think he was probably able to put it back together.)
But, here is the other side of students. A former student from my African literature class in the spring came by my office to say hello. She brought me a book of poetry by Iman Mersal, a wonderful Egyptian poet who I introduced her to last term. My student got really into her work, which became the topic for her final paper. I had only read occasional anthologized poems that have been translated into English, but my student read everything in the original Arabic. When she came across a new English edition with brilliant translations by Khaled Mattawa (These Are Not Oranges, My Love), she got it for me.