Category Archives: Teaching

Undergraduate and other research

Here’s a good list of things people undertaking research, need and should do:

1. have knowledge of what a research question is;
2. have basic subject knowledge in a chosen topic area, e.g., its major research questions;
3. develop a capacity for being interested in questions where the answer is nonobvious;
4. have the ability to inquire into one’s own core interests;
5. develop the project topic research question (with self-reflexivity and metacognition);
6. identify a thesis or hypothesis about the topic (one that is interesting and nonobvious);
7. plan the investigation (identify steps and continually revise methods);
8. organize research (including recording and sorting of conflicting information);
9. interpret research results (including results that are contradictory, disorganized, unsanctioned, or anomalous);
10. develop one’s analysis and narrative into a coherent narrative (gaps included);
11. publicly or socially present findings and respond to criticism;
12. have the ability to reformulate conclusions and narrative in response to new information and contexts; and
13. have the ability to fight opposition, to develop within institutions, and to negotiate with society.

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Para una clase de cultura más avanzada

If I think it should be a junior level course, it should be senior / early graduate. This one would be on monuments. Each monument studied would lead to the study of many related things, and one would study their processes of fetichization (I have not worked this out very well yet). Some of the monuments are musical, and some are literary.

1/ Macchu Picchu, study of, fetichization of, nature of, implications of, history of; here we will also study Cusco.

2/ Martí, “Nuestra América.”

3/ Toledo.

4/ Tlatelolco.

5/ Plaza de Mayo.

6/ Cuban son.

8/ 100 años de soledad.

What else, or is this enough?

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Martí and Lorca in New York

That is a class one could give, and discuss modernity. Or it could be a broader course, with Baudelaire in Paris, and more: writers in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Petrograd.

Maybe I can make all my courses like this now.

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A course on poetry sung

The Ring of Words, the introduction and the section on Spain.

Jarchas, are there good recordings?
Cid, Libro de Buen Amor, Romancero, what recordings are there?
Songs in Lope; recordings of Góngora and Quevedo
Are there recordings of 18th/19th century uses of song in poetry?
Rosalía de Castro, décimas de todas las edades
García Lorca, La argentinita
Songs with Miguel Hernández
Civil War?
Germaine Montero
Paco Ibáñez
Víctor Jara, Lluís Llach, Joaquín Sabina, Silvio Rodríguez, more
Rock, rap

Necesito ayuda.

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Diarios de motocicleta

There are so many teaching guides on this, the students love the film, and you can have them read part of the book. I think I will start using all of this in a systematic way although it is not my personal favorite. They can learn to map the story, summarize, do a character sketch, narrate in a different tense, study the countries visited, and also learn something about who Che Guevara was other than “a Communist dictator” (which is what they say now).

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Another world

I got up in Dupont Circle and walked past the row houses to a café, had coffee and came back and packed. I walked to the metro and rode to the airport, changing trains once. At the airport I read old notes on Vallejo and transcribed them, including the outline of an old conference paper, and it was very interesting.

On the plane I finished rereading Bodas de sangre, which I am teaching, and it was interesting as well. When I arrived to New Orleans I picked up the car and drove three hours to western Maringouin, where I haggled with a telephone repair shop, and then came home.

At home in the country I was so shocked to have been in the city and now here, I went into a depression. I decided to hide from the world by reading a biography of Leopoldo Panero, which was fascinating. I have never seen the film El desencanto for some reason, and I must.

I was in another world and I immersed myself in reading about further ones. I felt terrible that I was not engaged in grading or local service, although I was traveling on national service and suffering with it. But reading is also part of my job.

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The meeting I went to was sad, contentious and worrisome, but I was four nights in a cosmopolitan, urban area, and I am suddenly in the country. It is so different, it does not seem real. As usual I am terrified to go in to work, but I will do it.

Notice, though, how in a day of travel I read and thought quite a lot about these three authors, and how it is not that aspect of work that scares me — it is not the material, or the research, or the preparation of college-level classes.

It is that I must repress so much self here, perhaps, and that self arises so easily when I leave, and is so hard to shed. My graduate student feels this too, so I am not alone.

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Spanish song database

If you have to teach grammar, here is how you peg concepts to popular song lyrics. They have already figured out which song works best for what.

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