Pedagogical Bliss

So often I find myself getting all cock-a-hoop over my students. They give me permagrin. Take yesterday, for example: Right now they're working on group presentations, and the assignment is to do a collaborative rhetorical analysis of a famous speech and present the results of the analysis to the class. Yesterday, I gave them time in class to do brainstorming. I was very pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm they brought to discussing the effectiveness of speeches. I was afraid they'd think the assignment was dry, but WOW--one group has chosen to analyze the Michael Moore Oscar speech. They were excitedly talking about the rhetorical situation--Moore was supposed to give an epideictic speech, but we knew he wouldn't, since it's Michael Moore. They instantly understood all the implications of the situation, the way Moore deviated from the genre and decorum and the audience's reaction to that, what can and can't be said in a given rhetorical situation, etc. They rock! (Not just that group, to be sure. All of them.)