"My Huge Basketball IQ" by Jason Koo

Updated: May 2, 2020

Finally finished “The Origin of the Work of Art,”

which is not an essay but a confrontation:

you have to be engaged with it at all times to see

what is being said, to see even a part of it,

only sixty pages long but taking me two weeks

to read. Yesterday on the first day of class,

after thinking so long over break about some

nasty student evals I received, how to get better


as a teacher, how to get more out of my students,

specifically how to make them feel more

comfortable while still pushing them,

as the #1 complaint is always that I am not

“sensitive to students’ needs,” I was confronted

by students already looking away when I

made eye contact or just staring into space

as I spoke, still staring into space when I returned

my gaze to them half a minute later, and

I could feel my frustration creeping in again,


all the hopeful theorizing I’d been doing

about how best to help these students being


met, on the first day, with anxiety, insecurity,

boredom, indifference, though my energy level

and enthusiasm were higher than usual,

and “enthusiasm for the material” is always

my highest mark on evals, begrudgingly

marked 4 out of 5 by even the most hateful

students, and I joked how already I was

seeing people stare off into space, saying,