classes have that je ne sais quoi
she's teaching a graduate seminar, an elective on French
literature in film, or an entry-level composition course, associate
professor Cheryl Krueger "upholds tenaciously" one ideal:
"Fuzzy French equals fuzzy ideas," according to Commonwealth
Professor John D. Lyons.
firmly believes that "a brilliant idea that flickers mirage-like
among the debris of mischosen prepositions, wildly approximate
semantics, mix-and-match verb endings, and a sentence salad tossed
with French dressing should be sent back," he said. It is
one of the reasons why Lyons considers Krueger "one of the
University's greatest teachers," he wrote in his letter nominating
her for a teaching award.
she manages to be so stimulating, to fill her sections before
anyone else [and] ... to take students who enroll in a film course
for 'Œfun' and leave not only being literate in film but articulate
in French -- I don't fully understand. But I do try every year
to be a little more like her."
Others who echo Lyons' sentiments include department chairs, faculty
who audit her courses to brush up on their French, teaching assistants
and students. Their comments range from "I now rent French
films on my own," to ranking her courses "the most interesting
and enjoyable at U.Va."
department chair Mary B. McKinley noted that Krueger organizes
an orientation workshop for new graduate teaching assistants.
"Her efforts have produced excellent results in our lower-level
French courses," she said. "Colleagues who hire our
graduates tell me that U.Va. candidates are the best prepared."
Of teaching, Krueger says, "planning a course is like composing
a story. We select and organize information to be revealed in
measured doses. ... I know a class has been good when the last
session seems to come one day too soon, and everyone shows up.
Like the final page of a good novel, this final meeting of the
class brings with its much-anticipated resolution, a sense of
loss. Paradoxically, if the students and I have done our jobs
well, the memory of this one fine class we constructed together
will wane, while we use what it has taught us to do far better
-- Rebecca Arrington