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Oh Blogging…

March 23, 2011

How I have missed you.  I have been so busy trying to keep my feet under me with my teaching and drama schedule that I have desperately ached to write… something… anything!  I have been a horrible blogger and vlogger as of late (though the vlogging part is due to the fact that Photobooth won’t upload onto Youtube correctly.  Anyone have any recommendations for that?), and I haven’t done much else than grade papers, teach, grade more papers, coach drama, and try to catch up on sleep.  I have so much to tell you, those of you who are still out there drifting around, so let’s get started.

Drama, the time-suck in my life lately, has been an excellent ride.  An exhausting, shake your head at yourself, excellent ride.  Being a first time director, I had no freaking clue what I was doing.  Even now, with my first experience over, I still don’t have all of the nuances down pat, but I certainly have learned from the experience.  I took 20 high school students to the One Act competition about an hour away from our high school, praying that everyone would remain healthy (I guess five kids were throwing up before their performances last year due to a shared flu bug) and represent our school well.  For those two parts, I guess I had nothing to worry about.  My kids were polite, friendly, social, and totally pro-colleague.  No one fought, no one cried, and no one acted like some of the other high school students did.

Our performance was just as pride producing.  According to the One Act rules, I am to have nothing to do with the performance once the initial set setup time is over (which can be no longer than five minutes).  Any type of interaction with my students would disqualify us.  I wanted to be super careful, so I told my students that I wasn’t going to have anything to do with setup or strike, and I think it worked out for the best.  They quietly set up their set in about three minutes and took the stage.  Students I was sprouting gray hairs over came alive.  Lines that needed more emphasis suddenly were articulated correctly.  Parts that none of the cast members found funny became hilarious to our crowd.  My kids did me proud.  I had tears in my eyes at the end (and no, the play doesn’t have a tear-inducing ending).

We didn’t win, though, and that’s okay.  My students learned to trust me as a director, I learned to trust them as actors, and we all had fun.  Our final performance is this evening at our high school for those who couldn’t (or didn’t want to… which I still cannot stomach because it was one of the mothers of my students…), and I am hoping that they do as well as they did under the pressure of competition.

B was incredibly sweet (and pretty proud of me from what I gathered) and took me out to dinner to celebrate my directorial debut.  We ended up trying a local Mexican/Irish restaurant in the next town over and found that they have trivia tournaments on Tuesday evenings.  Score!  We will definitely be partaking in that during school vacations!

On the home front, B and I are busy looking for a new car.  Well, not new new, but new to us.  Our (okay, okay… B’s beloved) Volvo is over 200,000 miles and we need something a little more fuel efficient.  With gas prices what they are, it’s not hard to have that complaint about cars.  We’re completely new to this process, but our families have been giving us some solid advice to go by.  It’s such a daunting chore, though, to go through rows and rows of cars that don’t have price tags on Sundays so we don’t get bombarded by salespeople right off the bat.

Otherwise, married life is bliss.  In grad school, they taught us that working with a partner goes in a cycle.  There are four parts to becoming a developed partnership:  forming, storming, norming, and performing (oh, you clever rhymers, you).  First, in the forming phase, you learn about each other and one person takes on the leadership role.  In storming, you tend to “hoard knowledge” and don’t put a whole lot of trust in each other, probably because the person who has taken over the leadership role may be coveting having power.  Once you learn to let go of power-hungry tendencies, you move into norming, where the two partners come up with what can make both of them happy and functional.  Finally, once you have laid the groundwork, you are truly performing like a well oiled machine.  A few weeks ago, I’m pretty sure B and I were stuck in the storming phase.  With the competition coming up, some of my kids just passing classes by the skin of their teeth, and our apartment looking like a tornado hit, I was stressed out.  B was also starting his new position, leading him to be home some days when I normally got a few hours to do my own thing and let my stressed nerves mellow.  On other days, he doesn’t get home until 9:00 PM.  Yeah.  With him home, that didn’t happen.  Fighting did.  But we made up, described what we needed, and became a better partnership.  Right now, we are right where we should be:  performing.

So what have you been up to, blog world?  Anything fun?  I promise I won’t take so long to write again!

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