I was intending to write this post last night, but by the time I got home, I was just exhausted by an eventful week and crashed in bed for a good 12 hours.
We had 2 more "cold" days this week, which put a real wrench in plans to get our second semester underway. Monday the kids had a half day to take the last 2 exams for first semester, then we were off both Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday ended up being the first day of second semester. Insanity. My classes this semester haven't changed at all. In fact, my schedule stayed exactly the same-the sames classes during the same hours. The kids are all mixed up; however, and I don't think most of them are too happy about it. I also have some fairly large classes. Both of my sophomore American lit classes are at 36, which is the largest class size we can have. The classroom I teach those classes in is also a bit small, so they're cramped. And very unhappy about it. *sigh* It'll work out.
I managed to get all my classes started before being gone on Friday for a scheduled field trip with the theatre group. Every year, they attend a festival nicknamed "Lovefest" to present a short piece (about an hour). They've been going for the last 6 or so years, and it seems to be an event that the kids all look forward to. Initially, I wasn't attending, but after a parent had to cancel a couple weeks ago, I was asked!
The weekend was an amazing experience. We left Friday morning on a bus (25 kids and 4 chaperones including myself and the theatre director) and found our way north to Bay City. After checking in to our hotel and relaxing for a bit, we headed over to the school for the first night of performances. In total, there were ten schools in attendance, including all 3 of the schools from my town. The whole auditorium was filled with great feelings of support and excitement.
There were many amazing performances (including our own), and after each, the school would go into another room to hear from a responder about their piece-things to improve, etc.
The first night we saw 3 of my favorite performances-The Yellow Boat, Wit, and Metamorphoses. The Yellow Boat was the first piece of the festival, and it was so touching. I wasn't familiar with the show before it started (I think that had I been, I wouldn't have cried). The boy playing the main character did a fabulous job capturing his youth and spirit. Metamorphoses was just a beautiful piece. They had music in the background during the entire performance and also incorporated a lot of lyrical dance and movement into the piece, which made it breathtaking. I also loved the mythology of it-it was just fascinating.
My favorite piece that we saw all weekend was definitely Wit. If you're unfamiliar with the play, it's about a woman dying of cancer...but it was so much more than that. The girl playing the lead role was simply amazing. We all took down her name so we'll know her later on in her career. Her performance was very real and raw....just a gorgeous show.
After out performances, we came back to the hotel where the kids burned off their energy and we eventually came around for room checks.
We performed the next morning (Murder by Poe) and the kids did fabulously well. Our costumes were a hit and our kids delivered an excellent performance (they best they'd done it!). We then spent the rest of the day watching the remaining plays and the snow piling up outside. The last piece for the even was awards, and I really loved the fact that they gave awards for each show-so no one show outshone the rest. Two of our actors were recognized, as was our costume designer. After awards, we piled back on the bus for a very long, draining ride home. The roads were pretty bad but we made it safely.
In all, it was an incredibly inspirational weekend for me. Not only did I get to spend some time with some amazing teenagers, but I also got to see their talent and drive. I ate breakfast yesterday morning with two of our seniors, and we talked about their plans for next year. Their passion for what they do was so pure and raw...I just felt drawn to it.
And watching pieces of literature being performed further pushed me into acknowledging that I have to take a chance on my own writing and at least try. I think this was the push I needed to finally go after my own dreams and passion. I'm grateful for that.
Aside from all of that excitement, we also had some craziness at home, Our complex finally decided they were going to upgrade our kitchen and bathroom cupboards and cabinets, so we had to clear everything out for them to get started on Thursday. I came home last night to find it all done (and a very WHITE kitchen), so now I need to put it all back together-there are dishes and bags of food from our pantry all over the floor of our living room. I'm also very excited for our new stove/oven, since our old one was probably from the 70s and didn't work so well. It'll be nice to use new things!
In any case, I haven't done much reading and I am out of pre-scheduled posts. I have a few things in draft, but I'm not sure what time I'll have in the next couple of days to get those in publishable shape. So, it it's quiet this week, that's why. :)
Have a happy reading week!