Friday, April 29, 2005

A Hell of a Town

Hello from the Apple store on Prince Street in NYC!
Tonight: "Musicals of Musicals"
Tomorrow Matinee: "Shockheaded Peter"
Tomorrow Night: "Monty Python's Spamalot"
Our Hotel: LITERALLLY on Times Square, baby! (Boo-Yah!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pretty Little Picture

Here are a few pictures from Seussical's run. I'm working from my mom's computer, so kudos to her for taking them.
Dad, behind my desk (yes, there's a desk under all of that!)
What my classroom looks like after shows.
Me and my cast (well, some of them) during closing night thank yous. (I'm on the left, with the flowers.)

Friday, April 15, 2005

Make 'Em Laugh

Yesterday I returned to teaching while nursing bottles of juice. After finishing my orange juice, I moved on to a bottle of Odwalla Superfood.
"Ew! What is that?" The kids cry out in chorus.
"It's juice," I reply, taking a swig of it.
"But it's green."
"Yeah. So?"
"It looks gross. Can I smell it?"
I shrug. "Sure." As I make the rounds so everyone can smell it, they comment on it:
"It's not green, it's black - No, purple."
"Nah, it's green. It looks like shredded grass."
"No, it looks like what happens after you drink stuff like this!"
"Hey, it's good for you!" I say in protest. They look at me skeptically (yeah, I'm being judged on what I drink from people who dissolve sugar cubes in Mountain Dew for breakfast). So I read the label to them: "Odwalla's Superfood with micronutrients. Put some green in your genes-"
I am cut off by a horse's guffaw from the corner.
"Not 'jeans', James," I explain to the kid who's now pounding the desk with laughter, "Genes as in genetics."

Ah, junior high school. At least I keep them entertained.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Something's Gotta Give

I woke up this morning at 5:30, coughing. I spent a half-hour deliberating, then called in sick again.
Two days off in a row. Not typical for me when I only have a cold. As I debated this morning, I wondered what it was that makes me so reluctant to miss school when I'm sick. I convinced myself in the end that it would be best for me to take a second day off. After all, if I went to school, I'd either be crabby or exhausted all day. Then again, I didn't have any lesson plans set up for a sub for today. I ended up recording some short instructions on my Subfinder account, and wishing the sub good luck. Drama days are tough on substitutes.
I am compensating for missing two days of school by spending my afternoon grading English papers. I am about halfway through them now.

In the end, I think taking today off was a good idea. Knowing my colds as I do, today should be the worst of it. When the coughing sets in, talking (i.e. teaching) only aggravates it. I hope spending a day in silence will help expedite the healing process.

I think I have fine-tuned my cold schedule. Here's how it goes:
Pre-cold: General weariness
Day 1: Sore throat
Day 2: Runny nose and tired, but feel fine otherwise (always a deceptive day!)
Day 3: Completely congested, with headache.
Day 4: Congestion improves a little, coughing begins
Days 5-?: Cough, cough cough.

And so it goes. I am glad, though, that I got the cold now. This should set me up well for the Shakespeare Festival next week and our upcoming trip to New York (!).

Well, back to papers and, hopefully, school tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What is this feeling?

Hello my dear, dear readers!

I promise I did not forget about you. There are, in fact, three reasons why I haven't posted in a while.
1) Immediately following the show, I went to Denver for my spring break, and then to Grand Junction the following weekend for my mom's birthday, thereby removing me from computer proximity.
2) I have been rather daunted at the thought of writing about the show - wrapping up that story, as it were.
3) I actually did write a lovely post for you; a lengthy one in fact, but when I clicked the "Publish" button, I got a "operation timed-out" message, and a refreshed screen - all that was left was the title of the post. Oy! Frustrated, I decided to wait for a better time to write.

And today is it! My post-show cold finally struck and I am home right now, wrapped in an afghan on my couch, surrounded by orange juice (care of my brother) and tissues, watching the Hallmark channel and sniffing. In short, I have called in sick and have decided to write.

So. The show. Here are some summaries:
- 3 performances
- No major glitches (!)
- Audience attendance was about 520 all three nights (a good crowd for us)
- Several teachers came with their families - a wonderful showing of support.
- Opening night, a kid in the audience threw a golf ball onstage. No one was hurt, though, and the detective caught the kid.
- Worst problem? The sound system reset itself during the second-to-last-song on our last night. Unfortunate, but our actors did exactly what they should do - they waited for the music to fix itself, then continued as if nothing had happened. I was proud of them!
- Total profits? $6000!

Overall, I am quite happy with the show. The kids were very sweet - they got us directors some lovely bouquets of flowers and presented them to us during bows the last night of the show. They also managed to thoroughly embarrass me (something that is not too easy to do since I started teaching at a junior high school). I'll tell you that story another time.

I was also delighted to have my friend Heidi come see the show, and my parents, my sister, and my grandmother all came to town to see it. It was wonderful to visit with them and to show off my students a little. Amusing moment: My family snuck backstage before the show to say hi and found me in the choir room, surrounded by little people dressed in yellow, all raising their hands towards me and chanting. As Rachel put it, "We were wondering what kind of cult you were running at your school." No, no. It was just our pre-show cheer. :)

So "Seussical" is done. Strange. I am doing my best to fill the void, though. Janelle, Kelley, and I have already started the selection process for next year's musical. We have narrowed it down to a few choices - "Once Upon a Mattress", "The Pirates of Penzance", and "Crazy for You" are the top runners. It's surprisingly difficult to find good musicals with sizable choruses that are not too "objectionable". I am excited about our choices, though, and glad that I've got such fun people to work with. We're hoping to have our show selected by the end of this year, so we can get a jump start on the preparations. That's the problem with doing a good job - I keep raising the bar on myself.

My advanced drama class, troupers that they are, is also plunging ahead with our preparations for our school's Shakespeare Festival. We've got a one-act to perform for the ninth graders and then again in the evening for families/friends. After that, I think we might call our season done. They've put in a lot of work this year on shows, and I think we need the last month of school to relax and have fun.

Oh, get this. I am actually seriously considering taking a group of students to the Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City this fall - my first overnight field trip (as a chaperone, that is). It's definitely in the hazy planning phase, but my principal has okayed it, so I think it might happen. Talk about fodder for my blog!

Well, readers, I think this is getting to be a long post. Besides, I want to go in search of some more medication in my cabinets to see if I can clear up this sinus pressure.

Have a happy Tuesday! I'll write again soon, I promise. :)