Monday, July 10, 2006

Off to Massachusetts

I've been saving that particular song title just for the occasion (it's from "Little Women", by the way) - I am in MA!

Yes, friends, I have arrived at Smith College in Northampton, MA. Today marks the beginning of the Shakespeare & Co. Institute, which I will be attending for the next month. I have unpacked, moved furniture around, taken a walk around the area, discovered the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library (just around the corner from me - see photo), and, of course, set up my laptop. Whoo! In about an hour, they're taking us on a tour of the campus, then there's a welcome BBQ, then some sort of meeting.

I'm quite happy to be here. As I was walking, I had to remind myself that I was in Massachusetts. It was one of those things that I knew, but I didn't realize, if that makes any sense at all.

I got a corner room, which is grand since it's a little bit bigger and has two windows. Right now, I'm sitting between the two with a fan aimed at me, and it's almost pleasant. Fortunately, most of the classrooms we'll be in have air conditioning. I can always go visit Calvin, too, since his library is likewise cool (ooh, sorry about that - unintentional bad pun).

On the planes here yesterday, I finished the required reading for the program - "Macbeth" and "Julius Caesar". I liked Macbeth better, although Caesar, I think, is better written. I am looking forward to getting academic again - playing the student and such. Already I have been going metacognitive - as I've worked on the monologue we're supposed to prepare for tomorrow, I have been reflecting on the process, since this is a task I require of all of my drama students. It's healthy for me to have this assignment, I think, since it forces me to consider what I am specifically expecting my students to do verses what I have taught them how to do in terms of "preparing" a monologue. I'm still not sure how to go about teaching this process - largely because I was never really explicitly taught the procedure myself, I suppose. Still, I'm glad to be doing it.

Well, I'm going to explore the dormitory itself a bit (see picture). I'll keep you all updated as things get interesting. For now, though, Happy Monday!

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