Monday, August 30, 2010

Happiness is...

Between my last blog entry and a recent inquiry Miranda posted on her blog, I feel like I should type two entries tonight to provide some balance and avoid too much heavy writing. First off, a list of happy things I've been meaning to share:

1. Michael Bahr emailed me Friday after the show-that-I-had-to-miss. He said it was a fantastic performance and the audience responded enthusiastically and positively. While sorry I had to miss it, I was really glad to hear it was so well received.
2. Chuck emailed me this morning with a similar assessment of the audience.
3. I get to go back this weekend to see the last performance.
4. My parents are coming with me, so I get to hang out with them, too!
5. My mom got me plane tickets to get to and from their house to cut down on the drive time. After the 2-hour traffic jam I hit the last time I drove from GJ to Denver, I'm quite glad to avoid that road.

6. I had a lovely time going to my ward yesterday for the first time in weeks. I didn't recognize half the people there, but it was nice to catch up with friends.

7. I just finished reading Mockingjay. I put off reading it a little because Friday night I decided I wanted to reread the first two books before ending the series.
8. Thus, it was a weekend of reading.
9. It also means I'm in that post-book-devouring mood that's particularly edgy since a) I was thoroughly engrossed and b) it was not all together happy.

10. My classes, while starting to come out of the honeymoon phase, are still remarkably good. For example:
11. I came across a description of a new improv game - it's essentially "Duck, Duck, Goose", except the person who's it lists different animals as they go around. When they call "Goose!" the person tagged still chases the "it" person, except they both have to run like the previous animal named.
I filed the game away in my brain as something to possibly play at the end of the semester, once the class is thoroughly comfortable with each other.
Then, on Friday, one student jokingly asked if we could play "Duck, Duck, Goose". I was about to say no when I thought of how connected they had been that day - helpful, listening to each other, and every genuinely participating without a fight, even when we sang "The Belly Button Song" (one of my early tests to see who's most reluctant to loosen up and be silly).
Instead I said, "Sure, but it's going to have a twist!"
We sat on the floor in a circle (yes, I am, in fact, Mr. G.) as Matt instantly shot his hand in the air, volunteering to go first. I explained the new rules, and he didn't back down. In fact, he went around the circle, "Horse, alien, slug, dog, tiger, goose!" Then dropped to his knees, yelled "I'm a tiger! Rar!" and took off around the circle on all fours as the girl he had tagged followed suit, roaring at him between giggles.
They. Loved. It. They're ninth and tenth graders, and they absolutely loved it.

Like I said, I have really good classes.

12. My Advanced Drama class has 11 kids in it, just enough to put it in the safe zone. It's also just right for us to do "The Importance of Being Earnest" this quarter. One kid wants to stage manage and I'll have to create a maid role for another (which she'll be perfect for, the way I'm picturing it). I researched some other 9 or 10-role plays, but kept coming back to Earnest. I love the show, they'll have fun doing it, and I really want to push that class towards more reputable, academic theater.

13. This was a while ago, but I've wanted to mention it: Rachel stocked my fridge with basics foods and a few meals right before I got home from Thailand this summer. Do I have an awesome sister or what?

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